Title Insurers Not Throwing in the Towel

September 11, 2007

COLUMBUS, OH -- Recent Wall Street reports and market performance has highlighted the real estate industry's affect on the economy. Investors have begun to turn away from the real estate market as its security and lending practices are being scrutinized and questioned. In response, mortgage standards are being reassessed and tightening, impacting mortgages availability.

According to data published in the recently released First Quarter 2007 "Demotech Performance of Title Insurance Companies - Quarterly Update," the Title industry's performance parallels the real estate decline, posting a 23.64 percent decrease in net income from the same period last year. This data shows that jurisdiction premiums have decreased considerably period over period, with the top ten jurisdictions declining nearly 10 percent. The most dramatic premiums written decrease was observed in Florida, which in 2006 had been closing in on California as the largest state based on premiums written. Only 20 jurisdictions posted an increase in premiums written.

The full impact of the real estate market decline on the Title industry is unknown, but clearly evident. Title underwriters are responding and taking action, announcing a number of job cuts. It is premature to predict whether or not the Title industry can rebound from this 2007 start.

Title Industry Information and Analysis

The 2007 edition of "Demotech Performance of Title Insurance Companies," which includes the associated "Quarterly Updates," benefits from numerous publication enhancements and material developments. The main publication was distributed in June 2007 and introduced more than 100 pages of new content and publication enhancements, including Underwriter Dashboard Reports, Five-Year Trend Reports as well as the expansion and refinements of Financial Ratios.

Released August 31st, the first quarter 2007 "Quarterly Update" includes quarterly marketshare reports and introduces the latest publication development, Underwriter GAAP Dashboard Reports. Underwriter GAAP Dashboard Reports offer full-page, graphical summaries of corporate information for those Title underwriters associated with publicly traded parent companies. These dashboards present the most recent five years of GAAP financial statement data along with recent quarterly results. These reports include a revenue source breakdown along with stock price and trade volume. Underwriter GAAP Dashboard Reports are a single reference point for competitive comparisons as well as an opportunity to assess the current position and historic performance of publicly traded Title insurers.

For more information regarding "Demotech Performance of Title Insurance Companies" and "Quarterly Updates," visit http://www.demotech.com/ptic.

Source: Demotech

Contact ALTA at 202-296-3671 or communications@alta.org.

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