WASHINGTON — In yet another indication of the housing industrywoes that have triggered part of the economic downturn, housingstarts fell 11% in July, the Commerce Department reportedtoday.

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Housing starts declined 29% from July 2007 and were at theirlowest level in 17 years. The construction of new homes has fallenin every month except June during the past year.

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Housing completions fell 8.7% from June and were down 31.7% fromJuly 2007.

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The number of building permits issued for privately ownedhousing units fell 17.7% from June and 32.4% from July 2007.

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Once homes are built, developers have had trouble selling them,as reflected by recent data indicating that new home sales havedeclined in five of the last six months. In June, the last monthfor which data have been released, sales of single family homes,fell .6% from May and were down 33.2% from June 2007.

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