New residential construction in the US pulled back by much more than anticipated in the month of April, according to a report released by the Commerce Department on Wednesday. The housing starts plummeted by 3.7% to an annual rate of 1.287 million in April after rising by 3.6% to an upwardly revised 1.336 million in March. The bigger than expected decrease reflected a sharp pullback in multi-family starts, which plummeted by 11.3% to a rate of 393,000 in April after soaring by 13.6% to 443,000 in March. Meanwhile, the Commerce Department single-family starts inched up by 0.1% to a rate of 894,000 in April after falling by 0.8% to 893,000 in March. The report said building permits also tumbled by 1.8% to an annual rate of 1.352 million in April after surging up by 4.1% to an upwardly revised 1.377 million in March.