Norfolk County Register of Deeds William P. O’Donnell reported a small increase in county real estate sales during the month of October along with declining mortgage activity.
Register O’Donnell stated, “There were a total of 1,567 real estate sales, both residential and commercial, in Norfolk County for the month of October, representing a 2% increase year over year. However, the average sales price, again for both residential and commercial, was $931,559 for the month, a robust 30% increase compared to October 2017. Also, the total dollar sales volume was $883 million, a 29% increase compared to the previous year.”
Once again, mortgage financing in Norfolk County showed a decline. The Register noted, “A total of 2,084 mortgages were recorded during October, a 13% decrease from the previous year. Total mortgage indebtedness also decreased by 15% to $936 million. These numbers clearly reflect ongoing increases with interest rates, which have caused consumers to pause when it comes to buying a house or refinancing.”
One positive note was the Registry’s October foreclosure numbers which significantly dropped by 46% compared to the same time period in 2017. Additionally, the number of Notice to Foreclose Mortgage recordings, the first step in the foreclosure process, saw a reduction of 15%.
O’Donnell stated, “There is no question these foreclosure numbers are good news. With that said, we cannot forget that foreclosure activity has a human face associated to it. Despite the good economy, some of our neighbors are facing economic hardships. In this regard, my office continues to partner with the Quincy Community Action Programs, 617-479-8181 x376, and NeighborWorks Southern Mass, 508-587-0950 to help homeowners who have received a Notice to Foreclose Mortgage document. Another option is to contact the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Consumer Advocacy and Response Division (CARD) at 617-727-8400.”
In consumer news, Homestead activity at the Registry in October was relatively flat. A total of 1,020 Homesteads were filed, a 1% decrease compared to October 2017. O’Donnell noted the importance of filing a Homestead application. “A Homestead provides limited protection against the forced sale of an individual’s primary residence to satisfy unsecured debt up to $500,000.”
Register O’Donnell concluded, “These monthly statistics confirm what we already know. Limited inventory has led buyers to engage in competitive bidding for properties, thereby driving up real estate prices. Another factor that sees no signs of abating is the continuing increases in interest rates. The Norfolk County Registry of Deeds will continue to closely monitor these real estate trends in terms of how they affect the market.”
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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.