Dedham - Norfolk County Register of Deeds William P. O’Donnell reported that 3rd quarter (July-September 2022) Norfolk County recording statistics indicate residential and commercial sale prices continued to level off, while the number of notices to foreclose rose sharply.
During the recently concluded 3rd quarter of the 2022 calendar year, the average Norfolk County real estate sales price for both residential and commercial properties increased 11% to $1,107,041. Total residential and commercial real estate volume was $3.26 billion, a 13% decrease over the same period in 2021.
“The rise in interest rates has had an impact on so many levels, in regard to the statistics at the Norfolk Registry of Deeds,” said O’Donnell. “Total document volume for the last three months, July, August, and September (2022), is down significantly. One of the components of document volume, the number of deeds recorded, indicates a decrease in property sales.”
For the 3rd quarter of 2022, the number of land documents recorded, such as (deeds, mortgages, homesteads, mortgage discharges, etc.), was 32,496, a 33% decline from the 3rd quarter of 2021. The number of deeds, both commercial and residential, recorded was 4,642, a 21% decrease over the same time span last year.
“With the increase in interest rates, consumers seem to be less inclined to borrow,” noted O’Donnell. “Norfolk Registry of Deeds statistics indicate nearly half the total number of mortgages were recorded compared to 3rd quarter numbers in 2021.”
There were 5,570 mortgages recorded at the Registry during the 3rd quarter of the calendar year 2022 compared to 10,869 in the 3rd quarter of 2021, a 49% decrease. Total mortgage borrowing was $3.67 billion in this quarter, compared to $8.9 billion during the same period in 2021.
“The economic concerns and problems that the country is facing now are spilling over and impacting the local real estate market.” O’Donnell added, “A continuing cause for concern in Norfolk County is the number of pending foreclosures. The Norfolk County Registry of Deeds has been closely monitoring the foreclosure market.”
In the 3rd quarter, there were 20 foreclosure deeds recorded as a result of mortgage foreclosures taking place in Norfolk County, two more than in the 3rd quarter of 2021. Alarmingly, there were 91 Notices to Foreclose, the first step in the foreclosure process, recorded in the 3rd quarter of 2022, up significantly from 30 in the 3rd quarter of 2021.
“The dramatic increase in the number of these notices is concerning. It indicates that more of our neighbors are facing financial challenges going forward,” said O’Donnell. “We will continue to track these numbers.”
O’Donnell stated, “While the eastern Massachusetts economy remains on 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. However, going forward, inflation, rising interest rates, as well as global and national economic factors, will likely result in a continued slowdown of the Norfolk County real estate market.”