Houston is leading the nation in residential construction activity, according to data collected by the U.S. Census Bureau.

The agency found the total value of all private housing projects approved in the Houston area collectively last year was $4.17 billion. The figure tops the highest value listed among the nation’s 366 metropolitan areas.

Dallas took second place at $3.87 billion in authorized private housing units in 2010, with New York’s $3.05 billion figure rounding out the top three areas.

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