Dedham -Norfolk County Register of Deeds William P. O’Donnell reported that second quarter (April-June 2022) Norfolk County real estate statistics shows a continued uptick in residential and commercial sales and sale prices, despite overall numbers trending downward.
Register O’Donnell noted, “During the recently concluded second quarter of the 2022 calendar year, the average Norfolk County real estate sales price, both residential and commercial, increased 30% to $1,300,157. Total real estate volume, again both residential and commercial, was $4.09 billion, a 16% increase year over the same period in 2022.”
Register O’Donnell further stated, “The lack of inventory and new construction continue to push prices up. It remains to be seen if this trend continues as overall activity is slowing considerably.”
For the second quarter of 2022, the number of land documents recorded, (such as deeds, mortgages, homesteads, mortgage discharges, etc.) was 35,744, a 31% decline from the second quarter of 2021. Register O’Donnell noted, “This figure tells us while there is still a healthy real estate market, market conditions and rising interest rates are starting to have an impact. We are not seeing the volume we saw in 2020 and 2021.”
There were 6,809 mortgages recorded at the Registry during the second quarter of the calendar year 2022 compared to 12,041 for the same time period in 2021, a 43% decrease. Total mortgage borrowing was $5.06 billion for April through June compared to $6.63 billion during the same period in 2021. “With the increase in interest rates, consumers seem to be less inclined to borrow”, noted the Register.
Norfolk County homeowners continued to benefit from the Homestead Act. A total of 3,315 declarations of homestead were recorded during the second quarter of the calendar year, a 10% decrease over the same period a year ago. “The Homestead law provides limited protection against the forced sale of an individual’s primary residence to satisfy unsecured debt up to $500,000. I urge Norfolk County residents to consider this important consumer protection tool,” noted O’Donnell.
A sharp increase in foreclosure activity in Norfolk County remains a cause for concern. Sixteen foreclosure deeds were recorded in the second quarter, the same number recorded during the second quarter of 2021. However, there was a significant increase in the number of recorded Notices to Foreclose, the first step in the foreclosure process. There were 66 Notices recorded in the second quarter versus 33 recorded in the same period of 2021.
O’Donnell stated, “While the eastern Massachusetts economy remains on a solid footing, there are still those in Norfolk County experiencing economic hardship, in many cases through no fault of their own. The Registry continues to work with Quincy Community Action Programs, (617-479-8181 x376), and NeighborWorks Housing Solutions, (508-587-0950) to help homeowners who may have received a Notice to Foreclose document. A third option is to contact the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Consumer Advocacy and Response Division (CARD) at 617-727-8400.”
Register O’Donnell concluded, “The economy, particularly the employment numbers in eastern Massachusetts, appears to be strong but, going forward, inflation, rising interest rates and the lack of inventory will likely result in a slowdown of the Norfolk County real estate market.”