Among the top of our title insurance news is the monumental acquisition of Stewart by Fidelity National, making one of the largest title insurance providers even larger

We are seeing some interesting industry developments as of late, including a massive merger involving one of the Big Four title companies.

Our title insurance news for the month focuses on recent data and information involving:

  • The purchase of Stewart by Fidelity National
  • Rental properties declining in gross average rental yield
  • More millennials are qualifying for conventional loans

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Title insurance news: Fidelity National Financial positioned to acquire Stewart Information Services for $1.2 billion

According to a press release from Fidelity, “FNF intends to achieve at least $135 million in operational cost synergies and expects the acquisition to be at least 15% accretive to pro forma 2017 adjusted net earnings per share at that operational cost synergy target.”

“Stewart is one of the leading title insurance companies in the country, providing residential and commercial title insurance, closing and settlement services, appraisal and valuation services and other offerings to the real estate industry.”

The release continues to say that the closing of the deal is expected to happen in the “first or second quarter of 2019.”

Title insurance news: The average annual gross rental yield down by .3%

According to ATTOM Data Solutions, which recently released its Q1 2018 Single Family Rental Market report, “The average annual gross rental yield (annualized gross rent income divided by median purchase price of single family homes) among the 449 counties was 8.9 percent for 2018, down from an average of 9.2 percent in 2017.”

This report has a significant amount of data, including:

  • Best low-risk, high return single family markets
  • Counties with the highest rental returns
  • The counties with the lowest rental return
  • Counties where rents are rising faster than wages
  • The counties with the best single family rent growth

A particularly-interesting piece of information from the study: The rental returns from one year ago have increased in one-third of counties

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Title insurance news: Millennials more qualified for conventional loans

According to Ellie Mae and its latest Millennial Tracker, “67 percent of all closed loans by Millennial borrowers were conventional, the highest percentage in two years. Conventional loans continued to be the most popular loan product, although women were slightly more likely to take advantage of FHA loans.”

Another piece of interesting information from the study looks at purchases. “Purchases accounted for 81 percent of all closed loans to Millennials, down from 84 percent the month prior. Refinances crept up to 18 percent of all closed loans, having previously held steady at 15 percent since October 2017.”

The data also shows that the average FICO score for Millennials increased to 723 from 722. There was also a slight increase in the average time to close loans for Millennials, up to 45 days from 43 days, previously.

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Resources for this article on title insurance news:

Fidelity National Financial, Inc. Announces Signing of a Merger Agreement to Acquire Stewart Information Services for $50 per Share in Combination of Cash and FNF Common Stock. Accessed March 25, 2018.

ATTOM Data Solutions Ranks Best Counties for Buying Single Family Rentals in 2018. Accessed March 25, 2018.

Ellie Mae Millennial Tracker™ Finds More Millennials Qualifying For Conventional Mortgages. Accessed March 25, 2018.