What Explains Variation in Title Charges? A Study of Five Large Markets

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Office of Policy Development and Research, June 2012

68 Pages Posted: 23 Jan 2013 Last revised: 5 Feb 2013

See all articles by Robert M. Feinberg

Robert M. Feinberg

American University - Department of Economics

Daniel Kuehn

Independent

Signe-Mary McKernan

The Urban Institute - Center on Labor, Human Services and Population

Doug Wissoker

The Urban Institute

Sisi Zhang

The Urban Institute

Date Written: June 1, 2012

Abstract

Title charges include title insurance premiums and charges for settling a loan. Title charges vary considerably from a median of $1,971 in California to $625 in North Dakota. This report analyzes variation in settlement costs using data from over 3,000 FHA-insured, 30-year fixed-rate home purchase loans in five metropolitan areas. Even after controlling for metropolitan area, various characteristics of homebuyers, houses, neighborhoods, and settlement agencies, more than one-half of the variation in title charges remains unexplained. Substantial differences in title charges between settlement agents within a market suggest that consumers would benefit by shopping for settlement services.

Keywords: Economy/Taxes, Housing, Race/Ethnicity/Gender

Suggested Citation

Feinberg, Robert M. and Kuehn, Daniel and McKernan, Signe-Mary and Wissoker, Doug and Zhang, Sisi, What Explains Variation in Title Charges? A Study of Five Large Markets (June 1, 2012). U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Office of Policy Development and Research, June 2012, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2205724 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2205724

Robert M. Feinberg

American University - Department of Economics ( email )

4400 Massachusetts Avenue, N.W.
Washington, DC 20016-8029
United States
202-885-3770 (Phone)
202-885-3790 (Fax)

Daniel Kuehn

Independent

No Address Available
United States

Signe-Mary McKernan (Contact Author)

The Urban Institute - Center on Labor, Human Services and Population ( email )

United States

Doug Wissoker

The Urban Institute ( email )

2100 M Street, NW
Washington, DC 20037
United States

Sisi Zhang

The Urban Institute ( email )

2100 M Street, NW
Washington, DC 20037
United States

Here is the Coronavirus
related research on SSRN

Paper statistics

Downloads
19
Abstract Views
365
PlumX Metrics