Huge Rise in San Diego Housing Starts Seen : Home Builders Predict Smaller Percentage Increase for Los Angeles-Long Beach Area

Times Staff Writer

Watch out, San Diego, you're in for a 63% increase in housing starts the rest of the decade, with 25,000 projected from 1985 through 1989. This compares with 15,339 starts for 1980 through 1984, according to a forecast from the National Assn. of Home Builders.

That 25,000 total equals the projection for Los Angeles-Long Beach, an area that will experience a mere 5.3% increase over the 23,731 units built from 1980 through 1984.

And Orange County--Anaheim, Garden Grove, Huntington Beach, Santa Ana or whatever the term used by the Census Bureau for this collection of similar-size communities--will record a 25.3% increase, from 10,375 from 1980-84 to 13,000 by the end of the decade.

Riverside-San Bernardino, much smaller than San Diego and Los Angeles, will record 20,000 starts by the end of the decade, 12.2% above the 17,831 chalked up from 1980-84, the association predicts.

Northern California bright spots--for builders and home seekers, at least--include Santa Rosa, Stockton and Fresno. All will experience growth in home building through the end of the decade (3,000 for Santa Rosa, up 18.1%; 3,000 for Stockton, up 19.1%, and 4,000 for Fresno, up 69.5%).

Not-so-bright spots in Northern California include Sacramento, 7,000, down 12.3%; San Francisco-Oakland, 10,000, down 18%, and San Jose, 5,000, down 2.8% from the previous half-decade.

Other California metropolitan areas on the list include Oxnard-Simi Valley, 4,000, up 31.6%, and Santa Barbara, 2,000, up 14%.

Some of the trends emerging from the five-year forecast include surprising strength in such Northeastern areas as Philadelphia, Washington, New York and Hartford, Conn. and big losers concentrated in the still-depressed "Rust Belt" cities of the Midwest--with the notable exceptions of diversified Minneapolis-St.Paul (15,000 starts projected for 1985-89) and Chicago (18,000 starts for the same period).

Other trends: Dallas-Fort Worth will drop 29%, to 45,000, while Atlanta will increase 23.6% to 40,000 for the five-year period; Denver, Houston, San Antonio, Tex. and Miami will see the end of their boom periods, while "second-tier" cities like Memphis, Tenn., Daytona Beach, Fla., Albuquerque, N.M. and El Paso will see a surge in building. Tallahassee, Fla., home of the current president of the National Assn. of Home Builders, John J. Koelemij, is in the latter category.

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