Completions numbered 14,400 compared with 14,100 in the previous year.
In the latest three months 48,300 dwellings were started, up 18 per cent on the same three months a year ago, while completions at 41,600 were down 6 per cent.
Seasonally adjusted comparisons
Housing association starts of new dwellings in the three months January to March were virtually unchanged compared with the previous three months, but completions fell back.
Both starts and completions by local authorities and government departments remained at a low level.