American Banker asked top mortgage business executives and noted industry observers to do a little crystal-ball gazing.

Overall, their predictions for 1996 are positive - low interest rates, combined with a decent economy, should provide steady growth for the housing industry. In orginations, 1996 should be less volatile than 1995.

Additionally, many say a refinancing boom is just around the corner. Although consumers have been slow to jump on lowering interest rates, the future should be full of prepayments if rates continue to go down - leaving players looking for the best strategy to deal with the negative aspects of refinancing.

New technology and streamlined originations and servicing techniques are also on the minds of decision makers, as they position themselves for the next century.

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