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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 3.85% dw 3.94%  
15 Y Fixed Graph 3.03% dw 3.04%  
30 Y Fixed Jumbo Graph 4.25% dw 4.30%  
5/1 ARM Graph 3.49% dw 3.50%  
5/1 Jumbo ARM Graph 3.70% up 3.58%  
Loan Type Graph Rate +/- Last Week
$30K HELOC Graph 4.56% dw 4.60%  
$50K HELOC Graph 4.07% up 4.06%  
$30K Loan Graph 4.97% -- 4.97%  
$50K Loan Graph 4.34% -- 4.34%  
$75K Loan Graph 4.34% -- 4.34%  
Loan Type Graph Rate +/- Last Week
36 M New Graph 2.78% up 2.67%  
36 M Used Graph 3.25% up 3.18%  
48 M New Graph 3.05% up 2.94%  
48 M Used Graph 2.87% up 2.79%  
60 M New Graph 3.15% up 3.05%  
Loan Type Graph Yield +/- Last Week
6 month Graph 0.40% dw 0.41%  
1 yr Graph 0.71% -- 0.71%  
5 yr Graph 1.50% up 1.45%