WASHINGTON – An unseasonably warm December helped boost total housing starts, which includes condominiums and apartments, 4.5% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.642 million units for the month, according to number released by the U.S. Department of Commerce.

Single-family builders, however, broke ground on fewer homes in December.

Single-family housing starts decreased 4.1% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.23 million units in December. This was 24.7% below the pace of single-family starts a year earlier.

Total housing starts for 2006 were at an estimated 1.8 million units, 12.9% below the level for 2006.

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