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Real estate industry refutes housing bubble mania

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Pick up this week's New York Times or Wall Street Journal or flip on over to CNN and the cries of real estate bubble mania are loud and clear. The discussion comes in anticipation of next week's Fed meeting, which is widely expected to bring about a hike in interest rates. The bubble frenzy may have gripped the media and everyday conversation, but the housing industry doesn't appear fazed by all the doomsday talk. They're not listening to the fears, and instead are still predicting a banner year for housing sales. Economists say they've already built into their forecasts an assumption that mortgage rates will rise given anticipated actions by the Federal Open Market Committee. Even with those increases, they say, the housing market will remain strong. David Berson, Fannie Mae's VP and chief economist, said he anticipates any increase in mortgage rates will be slight since they've already gone up in anticipation of the Fed raising its federal funds target rate. He believes mortgage rat...