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MIAMI—Construction mortgages of at least $1 million obtained on South Florida properties during this year’s first three months are up 42% over the same three months of last year. The volume broke a first-quarter lending record set two years ago.

Data collected by Miami-based Integra/AREEA Inc. show 196 major building loans totaling $1.38 billion recorded during the first quarter of 2000 in Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties. The best previous first-quarter performance in 1998 covered 164 loans with a closing total of 816.2 million.

The bulk of this year’ fundings,$637.8 million, covered new apartment ventures—nearly double the $320.5 million made in the comparable 1999 period. Building loans on shopping centers rose to $213.9 million from $141.9 million in 1999′s first quarter.

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