Construction of one- to four-family homes was almost unchanged from the previous month in February at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 499,000 units, the Commerce Department said Tuesday.

However, total housing starts — which include multifamily construction — fell by almost 6% in February from January. They posted a small gain from a year earlier.

The report came a day after the National Association of Home Builders said builder confidence in the market is falling because of poor weather and because distressed property sales are depressing housing prices.

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