Housing Completions Fall: Completions of new homes and apartment buildings in the nation declined 2.3% in January to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.49 million units, the Commerce Department said. Completions rose 6.8% in December to a 1.53-million-unit annual rate, the department said. For all of 1988, completions fell 8.4% to 1.53 million units. Economists expect further declines this year, mainly because of rising mortgage rates. The January decrease was entirely in buildings with at least two apartments, where completions fell 9.8% to a 387,000-unit rate following a 9.4% December increase.