Mortgage bankers across the country are optimistic that for them if not for thrifts, this year will end up surpassing 1994 - even with rates continuing to creep up.

"Volume is not what it was in the refinancing boom two years ago, but on the whole things are going great," said Jacqueline Buonaiuto, vice president at Residential Mortgage Banking, a newly acquired unit of Roslyn (N.Y.) Savings Bank.

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