Despite the fact that rates on 30-year fixed-rate mortgages broke the pivotal 8% mark last week - causing quite a stir in most financial media and prompting certain naysayers to predict the end of a robust housing boom - most Wall Street analysts and housing economists were not worried, confident that the rise in rates got far more attention than it deserved.

"The purchase side of the market has been stubbornly strong all year," said Robert Van Order, chief economist at Freddie Mac. "Though there will be less mortgage product as a result of the higher rates, by all indications, this will still be the second strongest year for mortgage originations."

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