Home builders, fearful of an excessive inventory buildup, have stretched out their construction schedules, according to U.S. Housing Markets, a publication of Lomas Mortgage USA.

The rescheduling is a symptom of what has become the deepest and broadest decline in the U.S. single-family housing market in four years, the publication said. Nationally, the number of building permits issued during the quarter fell 13%, and even some of the previously hot markets showed weakness.

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