Title Abstract and Settlement Offices

Industry Profile Report

Dive Deep into the industry with a 25+ page industry report (pdf format) including the following chapters

Industry Overview Current Conditions, Industry Structure, How Firms Operate, Industry Trends, Credit Underwriting & Risks, and Industry Forecast.

Call Preparation Call Prep Questions, Industry Terms, and Weblinks.

Financial Insights Working Capital, Capital Financing, Business Valuation, and Financial Benchmarks.

Industry Profile Excerpts

Industry Overview

The 6,600 title abstract and settlement offices in the US coordinate and conduct activities necessary to transfer ownership of real estate. Firms may charge fees for title searches, surveys, tax certificates, legal services, escrow, filing, recording, documentation, and delivery. Firms also earn commissions as an agent for a title insurance provider.

Dependence On Third Parties

For most real estate transactions, a third party, such as a real estate agent, builder, or mortgage banker, recommends a title company.

Government Regulation

The complexities of real estate transactions and potential for service providers to commit fraudulent or unethical acts have led to government regulations to protect buyers and sellers.

Industry size & Structure

The average title abstract and settlement office operates out of a single location, employs 9 workers, and generates $1.4 million annually.

    • The title abstract and settlement industry consists of about 6,600 companies that employ about 63,200 workers and generate about $9.5 billion annually.
    • The industry is fragmented; the top 50 firms account for 39% of industry sales.
    • The industry includes real estate settlement offices, title abstract companies, and title search companies.
    • Some large title insurance companies, such as Fidelity National Financial and Stewart Information Services, are vertically-integrated, and provide titling services in addition to insurance policies.
                            Industry Forecast
                            Title Abstract and Settlement Offices Industry Growth
                            Source: Vertical IQ and Inforum

                            Recent Developments

                            Jan 17, 2024 - Lack of Existing Home Inventory Boosts New Home Market
                            • A lack of existing home listings is pushing home buyers into the new single-family home market as homeowners with low mortgage rates are wary of selling. Despite persistently high mortgage rates, year-over-year sales of new single-family homes rose sharply late in Q3 2023 amid a slightly lower median home price. Home builders are offering more interest rate buydowns and other incentives to lure buyers, according to Reuters. Some builders have also reduced floorplan sizes to make homes more affordable.
                            • The Market Composite Index, a measure of mortgage application activity, rose a seasonally adjusted 9.9% for the week ending January 5, 2024, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA). The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index increased by 6% over the same period. The average 30-year fixed-rate mortgage rose to 6.81%. MBA Vice President and Chief Economist Joel Kan said, “The increase in purchase and refinance applications for both conventional and government loans is promising to start the year but was likely due to some catch-up in activity after the holiday season and year-end rate declines. Mortgage rates and applications have been volatile in recent weeks and overall activity remains low.”
                            • The commercial real estate loan refinancing environment is expected to worsen in 2025, leading to an increase in commercial mortgage-backed security (CMBS) delinquency rates, according to a recent report by Fitch Ratings. High interest rates and tightening lending standards are expected to push the US CMBS delinquency rate in 2024 to 4.5%, compared to about 2.25% in November 2023. In 2025, the CMBS delinquency rate will increase to 4.9%. About $31.2 billion in Fitch-rated US CMBS multiborrower transactions are scheduled to mature in 2024, and only about half, or $15.6 billion, are projected to be unable to refinance. In 2025, the refinancing rate will improve to about 51%-75% amid lower interest rates and improving economic conditions. Retail, office, and multifamily properties account for the highest concentration of maturing loans. Demand for title company services could rise if commercial properties with maturing loans cannot be refinanced and owners are forced to sell.
                            • New single-family home sales decreased 12.2% month-over-month and were up 1.4% year-over-year in November 2023, according to the US Department of Commerce. While high interest rates continue to weigh on new home sales, the expectation that interest rates have peaked and tight inventories of existing homes for sale may boost new home sales later in 2024, according to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB). Lower home prices may also lure buyers; the median new home sales price in November was $434,700, down 6% from November 2022 but up 4.8% compared to October 2023.
                            Get A Demo

                            Vertical IQ’s Industry Intelligence Platform

                            See for yourself why over 60,000 users trust Vertical IQ for their industry research and call preparation needs. Our easy-to-digest industry insights save call preparation time and help differentiate you from the competition.

                            Build valuable, lasting relationships by having smarter conversations -
                            check out Vertical IQ today.

                            Request A Demo