WASHINGTON (Fort Worth Star-Telegram) – Despite a slightly slower pace of home construction in July, U.S. building permit applications are at their highest level since August 2008.

Construction of new single-family homes and apartments fell 1.1 percent in July over the previous month, breaking a four-month trend of increases in housing starts. The Commerce Department reported a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 746,000 residential units, down from 754,000 in June.

The slight slip in construction activity does not seem to be dampening builders’ confidence, however. According to the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo sentiment index, home builder confidence grew to its highest level in five years, with many builders seeing their best sales since February 2007.