New home construction in the United States fell by less than expected in July.
The Commerce Department said the number of new projects begun in the month fell 1.5% from June on a seasonally adjusted basis.
The annualised rate of 604,000 housing starts recorded in July was still above the levels seen earlier in 2011.
But it remains far below the two million level seen five years ago.
The BBC reports homebuilding and new home sales in the US continue to suffer due to the large overhang of unsold repossessed properties on the market.