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Homeowners are staying put longer. Slowing sales in 1989 helped lengthen the average time that Americans own their homes to 12 years from 11.5 years in 1988.

The finding by Chicago Title & Trust Company is calculated by dividing the total number of owned single-family homes and condominiums by the number of housing sales in a year.

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Last year there were 60.4 million owned housing units and 5 million sales.

Idaho, Washington state, and Oregon had the sharpest increases in turnover rates last year. The New England states, excluding Maine, were among the 10 whose housing turnover rates slowed the most in 1989.

Nevada's turnover rate was the highest at 8.4 years. Louisiana's was lowest - 25.7 years.

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