Despite higher interest rates and an icy home-loan refinance market, mortgage production in Arizona, Nevada, Colorado, Utah, and Idaho, is improving -- truly. and lenders know it.

According to TRW Redi Property Data, the number of loans to buy homes in Nevada, for example, jumped 60% in the first quarter to 1994 from the same period last year. Home-purchase lending in the other states is also higher.

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