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Mortgage bankers see sales rebounding

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The Mortgage Bankers Association projects double-digit growth in sales of both new and existing homes in 2010, even though the group expects unemployment will continue to climb and won't peak until the middle of the year.The MBA expects sales of existing homes to rebound 11.2 percent next year, to 5.57 million, and for new-home sales to bounce back 21 percent from this year's projected "very low levels" of 398,000.Home-price declines, when viewed at the national level, should tail off by early 2010, the group said. But the situation will vary by state and property type, the MBA warned, with the greatest demand for entry-level homes.After falling 13 percent from 2008 to 2009, to $172,200, the median existing-home price is expected to remain essentially flat in 2010 before posting a 2.6 percent gain in 2011 and rising another 4.1 percent in 2012, the MBA said.Unemployment numbers are "stark," and the weakness in labor markets poses a "major threat" to the ou...