Home builders started fewer single-family houses during the month of  July as  new home construction remains at depressed levels. The Commerce Department reported Tuesday that builders began work on a seasonally adjusted 604,000 homes last month, a 1.5 percent decrease from June. That’s half the 1.2 million homes per year that economists say must be built to sustain a healthy housing market. Single-family homes, which represent 70 percent of home construction, fell 5 percent.

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