While residential and commercial real estate transactions crept slowly higher for the month of July 2018, the average sales price of Norfolk County property remains as hot as the summer’s weather.
Register O’Donnell noted, “During the month of July, a total of 1,796 residential and commercial properties were sold in Norfolk County, representing a modest 2% increase year over year. This small growth in sales activity, contrasting with the significant increases seen in total dollar sales volume and average sales price for both residential and commercial properties, clearly demonstrates the extremes of the market.”
For the month of July, total real estate sales volume was $1.06 billion, a 33% increase compared to July 2017. Also, the average sales price, again for both residential and commercial properties, was $835,316, a 29% increase compared to the previous year. “Industry observers,” stated O’Donnell, “are seeing sellers getting their asking price and in some cases, even more. This data strongly points to the continuing competition amongst prospective buyers for a very limited pool of real estate inventory.”
Lending activity for July decreased by 4% countywide. A total of 2,309 mortgages were recorded during the month compared to 2,407 recorded in July 2017. O’Donnell noted, “It would appear rising interest rates are causing consumers to pause when borrowing money for big ticket expenditure items.”
An aberration in the July data was the steep decrease in total residential and commercial borrowing which fell by 79% to $992 million. However, this major drop-off can be largely attributed to a $1.6 billion mortgage taken out against a commercial property on the Weymouth and Quincy line in July 2017.
On the consumer front, July also saw a slight 3% increase in the number of Homesteads recorded from the same time last year. “A Homestead,” noted Register O’Donnell, “is an important consumer protection tool that provides limited protection against the forced sale of a homeowner’s primary residence to satisfy unsecured debt up to $500,000.”
During July 2018, there were small increases seen in foreclosure activity. A total of 20 foreclosure deeds were recorded during the month compared to 18 in July 2017. In addition, 38 Notice to Foreclose Mortgage recordings, the first step in the foreclosure process, were filed versus 34 year over year. O’Donnell noted, “We continue to watch closely the foreclosure numbers here in Norfolk County”.
The Norfolk County Registry of Deeds continues to partner with Quincy Community Action Programs at (617) 479-8181 x-376 and Neighbor Works Southern Mass at (508) 598-0950 to help anyone who has received a Notice to Foreclose Mortgage from a lending institution. Another option is to contact the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Consumer Advocacy and Response Division (CARD) at (617) 727-8400.
Register O’Donnell concluded, “Norfolk County continues to mirror eastern Massachusetts when it comes to limited real estate inventory, resulting in higher housing costs. The reduced lending numbers also tell us that consumers are looking at the impact of higher interest rates before making major purchases, especially in the area of real estate.”
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The Norfolk County Registry of Deeds is located at 649 High Street in Dedham. The Registry is a resource for homeowners, title examiners, mortgage lenders, municipalities and others with a need for secure, accurate, accessible land record information. All land record research information can be found on the Registry’s website www.norfolkdeeds.org. Residents in need of assistance can contact the Registry of Deeds Customer Service Center via telephone at (781) 461-6101, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.