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Single-family real estate markets improve

Honolulu, West Palm Beach report 'strong' conditions

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Mortgage Guaranty Insurance Corp. on Monday reported that its national Market Trends Index rose to 6.66 in the first quarter, up slightly from 6.58 in the two previous quarters.   "Overall, the national economy is improving," said Neil Siegel, MGIC's senior market analyst. "The unexpected job gains in March propelled the U.S. economy forward. This was the largest gain in a single month since April 2000."   Siegel noted that increased spending from consumers, businesses and government all contributed to the national economic expansion. "However, it should be noted that a number of risks remain," said Siegel. "Rising business costs, budget deficits, higher energy prices and the offshoring of jobs all create unknown economic risk."   MGIC's MTI is based on the Market Trend Analysis Report produced quarterly by MGIC's Credit Policy Department using lagging three-month market data from 73 Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs). The index is a barometer of single- family real e...