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MBA Expects Mortgage Originations to Fall 40% in 2010

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The mortgage finance industry will likely see a continued slow-down in 2010 as unemployment remains high and home sales slide, the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) said Tuesday at a media briefing over the state of the real estate industry. The MBA projected total mortgage origination on residential one- to four-family properties is likely to plummet to $1.28trn in all of 2010, from $2.11trn in all of 2009. The projection marks a 39% decline in total mortgage origination in 2010. The refinance share of originations is projection to dip significantly, from 65% in 2009 to 39% in all of 2010 - or from $1.37trn to $502bn. Existing home sales will slip from 6.08m in Q409 to 5.4m in Q410, MBA said, while new home sales will likely remain static, ending Q410 at 413,000 units. The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) house price index should fluctuate little and end 2010 at similar levels seen in year-end 2009. The median price of existing homes should tick up to $169,900 in Q410 from $166,500 in Q409. The median price of new homes is likely to also rise slightly to $215,600 in Q410, from $209,100 a year earlier. The MBA also projects 30-year fixed mortgage rates should rise substantially, finishing at an average 6.1% in Q410, compared with 4.9% in Q409. These projections contrast private mortgage insurance firm PMI Mortgage Insurance Co., which said in December the market could expect rising home sales during the year. First American CoreLogic in December indicated house prices could see a 1% yearly appreciation rate by October 2010. Write to Diana Golobay. The author held no relevant investment positions.

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