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Financial News Network
September 21, 2011 AT 11:54 AM
Housing starts fell 5% to a three-month low 571,000 annual rate, according to the Commerce Department.Construction in the Northeast slumped in August when Hurricane Irene hit the region while building permits, an alternative for future construction, unexpectedly climbed.Foreclosures, declining prices and a lack of employment are delaying construction and holding back an industry that's typically helped spark economic rebounds from past recessions.Tighter lending standards and reductions in homeowner equity mean fewer buyers are able to take advantage of mortgage rates at record lows.