Surge in mortgage originations boosts title premiums

by Candyd Mendoza15 Sep 2020

A surge in mortgage lending – which drove origination volume to nearly $1.1 trillion – drove an 8% increase in title insurance premiums in Q2 2020.

The title insurance industry yielded $4.18 billion in premiums during the second quarter, up 8% from a year ago, according to ALTA's latest Market Share Analysis.

"Despite the pandemic, low interest rates in the second quarter of 2020 has been positive and productive for the land title insurance industry. Title insurance premium volume is dependent on mortgage origination volume, and 45 states showed that second-quarter premiums written increased 8% compared with the second quarter of 2019," said ALTA CEO Diane Tomb. "Although we are not experiencing the near-historic origination volume we saw in the first quarter, the majority of the country is still trending upward."

Overall, total operating income for the industry rose 8.2%, and operating expenses increased 8.4% from Q2 2019. Loss and loss adjustment expenses were down 27% year over year.

Florida saw the largest increase in title premium volume, up 7.7% to $429,663,283. Pennsylvania followed closely with a 7.3% jump ($166,180,198) followed by California with a 3.8% increase ($479,545,777). Meanwhile, New York posted the biggest drop in the second quarter, down 29.8% to $197,119,484.

"We expect residential housing market and refinances—buoyed by low mortgage rates—to remain strong throughout the year," Tomb said. "The question left outstanding is how the commercial market will rebound. Depending on how the commercial market performs during the rest of the year, 2020 could prove to be one of the strongest years on record."

Other findings of ALTA's Market Share Analysis

Family Market Share (80.5%)

  • Fidelity Family, 32.7%
  • First American Family, 23.0%
  • Old Republic Family, 14.8%
  • Stewart Family, 10.1%

Independent Companies (19.5%)

  • Westcor Land Title Insurance Co., 5.9%
  • WFG National Title Insurance Co., 3.0%
  • Title Resources Guaranty Co., 2.5%
  • North American Title Insurance Co., 2.0%
  • First National Title Insurance Co., 1.0%