Home lenders in the Atlanta metropolitan area saw volume drop by 29% last year, as higher rates put the squeeze on originations, according to figures compiled by TRW Redi Property Data, a nationwide real estate information company.

The drop was caused by a "near collapse" in the refinancing market, according to the survey. In 1993, more than 106,000 homeowners refinanced or took second mortgages in the five-county Atlanta area. Refinancings fell off a cliff in 1994 - down by 44% to 60,000. Twenty-year lows in interest rates in 1993 led many consumers to refinance, spurring a boom in the home- lending industry.

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