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US housing starts up 6% last month

US starts on houses and apartments rose by 6.4 percent in November, the Commerce Department said Tuesday. The November building pace, equal to 1.7 million units per year, followed two months of declines and left housing starts up 29 percent from a year earlier.

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Despite the improvement, Commerce Secretary Malcolm Baldrige said growth in the housing industry will likely taper off unless mortgage interest rates, which now average 13 percent, decline.

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