Register O’Donnell Reports on February 2015 Real Estate Activity

Norfolk County Register of Deeds William P. O'Donnell reported surprisingly strong housing and mortgage finance numbers in the Norfolk County real estate market for February 2015.


"Despite historic levels of snowfall experienced in Norfolk County during the month of February, real estate sales and the average sale price of properties heated up and showed marked improvement from February 2014 numbers. Furthermore, the mortgage market also showed significant gains in February as an improving economy, coupled with continued low interest rates, resulted in increased mortgage refinance activity," noted Register O'Donnell.


While the total number of deeds recorded in February 2015 increased by only 1%, compared to February 2014 numbers, the total volume of commercial and residential real estate sales rose by 27%, with overall sales of $334 million. Average sales price of commercial and residential property for the month of February 2015 also was up 25% to $740,024, compared to the same time last year.


Register O'Donnell stated, "What these figures clearly show is that despite the brutal winter, there is a healthy pool of home buyers out there wanting to purchase property. The numbers also show that prospective home buyers are competing amongst themselves for a limited number of properties. This seller's market is clearly driving up real estate prices. Usually, without a significant spike in inventory, real estate prices will rise."


The total number of mortgages recorded in February 2015 rose 53% to 1,960 from 1,280 in February 2014. Total mortgage indebtedness for the same contrasting period of time actually fell by 73%. This was attributed to a $2.5 billion mortgage that was recorded against multiple properties in Massachusetts, including a Braintree property, in February 2014.


Homestead recordings, which provide limited protection against the forced sale of an individual's primary residence to satisfy unsecured debt up to $500,000, fell 3% from February 2015 to February 2014. A total of 557 Homesteads were recorded versus 575 during this comparative time period. Information regarding the Homestead Act can be found on the Registry's website at


There was also good news on the foreclosure front. The total number of foreclosure deeds recorded fell 14% in February 2015 as a total of 25 foreclosure deeds were recorded compared to 29 in the previous February of 2014. The Register stated, "While one foreclosure deed is one too many, I am encouraged by its downward trend. Anyone who has received a Notice of Foreclosure from a lender is encouraged to

contact our partners Quincy Community Action Programs at (617)479-8181 ext. 376 or Neighbor Works Southern Mass at (508) 587-0950 ext. 46. Both agencies can provide guidance and assistance to homeowners."


Register O'Donnell concluded, "While the inclement weather experienced in February had a disruptive impact on commerce, the Norfolk County real estate market appears to have weathered the storm."


To learn more about these and other Registry of Deeds events and initiatives, "like" us at or follow us on @NorfolkDeeds.


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 Department 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.