SOURCE: Paragon Financial Limited
NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - Oct 2, 2012) - The housing bubble burst dealt a major blow to mortgage insurers as foreclosures soared leaving companies' balance sheets filled with large unpaid loans. Conditions have improved drastically for the industry in 2012 as recent rises in homebuilder's confidence and new and existing home sales have supported the notion that the U.S. housing market is steadily improving. The Paragon Report examines investing opportunities in the Property & Casualty Insurance Industry and provides equity research on Radian Group Inc. (NYSE: RDN) and Old Republic International Corp. (NYSE: ORI).
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U.S. mortgage rates fell to record lows after the Federal Reserve announced stimulus measures focused on purchases of mortgage-backed securities. Rates for 30-year fixed mortgages fell to a record low of 3.4 percent, while the average 15-year rate declined to 2.73 percent. While new home sales fell slightly in August, 0.3 percent to an annual rate of 373,000, they still are roughly 30 percent higher than a year ago.
"We've already seen low mortgage rates even before the Fed action," said Wells Fargo & Co. senior economist Anika Khan. "We'll continue to see mortgage rates come down. That means affordability will continue to be high."
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Radian Group offers credit-related insurance coverage, primarily through private mortgage insurance, and risk management services to mortgage lending institutions. Its private mortgage insurance protects the holders of the company's insurance from default-related losses on residential mortgage loans made generally to home buyers, as well as facilitates the sale of these mortgage loans in the secondary mortgage market.
One of the nation's 50 largest publicly owned insurance organizations, Old Republic has assets of approximately $16.1 billion and common shareholders' equity of nearly $3.7 billion or $14.74 per share. The company recently reported the filing of a corrective plan for the run-off of their RMIC mortgage guaranty unit.
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