U.S. homebuilding permits a 3 1/2 high

Permits for homebuilding in the U.S. neared a 3 1/2 year high last February.  The new permits last month were at 5.1% or 717,000 units according to the Commerce Department.   This is the highest rate its been since October 2008 and has exceed economists expectation for the month (expectations were   690,000 units).   Housing starts for February showed a slight dip in 698,000 units, which is (alibet a small) decrease from January 706,000 units.

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