The news from the housing front is a little gloomy - housing starts are down, interest rates are up and selling a house usually takes longer - but don't tell the Home Builders Association of Greater Salt Lake.

They're the folks frantically pounding nails, laying shingles and pouring concrete - among a thousand other things - in 10 new houses at the 1988 Parade of Homes.If past years are any indication, the army of workers scurrying around the site will just have the last scraps of two-by-fours picked up when the parade gets underway Aug. 12 at noon with the V.I.P opening ceremonies. The show opens to the public Aug. 13.

The annual home show drew 100,000 people last year (80,000 paid attendance), according to Ron Thorne, HBA president. This year, housing slump or not, could top that during its 16-day run through Aug. 28.

The 1988 home show is in the western area of the Hidden Oaks private community, 117000 S. 2000 East, Sandy, under development by Steve Sheffield

The complex was also the site of the 1987 home parade, which won the National Association of Home Builders' Gold MIRM Award for the single most professional promotion, advertising and execution of a home show in the United States.

"We hope to repeat that award for the Greater Salt Lake HBA again this year," said Thorne. The Salt Lake HBA bested more than 1,200 homes shows nationally to win last year.

According to HBA spokesman Robert E. Rampton, the houses under construction for the 1988 Parade of Homes will be priced from $190,000 to $300,000, although most of the homes being built in Hidden Oaks are in the $140,000-$180,000 range.

All interiors in the parade are professionally designed and will compete in several categories established by the association, including best kitchen, design, landscaping and so forth. There is also a people's choice award.

Rampton said there were 105 commercial exhibitors last year and that number should be topped in the upcoming show.

The Hidden Oaks development features what developer Sheffield calls a "neighborhood lifestyle," served by a recreation center with racquetball court and spa, tennis courts, swimming pool, wooded sites, a stream and golf course frontage.

Addressing association members Aug. 11 and at Friday's V.I.P. opening for invited guests will be NAHB President Dale Stuard and NAHB Auxiliary President Liz Morgan.

Stuard, a home builder in Southern California for 34 years, was elected to head the 150,000-member national organization last January. Morgan, of Dallas, Tex., has been involved in the home building industry and general construction, for 16 years.

Utah contractors building homes in this year's parade are John Shurtleff Construction, K.B. Builders (two houses), Copperstate Construction, Oxbow Development, Valasa Construction, Davis Construction, Alan Sudweeks Construction, Rod Irwin Custom Homes and Polar Bear Construction.