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Homes, Sweet Homes


Aluminum-siding salespeople take note -- the Promised Land may be in Albuquerque.

That's where the number of housing starts is growing fastest, according to National Association of Home Builders estimates. While former boom towns, such as Dallas and Orlando, can expect to see 20% fewer houses built, Albuquerque's building rate is predicted to grow almost 130% in the 1984-89 period, compared with the preceding five years.

A rising number of housing starts usually indicates a strong local economy and foretells increasing prosperity for small businesses, especially those related to new houses. Already, sales of building materials in Albuquerque have risen from $99.7 million in 1982 to $157.4 million in 1984 -- a 58% jump. As even more houses are built, those receipts should increase further. Other small businesses, from exterminators to insurance ofices, also benefit from a housing boom.

Listed are the top 10 of the 100 major U.S. metropolitan areas where housing starts are estimated to rise the fastest.

Annual Average Annual Average

Metro Area 1985-89 1980-84 % change

Albuquerque 7,000 3,052 129.4%

Fresno, Calif. 4,000 2,360 69.5

San Diego, Calif. 25,000 15,339 63.0

Charleston, S.C. 8,000 5,047 58.5

El Paso 7,000 4,580 52.8

Bakersfield, Calif. 6,000 3,995 50.2

Somerset County, N.J. 1,700 1,148 48.1

Colorado Springs, Colo. 9,000 6,321 42.4

Memphis 6,000 4,302 39.5

Charlotte, N.C. 7,000 5,101 37.2

Last updated: Apr 1, 1986

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