After a disappointing July, the Norfolk County real estate market roared back to life showing mostly solid gains for the month of August.
Register of Deeds William P. O’Donnell stated, “After a down July, it was nice to see the real estate market recover in August. Increases were seen in both home sales and lending. August was a month where all stakeholders benefited from the strong real estate market in Norfolk County.”
“During the month of August,” noted O’Donnell, “a total of 1,945 property transactions, both residential and commercial, were recorded in Norfolk County. This represented a 9% increase year over year. The average sales price for these properties was $874,726, a 47% increase from August 2015.”
The Register also noted that the total volume of real estate sales, both residential and commercial, came in at $1.18 billion, a 60% increase from the same time period in 2015. It should be noted that these figures were enhanced by a $205 million dollar sale of Westwood Station that took place during the middle of August.
O’Donnell stated, “Lending activity also showed some impressive gains. For the month of August, a total of 3,511 mortgages were recorded, a 35% increase from the previous year. Furthermore, total mortgage financing came in at $1.7 billion, a 60% increase from the previous August. Clearly, the continuing low interest rates are spurring individuals and businesses to borrow money for home and capital improvements and education.”
If there was one cloud in the silver lining concerning August’s data, it was the increase in foreclosure activity experienced in Norfolk County. A total of 32 foreclosure deeds were filed compared to 19 filed in August 2015. Also, the number of Notice to Foreclose Mortgages recorded, the first step in the foreclosure process, was 96 compared to 31 recorded during the previous August.
O’Donnell noted, “The significant increases in foreclosure activity were discouraging, especially after we thought the market had turned the corner. There is no question that some of our neighbors continue to struggle.
“I want to again stress the Registry’s continuing partnership with Quincy Community Action Programs at (617) 479-8181 x-376 and Neighbor Works Southern Mass at (508) 598-0950. These agencies are there to help anyone who has received a Notice to Foreclose Mortgage from a lender. Another option for homeowners is to call the Massachusetts Attorney General’s HomeCorps program at (617) 573-5333. I cannot stress enough to call them promptly if you are struggling with paying your mortgage.”
Homestead recordings showed a solid 11% increase in August compared to the same time period in 2015. O’Donnell noted, “A Homestead is an important consumer protection tool that I would encourage all homeowners to consider. A Homestead provides limited protection against the forced sale of your primary residence to satisfy unsecured debt up to $500,000.”
In conclusion, Register O’Donnell stated, “After a less than robust July, it was great to see Norfolk County real estate activity rebound so strongly. It appears that a sizeable pool of buyers were aggressive in getting back into the market. Hopefully, the housing inventory level will not take a dip anytime soon. Another positive indicator is the continuing low interest rate which has been a key driver for real estate sales and lending.”
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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 source 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 www.norfolkdeeds.org.