HOUSING: Spring Tonic

The nation's dispirited home builders, whose forecasts for 1957 have slipped steadily lower, last week heard the first good news to come out of Washington in a long, hard winter. With predictions for as few as 800,000 home starts this year, v. 1,100,000 in 1956, the Administration moved to pep up the industry in an area where it needs help. The Administration:

¶ Reduced down-payment requirements for FHA-insured loans on houses appraised at $9,000 or more. Instead of pegging downpayments at 7% on the first $9,000 of the home's cost, 27% on...

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