Banks and thrifts are expecting to see a big jump in home equity lending this year, according a real estate lending survey by America's Community Bankers.The 11 annual real estate survey found that 56% of the 403 respondents expect loan volumes to decline in 2004 as refinancings slow, while 64% expect that consumers will turn to home equity loans. As interest rates rise, "people will use home equity loans to tap into the equity in their homes," ACB executive vice president Robert Davis said. The survey also shows that respondents divided their loan sales equally between Fannie Mae (33%) and Freddie Mac (32%). Conduits and wholesalers captured 22% of secondary-market sales, with the Federal Home Loan Banks netting a 7% share and Ginnie Mae 3%. Only 36% of the respondents expect to reduce their secondary-market sales in 2004. Mr. Davis said he expects the FHLBanks to increase their market share this year, as purchase mortgages dominate originations.

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