HOUSTON — The housing industry just finished one of its best years in the past half decade, with 1.75 million new housing starts and should have nearly as good a year in 1985, according to predictions here at the 41st annual convention of the National Assn. of Home Builders.
Tucson builder Peter D. Herder, outgoing bresident of the 130,000-member trade association, said that housing starts this year could reach the 1.6-million to 1.65-million units range, with interest rates declining somewhat.
Michael Sumichrast, the association's chief economist, said that about one million of the 1.65 million housing starts predicted for 1985 will be single-family detached houses, a segment of the industry that is strong in virtually every part of the country. Condominiums, on the other hand, continued to be very weak and show no sign of improvement, he added.
"Virtually nobody is forecasting a major decline in home mortgage interest rates," Sumichrast said, adding that interest rates may rise slightly before they decline somewhat later in the year.