Register O’Donnell Sees Continued Improvement in Norfolk County Real Estate Market

Pointing to statistics that showed both increases in real estate sales and mortgage financing for the past month of July, Norfolk County Register of Deeds William P. O'Donnell reported that the Norfolk County real estate market is continuing to move in the right direction

Register O'Donnell noted, "For the month of July, the total number of deeds recorded increased 9% compared to July of 2014. I believe these results stem from an improved economy and buyers eager to invest in Norfolk County real estate." Elaborating further, O'Donnell said, "The total dollar volume of residential and commercial real estate sales increased by 13% to $1.08 billion and the average sale price of property increased a modest 3% to $752,941."

Other positive Norfolk County real estate trends that continued in July 2015, as compared to the previous July, was the performance of the mortgage market, as 2,948 mortgages were recorded, a 13% increase, along with a 25% rise in mortgage financing. "Homeowners continue to take advantage of improved equity in their properties along with low interest rates to obtain financing for home improvements, family educational expenses and other critical needs," noted the Register.

One continuing cause for concern, however in Norfolk County, was foreclosures. A total of 22 foreclosure deeds were filed during July, a 38% increase from July, 2014. "This increase was the result of lending institutions continuing to work through a backlog of foreclosures resulting from the economic downturn of 2008. Another sobering figure was the 65 notices to foreclose filed in July 2015 compared to 50 recorded in the previous July. Notice to Foreclose Mortgage is the first step in the foreclosure process. These numbers remind us that some of our neighbors continue to face financial challenges," said O'Donnell.

The Registry continues to partner with Quincy Community Action Programs at (617) 479-8181 x-376 and Neighbor Works Southern Mass at (508) 598-0950 to help anyone who has received a Notice to Foreclosure from a lender. Another option for homeowners is to call the Massachusetts Attorney General's HomeCorps program at (617) 573-5333.

On the consumer front, homestead recording activity increased 11% in July compared to one year ago. Homestead recording provides for limited protection against the forced sale of an individual's primary residence to satisfy unsecured debt up to $500,000.

Register O'Donnell concluded, "There is no question July 2015 was a solid month for real estate activity in Norfolk County. An improved economy, eager buyers and low interst rates were all key components that drove the market. However, two points of caution: I agree with industry observers who have stated the need for increased housing inventory to sustain real estate growth and I also continue to be concerned about the potential negative impact on real estate activity of the Federal Reserve increasing interest rates."

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

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.