The nation's seven mortgage insurance companies wrote $13.6 billion of new policies in the first quarter, a 30% gain from the same period last year as the sector continued to gain strength, according to figures compiled by National Mortgage News and the Quarterly Data Report.

However, the growth rate was half that of the fourth quarter, when mortgage insurance policies written jumped 60%. Then again, residential fundings were $200 billion greater in the fourth quarter.

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