The chairman of Riggs National Bank predicted yesterday that home mortgage interest rates may not drop back to the 10 percent range until the end of the 1980s.
"Unfortunately the day of the 8 percent mortgage is no longer with us," Vincent C. Burke said in remarks prepared for delivery to the annual meeting of the Better Business Bureau of Metropolitan Washington. "Perhaps we will be back to the 10 percent rate by the end of the decade if we all work hard."
Although he said he was optimistic about the outlook for the Washington area in the 1980s, Burke predicted continued high inflation through the first half of the decade. "A 9 percent [inflation] rate for the period 1980-1985 seems likely, with an 8 percent rate for the period 1985-1990," he said. "We will be lucky if we can get down to the 8 percent rate by the end of the 1980's."
Burke also predicted "another disruptive business cycle in the decade of the 1980's, similar to the one we are now experiencing."
On the employment front, Burke predicted continued job growth in the Washington area but cautioned that the increase would not be as great as in the 1970s.
Despite his somewhat gloomy assessment of the future, Burke said that "over the next 10 years the Washington-Baltimore corridor is likely to expand more than any metropolitan area in the country." Burke has served as Washington chairman of the Washington-Baltimore Regional Association.
In his own area -- banking -- Burke said, "I think we can look forward to a growth in bank deposits and perhaps and increase from the 1979-1980 rate." Burke said a 10 percent growth rate in bank deposits is not impossible.
Burke said that unfortunately savings and loan deposits declined 1.7 percent from May 1979 to May 1980, depressing the local housing market because of the resulting lack of available mortgage money.
On the national level, Burke predicted an end to the recession late this year with sluggish growth in the first half of 1981. He said the economy should be fully recovered by 1982.