Part of the real estate build up over the last decade or so can be seen in the substantial growth of title abstract and settlement offices in the United States. In 1997 there were 6,391 such companies and in 2007, right before the bursting of the real estate bubble, there were 8,013. The size of the market in terms of the work done and the revenues generated saw even greater growth over this period.
The Census Bureau’s definition of this industry reads as follows: “This U.S. industry comprises establishments (except offices of lawyers and attorneys) primarily engaged in one or more of the following activities: (1) researching public land records to gather information relating to real estate titles; (2) preparing documents necessary for the transfer of the title, financing, and settlement; (3) conducting final real estate settlements and closings; and (4) filing legal and other documents relating to the sale of real estate. Real estate settlement offices, title abstract companies, and title search companies are included in this industry.”
Geographic reference: United States
Year: 1997 and 2007
Market size: $3.49 Billion and $7.60 Billion respectively
Source: “2007 Economic Census: Sector 54: Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services”, December 4, 2009, [Online] here, as well as the “1997 Economic Census” data on the same industry.
Original Source: U.S. Bureau of the Census