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HOUSING COMPLETIONS INCREASE 1.1 PERCENT

SHARE HOUSING COMPLETIONS INCREASE 1.1 PERCENT

Privately owned housing completions rose 1.1 percent in March to an annual rate of 1.37 million from 1.36 million in February, the government reported last week.

March housing completions were 5.6 percent below their March 1989 level, according to a joint release of the Commerce Department's Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development.During the first three months of the year, 298,100 housing units were completed, down 7.8 percent from 323,300 units in the same year-earlier period. The figures were adjusted to take into account seasonal factors such as the weather.

The March rate of single-family housing completions was 1.03 million, down 1.9 percent from February's rate of 1.05 million units. The March rate for multifamily units was 347,000, up 11.2 percent from 312,000 units in February.

Housing completions dropped in the Northeast, to 165,000 units in March from 187,000 units in February, and in the Midwest, to 232,000 units in March from 270,000 units in February.