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WASHINGTON, Jan 21- US permits and home construction grew in December as historically low mortgage rates supported the housing market, but momentum could slow amid rising timber prices and shortages of skilled labor.
Home construction starts rose 5.8% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.669 million units last month, the Commerce Department said Thursday. Economists consulted by Reuters had projected 1.56 billion units.
The construction of houses, meanwhile, grew by 5.2% in the interannual comparison.
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