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UPDATE

Briefly ...

August 24, 2003|Times wire reports

* Single-family housing starts in July were at a rate of 1.52 million, up 1.9% from the June figure of 1.49 million, according to the U.S. Commerce Department. Single-family housing completions in July were at a rate of 1.41 million, up 2.7% from June.

* Due to a drop-off in refinancing, the Mortgage Bankers Assn. of America is now forecasting $3.2 trillion in mortgage originations for 2003 and $1.5 trillion in 2004, down from the previous forecast of $3.4 trillion for 2003 and $1.9 trillion for 2004. Meanwhile, Fannie Mae, a large source of U.S. mortgage financing, cut its forecast for home loan applications this year by 8% to $3.4 trillion.

* An informal poll posted on Century21.com found that 50% of respondents said women have the final decision when purchasing a home. Thirty-eight percent of respondents cited men as the final decision maker, while 8% viewed the purchase of a home as a family decision. Three percent gave the kids the final say, and friends influenced only 1%.

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