New York City Real Estate Buyers Spent $81.2 Million in Excess Title Insurance Premiums and Fees in 2016, Per New Study

OneTitle Shows Significance of Savings Through Analysis of 46,699 Transactions Citywide

NEW YORK--()--OneTitle National Guaranty Company, Inc. (www.onetitle.com) today released a report showing that in 2016, buyers of New York City real estate – including homebuyers, investors and others – spent an estimated $81.2 million in excess title insurance premiums and fees, costing the average buyer an extra $1,739 or 24.7% more. The analysis reflects the significant financial impact of high-priced title insurance on nearly every real estate transaction throughout the five boroughs, from starter homes to the largest commercial transactions.

The study’s findings are based on an exhaustive analysis of 46,699 individual real estate transactions recorded throughout New York City using data captured from tax and transaction records. It includes purchases totaling $156.1 billion, reflecting the vast majority of transactions in 2016, and demonstrates the potential for savings savvy commercial and residential buyers can achieve through lower cost direct title insurers such as OneTitle.

The report is the second annual analysis from OneTitle documenting excess spending on title insurance. The first, released in June 2016, showed the impact of high-cost title insurance across New York State in 2015, but didn’t include State Island due to a lack of available data at the time of that report’s release.

“At OneTitle, we are dedicated to lowering the closing costs for commercial and residential purchases and refinances. We are shattering the myth that title insurance rates are fixed by law, a misconception that too often keeps real estate buyers, developers, attorneys and lenders from shopping around to secure the best price for themselves and their clients,” said Daniel C. Price, Co-Founder, President and CEO of OneTitle. “Potential savings from lower cost title insurance options are especially significant in a city like New York, considering that the high price of real estate makes title-related expenses—and the potential savings—so large.”

The study calculated total title insurance cost—including premiums and fees—using prevailing industry rates and fees for each of the 46,699 transactions and compared those to a benchmark incorporating OneTitle’s lower premium rates, as filed with the New York State Department of Financial Services.

Other key findings of the study included:

  • High cost title insurance premiums and fees impacted residents of every borough. While the largest potential savings were in Manhattan ($32.0 million), buyers in Queens and Brooklyn also lost out on large potential savings ($21.1 million and $19.2 million, respectively). Buyers in the Bronx and Staten Island could have saved $5.1 million and $4.6 million, respectively.
  • On the average transaction under $200,000, buyers spent an extra 47.0% in title-related costs on average. That represents more than 1% of the purchase price of their home. For the largest transactions, the extra cost totaled well over $100,000 per transaction.
  • The median purchase price of NYC real estate (combining residential and commercial) was $700,000 in 2016. The average price was $3,343,677.
  • The study included 46,699 purchases totaling $156.1 billion in New York City in 2016.
  • Estimated title insurance expenditures for New York City purchases—including both premiums and fees—were $616.4 million. This is only a portion of the total since the study did not include the significant premiums and fees attached to new loans and refinancing transactions. By opting for lower cost options, buyers could have reduced this total to $535.1 million, a savings of $81.2 million.

Title insurance savings calculated in the analysis don’t reflect OneTitle’s new, lower rate structure, which went into effect in February 2017 after the company received approval for the new rates from the New York State Department of Financial Services. The new OneTitle rates – which are 25% lower than prevailing rates – are applicable for real estate transactions of $15 million or more, including purchases, loans and refinances throughout New York State.

The full report, “Over-Priced Closing Costs – New York City Edition: High Priced Title Insurance Cost New York City Real Estate Buyers $81.2 Million in Excess Premiums and Fees in 2016,” is available by request. Please contact peter.weber@onetitle.com.

About OneTitle National Guaranty Company, Inc.

OneTitle National Guaranty Company, Inc. is a direct title insurance underwriter that generally saves investors, homeowners, and homebuyers at least 20% on most transactions thanks to a combination of premium rates that are 10%-25% lower than OneTitle’s major competitors, and a decision to eliminate nearly all of the fees commonly charged in New York. OneTitle is licensed by the New York State Department of Financial Services. OneTitle policies above $250,000 are backed by risk attaching, reinsurance coverage by a $1.5 billion global reinsurer rated A-(excellent) by A.M. Best. For more information, visit www.onetitle.com.

Contacts

LAKPR
Sharon Horowitz, 212-329-1428
shorowitz@lakpr.com

Release Summary

OneTitle released a report showing that in 2016, buyers of NYC real estate – including homebuyers, investors and others – spent an estimated $81.2 million in excess title insurance premiums and fees.

Contacts

LAKPR
Sharon Horowitz, 212-329-1428
shorowitz@lakpr.com