The industry's increased acceptance of higher loan- to-value ratios is translating into more business for mortgage insurers like PMI Group, according to John M. Lorenzen, chief financial officer.
As borrowers put down less money, more mortgage insurance is required to span the gap between the property's value and the loan amount, he said. PMI has seen a 30% increase in the premiums it has written during the past year, Mr. Lorenzen added.
At the same time, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which buy the mortgages and turn them into securities, have been requiring deeper insurance coverage.
As a result, loans that once required 25% of insurance coverage may now require 30 or 35%, Mr. Lorenzen said.