As recently as the end of February, lenders were expecting an increase of more than 25% in mortgage originations this year, to about $814 billion. The were looking at a dream year, after two years of decline.

Since then, the Mortgage Bankers Association has trimmed its projections twice, to $775 billion and, as of April 10, to $755 billion. The latest number represents an increase of 17% over volume in a sluggish 1995.

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