MGIC’s earnings exceed Wall Street expectations

Now there’s another reason for MGIC to pray for good weather. MGIC reported fourth-quarter earnings of $0.49 a share, easily surpassing Wall Street expectations of $0.43 a share. And it’s not just more insurance policies driving that bump. There was a drop in mortgage delinquencies precipitated by another cause, which also drove the increase.

“Last year was exceptionally favorable for mortgage insurers in that the economy was strong, the hurricane season was not as intense as in 2017, and home prices continued to appreciate,” writes market expert Brent Nyitray in Motley Fool.

But MGIC and other mortgage insurers best not get too comfy with their bumped up earnings, because there’s a unique storm of another kind possibly brewing on the horizon. The only thing that could immediately derail MGIC’s success is the question of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac reform. The FHFA has signaled a renewed dedication to getting the GSEs out of conservatorship. How this happens will almost certainly impact PMI providers, for better or for worse. Let’s hope reform is a measured and intelligent process – and for continued good weather.

NEXT Alum, UI’s Alanna McCargo, discusses the human side of homeownership

Speaking of MGIC exceeding expectations, this week, the MGIC Connects blog published an interview with NEXT alum Alanna McCargo, Vice President of Housing Finance Policy at the Urban Institute, in honor of Black History Month. We like reading MGIC’s blog in the first place, but this piece is even better than we expected. Alanna delivers a wonderful, inspirational read that gives a heartfelt look at the personal side of homes, homeownership, communities and families.

McCargo herself is a success story, not to mention a compassionate and fascinating person. We always love hearing from her. What did we learn from this interview? Well, where do we start?

Let’s start where things started for Alanna. She has a compelling, first-hand account of how family homes can be used to improve the wealth and status of anyone, which underpins her passion for fair lending.

Let this quote from Alanna sink in:

“My parents purchased their first home in a segregated neighborhood in the Bronx in 1969, a 4-unit home where we lived in one apartment and the other units were rented for additional income. My father saved money from the rental income our property offered, and would soon buy a larger home in the New York state suburbs. I believe that the seeds for my life and my opportunities were planted there, where my parents could move us into a larger home with our own rooms in a diverse community with better schools and create the best opportunities they could for me and my siblings to thrive.”

That is just a sample of MGIC’s beautiful profile. So trust us when we say that reading the entire post-word-for-word, will leave you a humbler, better person. Thank you MGIC and Alanna for this warm, insightful piece.

Oscar snub for Little Women comes with a housing silver lining

The Oscars are over but, sad to say, the gossip is not. Tongues are wagging about everything from the equal employment storm jabs between Natalie Portman and Rose McGowen, to accusations of a snub for the feature film, Little Women. All this brouhaha, however, does come with the silver lining of some interesting housing lessons learned with a spoonful of sugar – or shall we say, tea?

Let’s take for example the Brookings Institute’s interesting analysis called: “Three lessons 21st century housing policy could learn from Little Women.”

“It may just be the meticulous recreation of 19th century New England in Greta Gerwig’s “Little Women” that has the most to say about American homes, even offering some bold yet sensible lessons to improve our own 21st century housing policy,” writes Jenny Schuetz.

What follows is a creative comparative take, which offers an unflinching look at the modern reality of housing in our nation today. What have we done?

“It is highly doubtful that the Hummel family complied with a special permit process before constructing their home in a non-residentially zoned forest area, or completed an environmental impact review,” Schuetz writes. “Today, these sorts of standards—even if well-intentioned—effectively bar poor families from living in high-opportunity communities.”

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