WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. housing starts and permits for future home construction rose less than expected in July, suggesting that higher mortgage rates could be slowing the housing market's momentum. The Commerce Department said on Friday that housing starts increased 5.9 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 896,000 units. June's starts were revised up to show a 846,000-unit pace instead of the previously reported 836,000 units. Economists polled by Reuters had expected groundbreaking to rise to a 900,000-unit rate last month. Permits to build homes rose 2. …
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