Cadillac Fairview Corp. Ltd., the Canadian development company, announced last week that it plans to sell its office buildings and business park assets in the United States for $447 million. The purchaser is to be a corporation formed by Michael V. Prentiss, president of Cadillac Fairview's Urban Development business unit, and Copley Real Estate Advisors Inc., on behalf of The New England (New England Mutual Life Insurance Co.) and other investor clients.

Last month JMB Realty Corp. of Chicago agreed that Cadillac Fairview, which would retain its shopping center holdings in the United States and properties in other countries, would be sold to a Canadian corporation managed by JMB.

Carl D. Covitz, owner and president of a California real estate and investment company, was sworn in as undersecretary at the Department of Housing and Urban Development last week. Covitz will assist in overseeing HUD's activities and daily operations.

Covitz graduated from the Wharton School of Finance and Commerce and received an MBA degree from the Columbia University Graduate School of Business.

The Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp. named Robert Van Order, former director of the housing finance analysis division at the Department of Housing and Urban Development, as the company's chief economist this week.

Van Order holds a doctorate in economics from Johns Hopkins University, a master's degree from the University of Essex in England and an undergraduate degree from Grinnel College in Iowa.

IN THE BUSINESS . . . Dickinson-Heffner recently celebrated the opening of its phase I office building at the Airport Square development near Dulles Airport. The 72,000-square-foot, 4-story building is at the intersection of Willard Road and Rte. 28 . . . McCarthy/Mid-Atlantic of Arlington, the nation's oldest privately held construction company, is now ranked as the 18th-largest construction company in the country, with $1.044 billion in domestic contracts in 1986, according to Engineering News Record . . . Stanley Martin Commercial has broken ground for Executive Center II, a four-story, 75,000-square-foot office building off Sunrise Valley Road in Reston . . . George Hyman Construction Co. hosted a two-day program for a delegation of internal audit managers from the Audit Administration of the People's Republic of China this week. The visitors specialize in capital construction auditing for the Chinese government . . . Citicorp Homeowners Inc. of McLean has opened new offices in Alexandria and Fairfax. . . The Metropolitan Washington Building Industry Associations' 24th annual fall convention will be held at the Mullet Bay Resort and Casino in St. Maarten, Netherlands Antilles . . . the Suburban Maryland Building Industry Association is offering a free eight-week full-time construction craft training program beginning June 8. The association will train 15 people in several areas of construction, including carpentry, plumbing and electrical wiring. Applicants must be residents of Prince George's County, between the age of 18 and 26 and have their own transportation. For more information call SMBIA at 572-5900.

PERSONNEL FILE . . . Kimberly H. Carroll has been named chief financial officer for Interstate General Co. Limited Partnership . . . Sol H. Wolberg has been named Realtor Emeritus by the Washington Association of Realtors, an honor reserved for members who have provided "meritorious service" to the association.