Title insurance and settlement costs represent a substantial proportion of real estate closing costs paid by consumers and add significantly to the cost of purchasing a home. This study uses data on mortgages in counties covering five major metropolitan real estate markets to estimate the extent of variation in title charges faced by consumers and the factors associated with those charges. The analyses address the following research questions:
- How much do title charges vary?
- What factors are associated with variation in total title charges and components of title charges?
- How much variation in these charges remains unexplained after controlling for a series of factors commonly thought to influence title charges?