Register O’Donnell Reports on January 2015 Real Estate Activity

Norfolk County Register of Deeds William P. O'Donnell reported a mixed bag when it came to real estate activity in Norfolk County for the opening month of January 2015.


"On one hand, the lending market had some very respectable numbers," Register O'Donnell noted. "January 2015 saw a 19% increase in the number of mortgages recorded. These positive numbers were spurred by continuing low interest rates and an improved economy in eastern Massachusetts," noted Register O'Donnell.


However, the number of land documents recorded in Norfolk County this January remained basically flat, totalling 10,040, a 1% decrease from January 2014 numbers.


Additionally, the total volume of commercial and residential real estate prices fell 13% in January 2015 compared to the same time last year. Compounding this slide was that average sale price of commercial and residential property fell by 15% to $656,328 based on real estate sold in January of 2015 compared to the same time last year. These numbers were somewhat skewed due to two big commercial real estate transactions that took place in Braintree and Brookline in January of 2014.


Register O'Donnell also reported that the total number of deeds recorded declined by a modest 5% in January 2015 compared to January of last year. A total of 1,006 deeds were recorded in Norfolk County during January, 2015.


Homestead recordings in January 2015 decreased by 8% year over year. A total of 659 Homesteads were recorded this January, compared to 717 in January 2014. Information regarding the Homestead Act, which provides limited protection against the forced sale of an individual's primary residence to satisfy unsecured debt up to $500,000, can be found on the Registry's website at


"The total number of foreclosure deeds recorded remained flat in January 2015. A total of 20 foreclosure deeds were recorded in January 2015, the same number as the previous January. The Registry continues to work with its partners South Shore Consortium and Neighbor Works Southern Mass to help Norfolk County homeowners who have received a Notice of Foreclosure from a lender," noted O'Donnell.


The Register concluded, "I remain cautiously optimistic about the real estate market in Norfolk County. The inclement weather experienced at the end of January did not help our transaction numbers. Despite the challenges faced in January, the mortgage market continues to show small signs of improvement. Barring a downturn in the economy or action taken by the Federal Reserve related to interest rate increases, I hope the improvements in the mortgage market continue."


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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 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.