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Housing building starts staged a substantial recovery last year, rising 19 per cent to their highest level for four years.Government figures issued on Monday showed that starts last year reached 186,400 compared with 156,500 in 1992. This included 143,100 starts by private builders (120,100 in 1992), 41,300 by housing associations (33,800) and 2,000 by councils and new towns (2,600).But the total of new homes is still far below the 252,200 at the height of the boom in 1988.Roger Humber, director of the House Builders Federation, said: 'This is pretty much what we expected. But we still need more interest rate cuts.'Interest rates fell on Tuesday by 0.25 percentage points to 5.25 per cent, their lowest since 1972. But lenders said this cut was too small to affect mortgage rates. CONSTRUCTION NEWS