Norfolk Registry of Deeds – May Real Estate Report

Good news from Norfolk County Register O’Donnell! May was a great month for real estate in our county. Check out the Register’s report below…

“Register O’Donnell Reports Solid Real Estate Results for May

Spring roared in like a lion when it came to May real estate sales in Norfolk County, according to Register of Deeds William P. O’Donnell.

The Register noted, “For the month of May, a total of 1,554 property transactions, both residential and commercial, were recorded in Norfolk County. This activity represented a 7% increase from the previous May. In addition, the total dollar volume of residential and commercial real estate transactions was $682 million, an impressive 13% increase year over year. These are encouraging numbers and point to continued momentum in the real estate market.”

Results were however mixed for lending activity. “May 2016 saw 2,814 mortgages recorded against Norfolk County property, representing a 5% increase over the previous May. However, the total dollar amount borrowed during May 2016 was actually a decrease of 5% from May 2015. While these numbers may appear contradictory, I would remind readers that this figure can be significantly impacted by just a small number of commercial loans,” stated O’Donnell.

Last month’s statistics clearly indicate that Norfolk County homeowners continue to take advantage of the Homestead Act, an important consumer tool. For the month of May, a total of 1,114 Homesteads were recorded, a 12% increase from last May. A Homestead provides limited protection against the forced sale of an individual’s primary residence to satisfy unsecured debt up to $500,000.

Foreclosure activity continued to be a cause of some concern during May 2016. The total number of Notices to Foreclose Mortgage recordings, the first step in the foreclosure process, came in at 84 compared to 63 in May 2015. Foreclosure deed recordings, the final step in the foreclosure process, were flat. A total of 22 foreclosure deeds were processed in May compared to 25 in May of 2015.

O’Donnell noted, “There is no question that some of this foreclosure activity stems from the economic downturn that took place between 2008 and 2009. There is also no question that some of our neighbors are facing economic hardship today. The Registry is proud 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 Foreclose Mortgage from a lender. Another option for consumers is to call the Massachusetts Attorney General’s HomeCorps program at (617) 573-5333.”

Register O’Donnell concluded, “May was a solid month for real estate activity in Norfolk County. The strong eastern Massachusetts economy is clearly the driving force behind these results. While the Federal Reserve is again talking about raising interest rates in June or July, I am confident that both the real estate and lending markets will withstand this potential increase. My primary concern is that real estate inventory levels do not slip. Overall, given May’s current data, I am cautiously optimistic that the real estate market will continue on a favorable trend in Norfolk County through the summer months.”

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 Center at (781) 461-6101, or on the web at

Register William P. O’Donnell

Norfolk County Registry of Deeds


phone: 781-234-3336


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