Title insurance premium volume declined by 16.6 percent year-over-year for 2014's second quarter, according to recently released data from the American Land Title Association (ALTA).
In ALTA's 2014 Second Quarter Market Share Analysis, the national land title trade association reported that the $2.7 billion in premiums generated by the title industry in Q2 2014 was a decline from $3.3 billion the industry generated in Q2 2013.
"A lackluster spring homebuying season that was weaker than anticipated coupled with a substantial decline in refinance activity resulted in the drop in title insurance premium volume," said Michelle Korsmo, ALTA's CEO. "Despite the lull in the housing market, the title insurance industry remains in a strong financial position posting more than $90 million in net income this quarter. Additionally, the industry has admitted assets of $8.6 billion, including more than $7.6 billion in cash and invested assets."
ALTA reported that the five states that generated the most title insurance premiums year-over-year in Q2 2014 were Texas ($430 million, a decline of 1.5 percent from last year); California ($354 million, a drop of 21.5 percent), Florida ($264 million, a decrease of 10 percent), New York ($225 million, a dropoff of 0.6 percent), and Illinois ($101 million, an increase of 2.9 percent).
"For more than a century, title insurance companies have protected the interests of homebuyers through a process that has given Americans a sense of security in what is almost always their most significant investment—their homes," Korsmo said.
ALTA's report comes on the heels of an analysis released by Fitch Ratings earlier in the week in which the agency calculated a 12 percent decline in operating revenues at the industry's four largest insurers.