Expect single-family mortgage originations to decline by 10% to 20% in 2005, according to two secondary-market economists.Fannie Mae chief economist David Berson sees originations falling from $2.74 trillion in 2004 to $2.15 trillion this year. His pessimistic forecast is based on a 7%-8% decline in home sales and a slowdown in house price appreciation to 3.5%. His crosstown rival at Freddie Mac expects 2005 loan production will decline by only 10% to $2.42 trillion. Freddie chief economist Frank Nothaft is forecasting that home sales will slow by 4%-6% from last year's record pace, and that increases in house prices will slow to 5%-7%. "That would be the slowest in six years," Mr. Nothaft told reporters during a news briefing sponsored by the National Association of Home Builders. Home prices rose by 10.5% last year.

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