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Mortgage Insurance Industry Benefitting From a Steadily Improving Housing Market in 2013

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - Mar 4, 2013) - MGIC Investment and Radian Group have surged in 2013 as data supporting the U.S. housing market's recovery continues to roll in. Last week two separate reports were released showing improvements in U.S. home prices and sales. Research Driven Investing examines investing opportunities in the Mortgage Insurance Industry and provides equity research on MGIC Investment Corp. ( NYSE : MTG ) and Radian Group Inc. ( NYSE : RDN ).

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The Commerce Department recent reported new-home sales in the U.S. surged to a 4 and 1/2 year high in January. New-home sales in January increased 16 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 437,000. The value of homes in the 20 major cities tracked by the Standard & Poor's/Case-Shiller home price index gained 0.9 percent in December, and have surged 6.8 percent in 2012, the largest annual gain in nearly six years. Seven of the 20 cities saw double digit gains in home prices, while New York was the only city where prices declined.

"There's no doubt when you look at all the housing data that's come out, it certainly paints a picture of continued improvement in that market," said Anthony Chan, chief economist at Chase Private Client.
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MGIC, the principal subsidiary of MGIC Investment Corporation, is the nation's largest private mortgage insurer as measured by $164.9 billion primary insurance in force covering 1.0 million mortgages as of September 30, 2012. Shares of the company have gained over 40 percent year-to-date.

Radian Group provides private mortgage insurance and related risk mitigation products and services to mortgage lenders nationwide. Shares of the company have surged over 50 percent year-to-date. "We hit the ground running in 2013 with $4 billion of new business written in January and another decline in our delinquent loan inventory, which better positions Radian for a return to operating profitability." stated CEO S.A. Ibrahim.

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