Last year was the strongest year ever for revenues in the title industry, thanks to the continued high level of refinancings, according to a recent study.

Gross revenue for the industry was $16.6 billion, up 31 percent over 2002. The loss ratio (losses as a percentage of total operating income) was 4 percent, compared with 4.6 percent in 2002.

The net gain from operations was $1 billion, up from $479 million in 2002, or a 114 percent increase. Net income after taxes, including investment income, was $1.1 billion in 2003, compared with $558.6 million in 2002.

“This report proves what our members have been telling us, that in 2003, they were busier than they have been in years,” said Richard McCarthy, director of research for the American Land Title Association. “No one could have predicted that consumers would refinance multiple times in six months or a year due to interest rates that continued to spiral downward to 40-year lows.”

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