Long-term housing outlook

Despite the collapse of US housing activity in 1979-80, the early 1980s hold great promise for a recovery, according to Predicasts Inc., a business information and market research firm.

A recent study projects housing starts to peak at 2.28 million annually in the first half of the decade, then level off to 2.25 million through 1995. Although residential construction cannot be called a major growth industry over the long term, it will remain a vital factor in the nation's overall economic growth, with fixed investment in residential structures accounting for 3 percent of total gross national product in 1995.

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