Norfolk County Real Estate Activity Down, Register Reports

DEDHAM, MA – Norfolk County Register of Deeds William P. O’Donnell reported that the April numbers relative to Norfolk County show a continuing decrease in real estate activity compared to April 2021 and as well as compared to the March 2022 numbers.

“Our data indicates that the Norfolk County real estate numbers in April indicate a continued slowdown in the market compared to 2021 and, except for a slight increase in sales, when compared to the overall numbers from last month,” said O’Donnell. “There were 11,179 documents recorded at the Norfolk County Registry of Deeds in April, a 37% decrease from April, 2021 and a decrease of 10% from March of 2022.”

He added that the number of deeds for April 2022, which reflect real estate sales and transfers both commercial and residential, decreased by 16% from April 2021, but did increase by 3% from March.

Sale prices continue to surge. The average sale price in April was $1,534,065, a 32% increase compared to April 2021.

“Total dollar volume of commercial and residential sales also showed gains from one year ago, increasing 11% and surprisingly are up 41% from last month,” noted the Register.

Overall lending activity show a continued trend downward for the month of April. A total of 2,210 mortgages were recorded during the month, a significant decrease of 48% compared to a year ago and down 8% from last month.

“It appears that interest rate increases and the fact that many consumers have already refinanced may be impacting the numbers,” noted O’Donnell.

A continuing cause for concern in Norfolk County is the number of pending foreclosures, according to O’Donnell.During April, there were four foreclosure deeds recorded as a result of mortgage foreclosures taking place in Norfolk County, two less than in April 2021 and one. less than in March.

However, there were 22 Notices to Foreclose, the first step in the foreclosure process, recorded in April, up significantly from 4 recorded in April 2021, and up from 11 recorded last month.

“The dramatic increase in the number of these notices is alarming. It indicates that more of our neighbors are facing financial challenges going forward,”said O’Donnell. “We will continue to monitor these numbers.”

For the past several years, the Norfolk County Registry of Deeds has partnered with Quincy Community Action Programs and NeighborWorks Housing Solutions to help anyone facing challenges paying their mortgage. Another option for homeowners is to contact the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Consumer Advocacy and Response Division (CARD) at 617-727-8400.

“If you are having difficulty paying your monthly mortgage, please consider contacting one of these non-profit agencies for help and guidance,” O’Donnell said.

Homestead recordings by owners of homes and condominiums decreased again this month at the Norfolk Registry of Deeds. There was a 13% decrease in homestead recordings in April 2022 compared to April 2021 but a slight increase from last month.

“The comparison from last April is not too surprising where the sales of homes have started to level off, but all homeowners, not just new purchasers, should keep in mind that a recorded Declaration of Homestead provides limited protection against the forced sale of an individual’s. primary residence to satisfy unsecured debt up to $500,000,” noted O’Donnell. “We want to see folks protecting the biggest asset most of us have – our homes. I would urge anyone who has not availed themselves of this important consumer protection tool to consider doing so.”

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