Register O’Donnell Reports on October 2015 Norfolk County Real Estate Market

Latest real estate figures for Norfolk County still show a favorable real estate market, but one with concerns nevertheless as noted by Register of Deeds William P. O'Donnell.

"Overall real estate activity for October 2015 continued to be strong with the number of deeds being recorded increasing 6%, with 1,587 being transacted as compared to 1,502 in October 2014. The total volume of commercial and residential sales also increased by 6%," noted Register O'Donnell.

"However, what we need to watch closely though is the average sale price of commercial and residential property which for October was $596,261, a 6% reduction compared to the October 2014 figure. Last August, we saw a 2% reduction in average sale price so we need to figure out whether this is a market aberration or not," stated the Register.

The mortgage market continues to be red hot in Norfolk County. The number of mortgages recorded for the month of October was 2,541, an 11% increase from the previous year. Dollar wise, total mortgage borrowing increased by a whopping 182% to $3.4 billion. This number, however, was greatly impacted by an $811 million mortgage taken out against property in Braintree and Quincy.

Another piece of good news was a 53% reduction in the number of foreclosure deeds recorded, with only 14 filings taking place in October as compared to 30 in October 2014. However, that news was tempered by an increase in the number of Notice to Foreclose Mortgages recorded. A total of 101 Notice to Foreclose Mortgages were recorded last month versus 71 in October 2014. "Notice to Foreclose Mortgage is the first step in the foreclosure process. This increase is a clear indication that the economic expansion we have seen in eastern Massachusetts has not lifted all boats. Some of our neighbors are still hurting," stated Register O'Donnell.

"My office," noted the Register, "is committed to partnering with Quincy Community Action Programs at (617) 479-8181 x-376 and Neighbor Works Southern Mass at (508) 598-0950 to ensure homeowners who have received a Notice to Foreclose Mortgage from a lender are getting the help they need. Another option for homeowners is to call the Massachusetts Attorney General's HomeCorps program at (617) 573-5333."

On another consumer front, Homestead recordings increased 9% in October compared to one year ago. Homestead recordings provide limited protection against the forced sale of an individual's primary residence to satisfy unsecured debt up to $500,000.

Register O'Donnell concluded, "Norfolk County continues to experience a thriving real estate market. However, there are still some questions to grapple with: Will the average real estate price continue to fall slightly or has the market correction concluded? Will low inventory adversely impact the market? Will a rumored Federal Reserve rate increase cause a slowdown? As a newscaster might say, stay tuned for further details."

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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.