The nation’s second largest title insurer, First American Financial Corp., earned $21 million in the third quarter, a 36% decline compared to the same period a year ago as revenues fell 3% due to a decline in title premiums.
Meanwhile, its competitor Stewart Information Services Corp., posted net earnings of $4.5 million for the period, compared to a year ago loss of $3 million.
Both firms said that even though they had fewer title orders during the period, revenue per order increased because of higher home purchase transactions.
Commercial title related revenue – also with higher revenues per transaction — increased at both companies.
In the third quarter, Stewart took a $4.7 million charge related to reserves for large title claims. Its co-CEO and chairman Malcolm Morris said the breadth of the company’s product offerings would allow it to benefit going forward from changes to the Home Affordable Refinance Program. (Stewart also operates a real estate owned services business.)
First American CEO Dennis Gilmore said the company has seen a significant increase in new orders in August and September due to the low interest rate environment. That trend has continued into October, setting up a large pipeline of business for the fourth quarter, he said.
Daily Briefing | Thursday, October 27, 2011
FHFA Trims Estimate on the Ultimate Cost of the GSE Bailout
The Federal Housing Finance Agency Thursday morning released new estimates on the ultimate cost of bailing out Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, cutting its worst case scenario projection to $311 billion from $363 billion.
Another Sign That Multifamily is Hot: Fannie MF Issuance is Rising
During the first nine months of the year Fannie Mae issued $16.7 billion of multifamily MBS, already surpassing its volume for all of last year.
ULI: Long, Slow ‘Grind’ For RE Recovery Except Apartments
The climb out of the real estate depression will be a long, slow one for all but one market sector: apartments, according to the annual Emerging Trends outlook report.
Final FHA Figures for FY Show a Decline in Business
The Federal Housing Administration endorsed $217.8 billion of ‘forward’ single-family loans in fiscal year 2011, down 27% from the previous year, according to new figures released by HUD.
Trustmark Opens New Alabama Office to Support Growing Mortgage Business
Trustmark National Bank, Jackson, Miss., has set up a new mortgage lending shop in Birmingham, Ala., to serve its growing retail and wholesale customer base in the state.
Economist Sees a 3% Rise in Home Values — by 2013
After dropping 1.5% in 2011, home prices should be flat next year and finally gain traction in 2013, according to Macroeconomic Advisers chairman Joel Prakken.
Freddie Mac to Get New Chairman, CEO
Both the chief executive officer and the chairman of the board of Freddie Mac are stepping down within the next few months, the Federal Housing Finance Agency said late Wednesday.
Mortgage Rates Hover Near Record Lows
The average rate charged on most mortgage products remained relatively stable for the week ending October 27, hovering near their recent lows, according to figures compiled by Freddie Mac.
Pending Home Sales Dip Again
The number of consumers who signed contracts to buy homes fell for the third straight month in September after the traditional spring/summer buying season failed to entice many new buyers.