Refinancing Leads Title Insurers to Their Best First Quarter Ever



The American Land Titles Association said that, taking advantage of the still hot refinancing market, title insurers paid almost 45% more premiums in the first quarter of this year than a year earlier.

Mortgage loans exceeded $ 1 trillion in the first quarter – Fannie Mae estimated at $ 1.27 trillion while the Mortgage Bankers’ Association pegs this figure $ 1.1 trillion. Both agree that refinancing accounted for 71% of that amount.

This resulted in the payment of title insurance premiums in the amount of US $ 5.68 billion, compared to approximately US $ 6 billion. fourth quarter but compared to $ 3.92 billion one year ago. F The fourth quarter of 2020 was $ 1.34 trillion according to Fannie Mae, or $ 1.26 trillion according to MBA estimates, up from $ 752 billion and $ 563 billion in the first quarter of last year, respectively.)

“Continuous growth in home values, coupled with still falling mortgage interest rates and the endpoint of low refinancing rates, have resulted in a historic increase in title insurance premiums,” Diane Tomb, CEO of ALTA, said in a press release.

Underwriters’ total operating income rose 42.4% in the first quarter, but at the same time operating expenses increased by 40% and loss and adjustment expenses decreased by 11.9%.

As a result, net operating income for the reporting period was $ 489.9 million, compared with $ 296.5 million in the first quarter of 2020, up 65.2% year-on-year. highest first quarter ever, – said in ALTA.

Claims paid in the first quarter decreased 15% to $ 106.7 million from $ 125 million in the prior year.

Premiums should continue to decline in the second quarter as Fannie Mae expects initiation activity to drop $ 700 billion from the first quarter to $ 1.19 trillion, while MBA expects a much smaller drop from $ 44 billion to $ 1. , 05 trillion dollars.

For this report, ALTA published market share data for individual underwriter brands rather than corporate groups.

The largest in the first quarter is First American Title at 20.5%, followed by Old Republic National Title at 14.8%.

This is followed by a couple of subsidiaries of Fidelity National Financial: Chicago Title with 13.5% and Fidelity National Title with 13%. Unlike other family-owned companies, where most of the business is conducted through a main division, Chicago Title is the most well-known FNF brand in several states.

Stewart Title Guaranty has a market share of 8.2%, while the largest independent company, Westcor Land Title, has 6.8%.

The top 10 is closed by the WFG National Title (3.2%); Title Guarantee – 2.3%; Subsidiary of the house North American title – 2%; and Connecticut Bar Title Insurance, 1%.


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