Calif. housing starts drop 65 percent in March

In a fresh sign of the continued slump in the real estate market, housing starts in California dropped 65 percent in March compared with year ago, homebuilders reported Friday.

The California Building Industry Association said housing starts fell to 4,713 units statewide during the month. In greater Sacramento, housing starts fell 66 percent in March, to a total of 318.

The association said potential buyers of new homes are being diverted by the inexpensive alternative flooding the market: repossessed homes.

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