First American Financial subsidiary reports increase in 1997 national title insurance market share


September 15, 1998, SANTA ANA, CALIFORNIA

The First American Financial Corporation (NYSE: FAF), the leading provider of real estate-related financial and information services, announced today that First American Title Insurance Company, its principal subsidiary, increased its leading share of the national title insurance market during 1997 to 21.5 percent from 20.7 percent based on direct premiums written. The market share data is based on recently released 1997 statistics prepared by the American Land Title Association.

Since 1990, First American's market share has steadily increased, gaining almost one full percentage point in 1997 versus 1996. During the last year, the company strengthened its market share in a majority of states, including California, the largest market for title insurance in the nation. In 1997, First American held the first or second market share position in 32 states and in the District of Columbia. The company also maintained the largest market share in Canada.

"First American's strong, steady market share growth is supported by dedicated employees and sophisticated technology systems that deliver quality products and service to our expanding customer base," said Parker S. Kennedy, president of The First American Financial Corporation. "Industry strengths such as record low mortgage interest rates, high employment, increased home sales, rising home prices and strong mortgage application activity, combined with First American's market share leadership and efficiency of service, should continue to drive profitability in the second half of 1998 with favorable comparisons over the prior year."

The First American Financial Corporation, based in Santa Ana, California, is the nation's leading provider of real estate-related financial and information services. The corporation's subsidiaries include First American Title Insurance Company, a national and international title insurer; First American Real Estate Information Services, Inc., which offers tax monitoring, credit reporting, property data services, flood certification, field inspection services, appraisal services, mortgage loan origination and servicing systems, and mortgage document preparation nationally; First American Home Buyers Protection Corporation, a home warranty company; and First American Capital Management, an investment advisory firm. The corporation also operates First American Trust Company and First Security Thrift Company in Southern California. First American Financial has more than 15,000 employees in over 400 offices in the United States and abroad. Information about the company's subsidiaries and an archive of its press releases can be found at http://www.firstam.com on the Internet.

Any statements looking forward in time inherently involve risks and uncertainties including, but not limited to, the effect of interest rate fluctuations, changes in the performance of the real estate markets and the effects of changing economic conditions.

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