Register O’Donnell Reports on April 2015 Real Estate Activity

Norfolk County Register of Deeds William P. O'Donnell reported robust increases in total volume of real estate sales and average real estate sales price but a relatively flat number of real estate sales in the Norfolk County real estate market for April 2015.

"The April 2015 real estate figures for Norfolk County clearly show a seller's market with average sale price of commercial and residential property increasing year over year by 23% to $776,760. Total volume of commercial and residential sales increased by 16% to $537 million compared to April 2014 numbers. However, the total number of real estate sales only increased  by 1% compared to one year ago. This was due to continuing issues with real estate inventory. Buyers in Norfolk County are competing amongst themselves for a limited number of properties. One of the issues causing the reduced inventory is the harsh winter that was experienced resulting in some homeowners having to make significant repairs to their properties before putting them on the market. Good news for the home improvement industry but bad news for real estate buyers; particularly first time buyers," noted Register O'Donnell.

A continuing bright spot has been the steady recovery of the mortgage market. Total number of mortgages recorded increased 36% compared to the same time last year. Total mortgage indebtedness also increased 32% year over year. O'Donnell noted, "The mortgage numbers are a clear indication of an improving economy in Norfolk County. Homeowners are taking advantage of increased equity in their homes to access financing for home improvements and other critical needs."

Homestead recordings, which provide limited protection against the forced sale of an individual's primary residence up to $500,000, increased 2% from April 2014 to April 2015. A total of 905 Homesteads were recorded versus 888 during this comparative time period. Information regarding the Homestead Act can be found on the Registry's website at

Foreclosure activity in Norfolk County showed signs of improvement. The Notices to Foreclose recordings totaled 36 for April compared to 47 filings in April 2014. Foreclosure deeds recordings were also flat in April 2015. 16 foreclosure deeds were recorded during the month, the same number as April 2014. Register O'Donnell stated, "While one foreclosure deed is one too many, the reduced number of Notice to Foreclose filings is a sign that at least in Norfolk County, the worst of the foreclosure crisis recently experienced appears to be behind us. With that said, my office continues to watch these numbers closely and work with other government agencies and programs to assist homeowners who have received a Notice of Foreclosure."

Register O'Donnell concluded, "Without question, the total real estate sales number for April 2015 was less than expected. However, I am a firm believer this number will improve once inventory levels rise as the weather continues to improve and in some cases, homeowners complete necessary repairs to their residences caused by the harsh winter months. Norfolk County continues to be a destination location for individuals and families to live and work."

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The Norfolk County Registry of Deeds, located at 649 High Street, Dedham is the principal office for real property in Norfolk County. The Registry is a resource for homeowners, title examiners, mortgage lenders, municipalities and others with a need for secure, accurate, accessible land record information. Residents in need of assistance can contact the Registry of Deeds Customer Service Center via telephone at (781) 461-6101, or on the web at



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.