Total home sales remain likely to set another record this year even though interest rate expectations have been revised upward and total originations will likely decline somewhat, according to Freddie Mac's latest economic forecast.In its May economic outlook, the government-sponsored enterprise predicts that home sales will total a record 7.29 million this year, slightly higher than sales in 2003 and up from the record 7.27 million Freddie Mac forecast in April. Amy Crews Cutts, Freddie Mac's deputy chief economist, said the GSE believes this could occur despite a rate-driven decline in its 2004 forecast for total originations from $2.8 trillion to $2.4 trillion. She said home sales will remain strong because purchase originations are expected to rise to record highs this year, offsetting a projected decline in rate-driven refinancing. Freddie Mac can be found online at http://www.freddiemac.com.

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