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Hammertime

Housing starts--the number of new homes that started construction--rose nationwide in September, "reaching its highest level since government home-buying incentives ended in April," according to the Wall Street Journal. But the local data tells a different story: By region, housing starts fell 3.6% in the West, according to the Journal. Building permits also fell: "New building permits for future home construction fell 5.6 percent to a 539,000-unit pace, dropping to the lowest level since April 2009," according to IBT. [WSJ/IBT]