Fannie Mae has lowered its 2004 mortgage origination forecast from $2.58 trillion to $2.30 trillion, according to the government-sponsored enterprise's latest economic outlook.In his May economic outlook, Fannie Mae chief economist David Berson says the refinance share of originations should fall to about 45% this year (and much lower in the second half) from nearly 70% in 2003. "As a result, refinance originations are projected to decline by 61.5% to $1.0 trillion," Mr. Berson said. "Purchase originations, on the other hand, are expected to reach a new all-time high of $1.3 trillion, up by 7.3%." (Freddie Mac recently lowered its forecast for total originations from $2.8 trillion to $2.4 trillion.) Fannie's forecast continues to project record home sales for this year despite rising mortgage interest rates. The outlook projects that home sales will total 7.22 million units this year, 1.09 million from new homes and 6.13 from existing homes. Fannie Mae can be found online at http://www.fanniemae.com.

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