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NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS CHIEF ECONOMIST ANALYZES HOUSING STARTS DATA

 NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS CHIEF ECONOMIST
 ANALYZES HOUSING STARTS DATA
 WASHINGTON, March 17 /PRNewswire/ -- Following is an analysis by Dr. John A. Tuccillo, chief economist of the National Association of Realtors (NAR), of the housing starts data released today from the U.S. Department of Commerce:
 February's increase in housing starts can be attributed in part to extremely mild weather in many areas. But an important factor fueling construction is a strong sense among buyers that the economy is starting to improve. We have anecdotal evidence of heavier foot traffic in housing markets across the nation, and it appears the rise in buyer activity is a fairly definite trend.
 However, the recent increase in interest rates, along with some lingering doubts over how soon the economy will fully recover, indicates that help may be needed to sustain the housing rally. Buyer incentives that could provide a boost would be the enactment of a first-time home buyer tax credit applied to purchases of all homes, as well as a plan allowing Individual Retirement Account or 401(k) withdrawals to be used as a down payment for a home.
 NAR, "The Voice for Real Estate," is the nation's largest trade association, representing more than 750,000 members involved in all aspects of the real estate industry.
 -0- 3/17/92
 /CONTACT: Trisha Morris, 202-383-7560, or Walter Molony, 202-383-1177, both of the National Association of Realtors/ CO: National Association of Realtors ST: District of Columbia IN: CST SU: ECO


MH-DC -- DC008 -- 8700 03/17/92 10:11 EST
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Date:Mar 17, 1992
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