``The question is whether marginally lower mortgage rates can provide that sort of boost to the housing market. Mortgage applications haven't rebounded strongly despite already low interest rates and stabilizing home prices. Originations for 2012 are expected to total just over $1.4 trillion in 2012, compared to just under $1.3 trillion in 2011, according to an August estimate from the Mortgage Bankers Association. And many would-be buyers are still blocked by tight credit conditions set by lenders.''

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