MGIC's National Market Trends Index (MTI) Rises in First Quarter 2001

Apr 24, 2001, 01:00 ET from Mortgage Guaranty Insurance Corporation

    MILWAUKEE, April 24 /PRNewswire Interactive News Release/ --
     Mortgage Guaranty Insurance Corporation (MGIC) today reported that its
 National Market Trends Index (MTI) rose to 7.47 in the first quarter of 2001,
 from 7.36 in the fourth quarter of 2000, reflecting the overall stability of
 housing markets across the country.  The MTI has now risen 15 basis points
 over the last two quarters after falling from its all-time high of 7.75 set in
 the fourth quarter of 1999.
      The index is a barometer of real estate market conditions with readings
 ranging from 1 to 10.  A reading of "1" indicates a weak market showing no
 signs of improvement, and a reading of "10" indicates a strong market with no
 signs of deterioration.  The National MTI reading of 7.47 reflects generally
 stable housing market conditions.
     The National MTI is based on the Market Trend Analysis Report produced
 quarterly by MGIC's Credit Policy Department using lagging three-month market
 data.  The complete April 2001 Market Trend Analysis Report, released today,
 can be accessed at MGIC.com
     Neil Siegel, Senior Market Analyst at MGIC, said the MTI indicates that
 housing conditions across the nation remain stable even though the economy has
 softened in recent quarters and unemployment is on the rise.  "The housing
 market continues to be the bright spot in the nation's economy," Siegel said.
 "Even though home price growth has slowed in most markets, housing starts and
 home sales remained strong in the first quarter and there are no signs of
 regional or broad-based deterioration in the residential real estate sector."
     Siegel noted that the percentage of "strong" housing markets in the MTI
 fell to 22.7%, its lowest level since the first quarter of 1996; and the
 percentage of "soft-to-weak" markets rose to 9.3%, its highest level since the
 third quarter of 1998.  Neither trend is concerning, however, because the last
 half of the 1990s was an exceptional period for home price growth and real
 estate market stability, Siegel noted.
     "Looking forward, we're keeping an eye on unemployment because joblessness
 is a precursor to softness in residential real estate," Siegel said.
 "Employment is strong, consumer confidence remains solid, and mortgage
 interest rates should remain around 7% for the rest of this year, boosting
 affordability.  This all bodes well for the housing sector."
 
     Regional MTIs
     For the eighth successive quarter, the West scored the highest MTI of the
 nation's four regions.  Buoyed by continued strong economics and rapid home
 price growth in both the Mountain and Pacific divisions, the West MTI
 registered 8.24, reflecting stable to strong housing conditions throughout
 most of the region. The Northeast MTI continued its ascent, rising 8 basis
 points to 6.23 in the first quarter, versus 6.15 in the fourth quarter of
 2000.  The Northeast MTI reading of 6.23 indicates the region is generally
 experiencing stable conditions with some soft markets.
 
     Strong Markets
     Of the 73 MSAs covered in the Market Trend Analysis, 22.7% scored "strong"
 market ratings with an MTI of 9 or 10 in the first quarter, down from 24% in
 the prior quarter.  That's the lowest percentage of strong markets since the
 first quarter of 1996 when 20.5% of MSAs were exhibiting strong housing market
 conditions.  The high was set in the fourth quarter of 1997 when 36% of
 markets had strong MTIs, and the low was set in the fourth quarter of 1992
 when 8.3% of markets had strong MTIs.
 
     About MGIC's Market Trend Analysis
     The factual information contain in MGIC's Market Trend Analysis was
 obtained from Economy.com, the National Association of Realtors (NAR), and
 other third-party sources.  Many of the opinions and conclusions of MGIC
 concerning market trends are based on such information.  Though MGIC believes
 such information, opinions, and conclusions are accurate, MGIC does not
 warrant the accuracy or reliability of same.
 
     About the Market Trend Index (MTI)
     The MTI is a numerical rating of single-family housing market health.  The
 rating, which has been calculated for each quarter since the fourth quarter of
 1992, is derived from both objective and subjective evaluations of market
 conditions by MGIC market analysts, and it reflects both current conditions as
 well as expectations of changes in those conditions.  Though MGIC doesn't
 warrant the accuracy or reliability of the MTI, it believes it to be a sound
 barometer of housing market conditions and trends.
 
     About MGIC
     MGIC, the principal subsidiary of MGIC Investment Corporation (NYSE:   MTG),
 is the nation's leading provider of private mortgage insurance coverage with
 $164.8 billion primary insurance in force covering 1.5 million mortgages as of
 January 31, 2001.  MGIC serves over 9,000 lenders representing more than
 22,000 locations nationwide and in Puerto Rico, helping families achieve
 homeownership sooner by making affordable low-down-payment mortgages a
 reality.  This and other MGIC press releases may be accessed via the World
 Wide Web at http://www.mgic.com or, a fax copy of this and other press
 releases may be obtained by dialing 800-758-5804, entering MGIC Company Code
 No. 526575 when prompted, and following the automated prompts.
 
                     MAKE YOUR OPINION COUNT -  Click Here
                http://tbutton.prnewswire.com/prn/11690X66124007
 
 

SOURCE Mortgage Guaranty Insurance Corporation
    MILWAUKEE, April 24 /PRNewswire Interactive News Release/ --
     Mortgage Guaranty Insurance Corporation (MGIC) today reported that its
 National Market Trends Index (MTI) rose to 7.47 in the first quarter of 2001,
 from 7.36 in the fourth quarter of 2000, reflecting the overall stability of
 housing markets across the country.  The MTI has now risen 15 basis points
 over the last two quarters after falling from its all-time high of 7.75 set in
 the fourth quarter of 1999.
      The index is a barometer of real estate market conditions with readings
 ranging from 1 to 10.  A reading of "1" indicates a weak market showing no
 signs of improvement, and a reading of "10" indicates a strong market with no
 signs of deterioration.  The National MTI reading of 7.47 reflects generally
 stable housing market conditions.
     The National MTI is based on the Market Trend Analysis Report produced
 quarterly by MGIC's Credit Policy Department using lagging three-month market
 data.  The complete April 2001 Market Trend Analysis Report, released today,
 can be accessed at MGIC.com
     Neil Siegel, Senior Market Analyst at MGIC, said the MTI indicates that
 housing conditions across the nation remain stable even though the economy has
 softened in recent quarters and unemployment is on the rise.  "The housing
 market continues to be the bright spot in the nation's economy," Siegel said.
 "Even though home price growth has slowed in most markets, housing starts and
 home sales remained strong in the first quarter and there are no signs of
 regional or broad-based deterioration in the residential real estate sector."
     Siegel noted that the percentage of "strong" housing markets in the MTI
 fell to 22.7%, its lowest level since the first quarter of 1996; and the
 percentage of "soft-to-weak" markets rose to 9.3%, its highest level since the
 third quarter of 1998.  Neither trend is concerning, however, because the last
 half of the 1990s was an exceptional period for home price growth and real
 estate market stability, Siegel noted.
     "Looking forward, we're keeping an eye on unemployment because joblessness
 is a precursor to softness in residential real estate," Siegel said.
 "Employment is strong, consumer confidence remains solid, and mortgage
 interest rates should remain around 7% for the rest of this year, boosting
 affordability.  This all bodes well for the housing sector."
 
     Regional MTIs
     For the eighth successive quarter, the West scored the highest MTI of the
 nation's four regions.  Buoyed by continued strong economics and rapid home
 price growth in both the Mountain and Pacific divisions, the West MTI
 registered 8.24, reflecting stable to strong housing conditions throughout
 most of the region. The Northeast MTI continued its ascent, rising 8 basis
 points to 6.23 in the first quarter, versus 6.15 in the fourth quarter of
 2000.  The Northeast MTI reading of 6.23 indicates the region is generally
 experiencing stable conditions with some soft markets.
 
     Strong Markets
     Of the 73 MSAs covered in the Market Trend Analysis, 22.7% scored "strong"
 market ratings with an MTI of 9 or 10 in the first quarter, down from 24% in
 the prior quarter.  That's the lowest percentage of strong markets since the
 first quarter of 1996 when 20.5% of MSAs were exhibiting strong housing market
 conditions.  The high was set in the fourth quarter of 1997 when 36% of
 markets had strong MTIs, and the low was set in the fourth quarter of 1992
 when 8.3% of markets had strong MTIs.
 
     About MGIC's Market Trend Analysis
     The factual information contain in MGIC's Market Trend Analysis was
 obtained from Economy.com, the National Association of Realtors (NAR), and
 other third-party sources.  Many of the opinions and conclusions of MGIC
 concerning market trends are based on such information.  Though MGIC believes
 such information, opinions, and conclusions are accurate, MGIC does not
 warrant the accuracy or reliability of same.
 
     About the Market Trend Index (MTI)
     The MTI is a numerical rating of single-family housing market health.  The
 rating, which has been calculated for each quarter since the fourth quarter of
 1992, is derived from both objective and subjective evaluations of market
 conditions by MGIC market analysts, and it reflects both current conditions as
 well as expectations of changes in those conditions.  Though MGIC doesn't
 warrant the accuracy or reliability of the MTI, it believes it to be a sound
 barometer of housing market conditions and trends.
 
     About MGIC
     MGIC, the principal subsidiary of MGIC Investment Corporation (NYSE:   MTG),
 is the nation's leading provider of private mortgage insurance coverage with
 $164.8 billion primary insurance in force covering 1.5 million mortgages as of
 January 31, 2001.  MGIC serves over 9,000 lenders representing more than
 22,000 locations nationwide and in Puerto Rico, helping families achieve
 homeownership sooner by making affordable low-down-payment mortgages a
 reality.  This and other MGIC press releases may be accessed via the World
 Wide Web at http://www.mgic.com or, a fax copy of this and other press
 releases may be obtained by dialing 800-758-5804, entering MGIC Company Code
 No. 526575 when prompted, and following the automated prompts.
 
                     MAKE YOUR OPINION COUNT -  Click Here
                http://tbutton.prnewswire.com/prn/11690X66124007
 
 SOURCE  Mortgage Guaranty Insurance Corporation

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