Research Report What Explains Variation in Title Charges? A Study of Five Large Markets
Robert Feinberg, Daniel Kuehn, Signe-Mary McKernan, Doug Wissoker, Sisi Zhang
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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.
Research Areas Wealth and financial well-being Race and equity Housing
Tags Federal housing programs and policies Asset and debts Racial and ethnic disparities Housing markets Racial barriers to housing
Policy Centers Center on Labor, Human Services, and Population