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Mortgage lending volume in 2020 likely to break records

Fannie Mae, the world’s largest mortgage financier, said mortgage lending this year probably will reach an all-time high of $3.9 trillion.

The dollar-volume record will be boosted by $2.4 trillion in refinancings, the highest level since 2003 and more than double the level seen in 2019, the mortgage giant said in a forecast on Tuesday.

“We continue to believe that a low-rate environment will support refinance demand over the forecast horizon,” Fannie Mae said in the forecast. “At the current interest rate of 2.86%, we estimate that nearly 69% of outstanding first-lien loan balances have at least a half-percentage point incentive to refinance.”

The low rates likely will boost the sales of new houses to 777,000 this year, a gain of 14% from 2019, the forecast said.

Sales of existing homes probably will total 5.3 million, down 0.4%, Fannie Mae said. That’s an improvement from the drop of 4.5%

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