Hingham Real Estate Trends
37% Increase in Real Estate Sales for South Shore Spring Real Estate Market
Plymouth County Registry of Deeds: April 2016 Real Estate Activity
Plymouth County Register of Deeds, John R. Buckley, Jr. reported first quarter real estate sales increased a solid 33% this quarter when compared to the year 2015. The Plymouth Registry of Deeds recorded a whopping 1,975 deeds during the first quarter of 2016, compared to last year when the quarter saw 1,484 deeds recorded.
The monthly data analysis was especially informative about the spring real estate market in our area of Massachusetts. South Shore real estate sales numbers for March of 2015 totaled 524 recorded deeds, and March of 2016 recorded 773 deeds. This 37% increase in activity shows that our early spring real estate market is off to a strong and confident start.
Regardless of rising home prices and shorter inventory on the national real estate market, sales could show the most robust real estate year in some time. According to Sean Becketti, Chief Economist at Freddie Mac, the way our housing sales are moving, real estate sales could be the best we have seen in ten years. “In our latest forecast, total home sales, housing starts, and house prices will reach their highest levels since 2006,” sad Becketti.
During the first three months of 2015, real estate sales totaled $496,329,824, and during the same time period in 2016, sales reached $681,596,774, which is 37% increase. The average selling price of residential homes in Hingham and surrounding Plymouth County towns increased by 3% in 2016 when comparing first quarter data of 2015. In 2015 the average home sold for $334,454, and in 2016 the average home sale price was $345,112.
Month of March mortgage volumes showed similar data when compared to the same time last year. Plymouth County recorded 1,963 mortgages in March of 2016, and 1,943 mortgages in March, 2015. When looking at quarterly mortgage data from both years, Plymouth County showed a 6% increase in mortgage volume for 2016. There were 4,596 first quarter mortgages recorded in 2015, and 4,880 first quarter mortgages recorded in 2016.
The Plymouth County Registry of Deeds monthly report stated that the first quarter of 2013 recorded 6,520 mortgages, thus we have not yet returned to these numbers. Upon further examination, much of this activity was likely due to refinancing activity. As home values grow, it is possible that refinance numbers will respond to increased equity, and the decrease in the number of mortgage loans higher than their corresponding property values.
Foreclosure activity continue to rise. Register of Deeds, John R. Buckley, Jr. said, “This number continues to go up and it, as well as foreclosure notices, bear watching.” First quarter foreclosures in Plymouth County rose 73% when compared to first quarter recordings of foreclosures in 2015. Last year’s first quarter recorded 112 deeds of foreclosure, and by the end of March 2016, 194 foreclosures were on record.
Initiation of foreclosures also increased by 57% compared to the first quarter of 2015 when 223 notices were on record at the Plymouth County Registry of Deeds. By the end of March, 2016, 350 notices were filed. Register Buckley stated, “People who are facing difficulty paying their mortgage still need to be proactive.”
The Plymouth Registry of Deeds displays some of America’s most significant documents for specified time periods to protect the integrity of old records. On Friday, April 29th, from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm, the original Plymouth Colony public records law found in Laws, Part 1, at page 70 will be on display for the public to see. The Plymouth Colony Records, Storage and Reading Room, on the second floor of the Plymouth County Registry, 50 Obery Street in Plymouth.
For more information you may call Lorna Green-Baker at 508-830-9290 or visit the Plymouth County Registry of Deeds website.