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In this Wednesday, April 24, 2013, photo, workers are seen at the construction of a new apartment housing complex in Trenton, N.J. The Commerce Department reports the pace at which builders broke ground on homes in April on Thursday, May 16, 2013. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)

U.S. housing starts fell in April but permits surged

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By MARTIN CRUTSINGER

AP Economics Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) -- U.S. builders broke ground on fewer homes in April, one month after topping the 1 million mark for the first time since 2008. But most of the decline was in apartment construction, which tends to vary sharply from month to month.

And applications for new construction reached a five-year peak, evidence that the housing revival will be sustained.

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