First Quarter Real Estate Report – Norfolk Registry of Deeds

I’m back from vacation with a real estate report for you! From the Norfolk County Registry of Deeds, here’s the scoop on real estate activity in our county for the first quarter of 2016…


“After a careful review of 1st quarter numbers, Register of Deeds William P. O’Donnell reports that there is generally overall good news when it comes to Norfolk County real estate activity with a few exceptions.

“The 1st quarter of 2016 saw a robust market with total volume of commercial and residential real estate sales coming in at $1.48 billion, a solid 12% increase from the same time period in 2015. In addition, the number of real estate sales transactions increased a healthy 18% for the quarter.

“However, average sale price of commercial and residential real estate fell 9% to $721,660. It is too early to know whether a market correction is underway relative to real estate sales price or this figure represents a onetime aberration,” noted Register O’Donnell.

“Regarding the mortgage market,” stated O’Donnell, “the total number of mortgages recorded was 6,504, a 3% reduction from 1st quarter 2015. We will need to watch this number closely to see if a trend is occurring.”

The Register further stated, “with that said, total mortgage financing increased a whopping 39% to $4.0 billion. Some of this increase can be largely attributed to a commercial mortgage that was recorded in February.”

One area of concern was the continued increase in foreclosure activity. The Register noted, “the number of foreclosure deeds recorded for Norfolk County was 76, an increase of 4% from the same quarter last year. More disconcerting was the increase in the number of Notice to Foreclose Mortgage filings, the first step in the foreclosure process. A total of 214 Notice to Foreclose Mortgage filings took place during the 1st quarter compared to 136 during the same timeframe in 2015.

“I agree with the prevailing feeling that the increased foreclosure filings are attributable to lending institutions working through past delinquent mortgage loans, some going back to the 2008 economic downturn. While we sometimes get caught up in looking at these numbers as statistics, it should be noted that foreclosures have a very human face.”

To help those facing a foreclosure, the Registry continues to partner with Quincy Community Action Programs at (617) 479-8181 ext-376 and Neighbor Works Southern Mass at (508) 598-0950 for those who have 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.

On the consumer front, the number of Homesteads recorded increased 15% year over year. “A Homestead provides limited protection against the forced sale of a homeowner’s primary residence to satisfy unsecured debt up to $500,000. I urge Norfolk County homeowner’s to consider this important consumer protection tool,” said Register O’Donnell.

In conclusion, O’Donnell stated, “I am encouraged by the 1st quarter results of real estate activity in Norfolk County. I believe the favorable weather we experienced compared to the past winter spurred activity. It’s pretty clear that Norfolk County remains an attractive location for individuals, families and businesses to live and work. As long as the eastern Massachusetts economy remains vibrant and real estate inventory does not take a significant dip, we should be able to maintain this market momentum. Overall, Norfolk County appears to be moving towards a robust spring real estate season.”

To learn more about these and other Registry of Deeds events and initiatives, like us 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 Center at (781) 461-6101, or on the web at

Register William P. O’Donnell

Norfolk County Registry of Deeds

Downtown Streetscape Update -April 12, 2016

From the office of Town Administrator Jeff Nutting, here’s the latest on the downtown construction…

“This week, expect the curbing construction to continue. Please be aware of any detours the construction crew may have up as you approach downtown. 

The week of April 18th, expect new sidewalk construction to begin. 

The following week, please expect Main Street sidewalk and curb construction to get started. There will not be any constriction crews on Monday, April 18th in observance of Patriots Day. 

The project remains on schedule to be fully completed by Labor Day at the end of the summer. Follow the Town on Facebook and Twitter for the most recent updates.”

Catching up

Hello, readers! I’ve been rather neglecting this blog lately and I apologize for that. There are lots of exciting things happening around here and it’s been tough to get the time to create much original content, but the #shopFranklin Spotlights are coming off hiatus and will be returning very soon! 

In the meantime, I wanted to let my local readers know about a new promotion running through June 30. If you’ve been wondering about the value of your home and thinking it might be time to sell, invite me into your “pad” and find out for sure! I’ll provide you with a complimentary Comparative Market Analysis, answer all your real estate questions, and enter you into our drawing to win an iPad! Take advantage of this promotion – even if you don’t win, you’ll learn a lot and be equipped to make the real estate decisions that are best for you and your family.

Finally, I want to announce that my colleagues at Century 21 Commonwealth Franklin have voted me the Rookie of the Year for 2015! I’m thrilled and so honored to get this recognition, and I’m grateful to all of you for your support. 2016 is already shaping up to be a fabulous year in real estate, so let’s work together and keep kicking butt!