August was the best month of the year so far for new business at the nation's private mortgage insurers, with $6.4 billion of primary new insurance written. There was also a slight month-to-month improvement in the cure/default ratio, according to data collected by the Mortgage Insurance Cos. of America.

August's volume, all but $16 million of which came through the traditional channel, tops the $5.8 billion originated in July; there was also $5.8 billion in volume in August 2009.

August was also the high-water mark so far for number of applications received, at 39,503, up from 32,829 in July and 35,358 in August 2009.

The cure/default ratio of 90.9% marks three months in a row where there have been more new defaults than cures. But it is an improvement when compared with July's 81.4%. Last August, the ratio was a mere 57.6%.

There were 58,094 cures and 63,882 defaults in August.

Meanwhile, primary insurance in force continues to decline for MICA members, going from $900.8 billion in August 2009 to $780.3 billion for the most recent August. At the end of July there was $787.8 billion of primary insurance in force.

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