WASHINGTON (AP) - U.S. home construction slowed in December but ended 2013 with the best showing since the housing bubble burst. The Commerce Department says builders broke ground last month at a seasonally annual rate of 999,000. That's 9.8 percent lower than November pace of 1.12 million, which was the fastest in five years. For the year, builders started 923,000 homes and apartments, up 18.3 percent from 2012. It was the fourth straight annual gain and the strongest since 2007, when 1.36 million homes were started. The housing market has been recovering steadily over the past year, helping boost economic growth at create jobs. For December, the drop reflected declines in single-family homes and apartments.