WASHINGTON -- Construction of single-family homes cooled off slightly in January after surging in the final month last year. But a rise in permits suggests that builders are growing more confident that more buyers are ready to come off the sidelines.
The Commerce Department said Thursday that builders broke ground on a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 699,000 homes in January. That's up 1.5 percent from December and nearly matches November's three-year high for starts.
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