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MBA sees double-digit sales growth in 2012

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Home sales will rise modestly next year but won't really take off until 2012, economists with the Mortgage Bankers Association predict in their latest forecast.Existing-home sales, which are expected to be about 8 percent lower this year than last, are expected to grow by less than 2 percent next year before increasing by 16 percent in 2012.New-home sales, which will probably drop 13 percent this year from last, are expected to bottom out in the third quarter of this year and grow by 20 percent in 2011 and 40 percent in 2012.That, along with a decrease in the share of cash purchases, should drive the dollar volume of purchase mortgage originations up 30 percent in 2011, the MBA said.Mortgage rates are probably headed up, but may still be below 6 percent in two years, the forecast said. MBA economists expect fixed-rate mortgages to average about 4.4 percent in the fourth quarter of this year, increasing to 5.1 percent by the end of 2011 and reaching 5.7 percent in 2012.Although there's ...