Conventional adjustable-rate mortgage originations this year will total less than $200 billion, or only about 15% of all originations, according to Freddie Mac's annual survey. ARMs were 22% of all originations in 1997.

Falling rates have made the loans less popular with consumers, but Freddie says the product has evolved since it was introduced in the early 1980s, helping adjustable-rate lenders hang onto some market share.

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