Norfolk County Home Sales Continue to Rise in May

Dedham, MA – Norfolk County Register of Deeds William P. O’Donnell reported that Norfolk County recordings for the month of May 2024 indicate an increase in overall real estate activity, with significant increases in property sales and transfers as compared to May 2023.

The Registry of Deeds recorded 9,249 documents in May 2024. This was 1% more than in May 2023 and an 11% increase compared to April 2024.

“The increase in overall real estate activity, especially when it is driven by a jump in property sales and transfers, is a positive sign for the local real estate market, indicating continued growth,” stated Norfolk County Register of Deeds William P. O’Donnell. “The rise in the number of deeds recorded suggests a strong demand for real estate in Norfolk County. It also reflects that Spring is a traditional time period to buy and sell homes.”

The total number of deeds recorded for May 2024, which reflects both commercial and residential real estate sales and transfers, was 1,504, up 11% from May 2023 and up 20% from April 2024. Looking at just commercial and residential real estate sales, the number was up 3% from last year and up 19% from last month.

“The total number of commercial and residential property sales in May 2024 showed a notable increase compared to May 2023. This positive trend is a promising indicator that the real estate market in Norfolk County continues to show resilience and growth,” Register O’Donnell added. “The likely factor in the rise in the number of deeds recorded is the ongoing desire to both live and work in Norfolk County communities, which is increasing demand for properties in the area.

The average sale price of commercial and residential properties for May 2024 rose to $1,252,129, a 27% increase compared to May 2023 and an increase of 21% from April 2024. The total dollar volume of commercial and residential sales is also up, increasing 31% from last year and up 43% from last month.

Register O’Donnell noted, “With a limited supply of available properties on the market, any increase in demand is likely to cause an increase in the average property sales price. Unfortunately, when prices rise without an equivalent rise in inventory, it may result in increased competition among buyers. This makes it harder for homebuyers in general, but especially for first-time homebuyers.”

For the month of May, lending activity showed a decrease compared to the same month a year ago. A total of 1,392 mortgages were recorded in May 2024, down 3% from May 2023, but 12% more than last month.

“Homeowners who took advantage of lower interest rates in 2020 and 2021 are less likely to refinance and are more hesitant to buy at current mortgage interest rates. Higher interest rates also make it harder for first-time home buyers to secure affordable repayment options,” noted O’Donnell.

The Norfolk County Registry of Deeds has been closely monitoring the foreclosure market. In May 2024, there were 3 foreclosure deeds recorded as a result of mortgage foreclosures taking place in Norfolk County, whereas in May 2023, there were 7 recorded. However, in May 2024, there were 32 notices to foreclose, the first step in the foreclosure process, more than the 28 recorded in May 2023.

“The number of these notices is troubling. It suggests that more of our neighbors may have financial difficulties in the future,” said O’Donnell. “If you are having difficulty paying your monthly mortgage, please consider contacting one of these non-profit agencies for help and guidance,” said O’Donnell.

For the past several years, the Norfolk County Registry of Deeds has partnered with Quincy Community Action Programs (617-479-8181 x376) and NeighborWorks Housing Solutions (508-587-0950) to help anyone facing challenges paying their mortgage. Another option for homeowners is to contact the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Consumer Advocacy and Response Division (CARD) at 617-727-8400. O’Donnell concluded, “It is good to see that the real estate market in Norfolk County is strong and vibrant, driven by an increased demand for property in local communities due to the desire to live and work in the area. We hope to see this trend continue as we move into the summer months. However, the lack of available inventory may lead to further price increases. It will be important to keep an eye on these trends to help navigate the competitive market.”

The Norfolk County Registry of Deeds will be closed on Thursday, July 4th in celebration of Independence Day. We are open Friday, July 5th.

The Norfolk County Registry of Deeds is closed Today, July 4th in celebration of Independence Day. We are open Friday, July 5th.