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US housing starts dropped 16.5 percent in April, but building permits surged to 5-year high

U.S. builders broke ground on far fewer homes in April, one month after topping the 1 million mark for the first time since 2008. But applications for new construction rose to a five-year peak, evidence that the housing revival will be sustained.

The Commerce Department says U.S. builders started construction at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 853,000 in April, a 16.5 percent drop from the March pace of 1.02 million. Applications for building permits rose 14.3 percent to a rate of 1.02 million, the highest since June 2008.

Homebuilders are benefiting from a sustained rebound in housing that began a year ago. Steady job growth, rock-bottom mortgage rates and rising home values have increased demand for new homes.

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Bank Rates

Loan Type Graph Rate +/- Last Week
30 Y Fixed Graph 3.98% dw 4.08%  
15 Y Fixed Graph 3.09% dw 3.11%  
30 Y Fixed Jumbo Graph 4.20% -- 4.20%  
5/1 ARM Graph 3.20% dw 3.22%  
5/1 Jumbo ARM Graph 3.51% up 3.47%  
Loan Type Graph Rate +/- Last Week
$30K HELOC Graph 4.30% up 4.26%  
$50K HELOC Graph 3.97% up 3.95%  
$30K Loan Graph 4.99% -- 4.99%  
$50K Loan Graph 4.34% -- 4.34%  
$75K Loan Graph 4.36% -- 4.36%  
Loan Type Graph Rate +/- Last Week
36 M New Graph 2.94% dw 2.96%  
36 M Used Graph 3.48% dw 3.50%  
48 M New Graph 3.19% dw 3.23%  
48 M Used Graph 2.99% dw 3.06%  
60 M New Graph 3.20% dw 3.25%  
Loan Type Graph Yield +/- Last Week
6 month Graph 0.39% dw 0.40%  
1 yr Graph 0.70% -- 0.69%  
5 yr Graph 1.55% up 1.53%