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Mortgage Insurers Expand Activity

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New mortgage insurance business strengthened last month to the highest level since before the global financial crises erupted. Outstanding policies expanded for the second consecutive month. But defaults inched up.

Mortgage insurance volume was 39,192 policies issued for $10.123 billion during July.

Business improved from June, when 34,169 policies were issued for $9.459 billion.

Even better yet, activity soared from 22,917 policies issued for $4.916 billion in July 2011 — when volume still included business from PMI Mortgage Insurance Co. and Republic Mortgage Insurance Co.

The latest figures reflect activity at Mortgage Insurance Companies of America members Genworth Mortgage Insurance Corp., Mortgage Guaranty Insurance Corp. and Radian Guaranty Inc.

In fact, based on previously reported MICA data, mortgage insurance activity hasn’t been this good since just before the global financial crisis erupted in August 2008, when activity totaled 53,476 policies for $10.162 billion. Considering that the 2008 data also included volume from AIG United Guaranty, PMI and Republic — it’s likely been even longer since M.I. volume has been this good.

Primary insurance in force increased for the second consecutive month after having been in runoff mode. The balance was $396.438 billion, up from $395.957 billion at the end of June. In July 2011 — when policies at PMI and Republic were still included in the data — primary insurance in force stood at $601.699 billion.

An uptick from 24,567 primary insurance defaults in June put July defaults at 25,166. The year-earlier number, which is distorted by the inclusion of PMI and Republic’s data, was 48,758.

Primary insurance cures grew to 18,430 from 17,390 a month earlier and 35,905 a year earlier.

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