The number of monthly mortgage insurance policies written has fallen by more than half since fall, and spring is looking less promising based on new applications — which were the lowest on record. The poor showing reflects the loss of a big insurer. The good news is that defaults declined.
In February, 15,079 policies were written for $4.5 billion, according to data released by the Mortgage Insurance Companies of America. Business was down from 21,896 policies endorsed for $6.5 billion during January but slightly better than 14,924 policies issued for $3.6 billion a year earlier.
Year-to-date volume amounted to 36,975 policies written for $11.0 billion.
Volume reflects activity at MICA members Genworth Mortgage Insurance Corp., Mortgage Guaranty Insurance Corp., PMI Mortgage Insurance Co., Radian Guaranty Inc. and Republic Mortgage Insurance Co.
Business looks like it will deteriorate further based on the number of new applications. February saw just 17,972 applications for mortgage insurance, down from January’s 25,789.
In fact, an analysis by MortgageDaily.com of MICA data back to 2000 — the oldest data available — indicated that February was the lowest month on record.
The trade group reported that primary insurance in force was $625.8 billion, dropping from $747.9 billion a month earlier and reflecting the removal of United Guaranty Corp.’s activity. The balance was $844.4 billion in February 2010.
Primary insurance defaults tumbled to 48,086 from January’s 64,687 — also reflecting the loss of UG. Defaults were 68,675 a year prior. Primary insurance cures rose to 53,944 from the previous month’s 50,820 and were lower than 80,758 during the same month last year.