Massachusetts Real Estate Hits Historic Highs

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South Shore and Massachusetts monthly real estate trends brought to you by Coldwell Banker Hingham Realtor Alice Pierce


Plymouth County Registry of Deeds: July 2016 Real Estate Activity

Plymouth County Register of Deeds, John R. Buckley, Jr., began the July 2016 Plymouth County monthly real estate activity summary by citing a report from the Boston Globe. The Globe stated that June’s home prices broke an all time record in Massachusetts with the average price for single family homes in Massachusetts reaching $372,000.

This information was culled from the Warren Group, a real estate and financial information powerhouse with multiple services, including data compilation throughout New England. The data reflected a 1.9% increase when compared to the same month last year and a year-to-date comparison showed a 1.2 % rise.

The Warren Group data showed that condominium prices in Massachusetts increased 4.5% from the same time last year, and 3.5% when compared to the same months in 2015. This is the 13th consecutive month of condominium sales increases in Massachusetts.

“Sales in Massachusetts are starting to hit their peak,” said Timothy M. Warren Jr., CEO of The Warren Group. “There have been double-digit percent gains every month for 13 straight months. The summer months are always the strongest for closings with July usually the biggest month. Even with prices at record highs, home buyers will still be out closing deals at a high rate.”

Massachusetts home sales increased by 14.9% in June of 2016. This was the third highest number in residential sales in the Commonwealth in a single month since 1987. When comparing the first half of the year, home sales were up by 24.2%.

Register Buckley’s report stated that “Experts attribute the price increase to high demand, historical low interest rates, and low inventory.”

The Plymouth County Registry of Deeds also reported that the percentage of individuals “underwater” with their mortgages is shrinking. Home sales are 17% higher than this time last year, and mortgage activity showed a 3% increase in the number of recorded mortgages.

“The solid mortgage activity coupled with the continued increase in sales numbers has made the Registry a busy place,” commented Register John R. Buckley, Jr. Monthly foreclosure activity in Plymouth County for July of 2016 was 26% higher than in July of 2015. There was also a continued increase in the filing of foreclosure notices in Plymouth County.

The Registry in Plymouth continues to provide the public with the opportunity to view some of America’s earliest written records. On Wednesday, August 31st, from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm, the original Plymouth Colony record of one of the earliest laws relating to homeland security can be viewed in the Plymouth Colony Records, Storage and Reading Room. This is located on the second floor of the Plymouth County Registry building, 50 Obery Street, in Plymouth. For more details, please call Lorna Green-Baker at (508) 830-9290, or visit the Plymouth County Registry of Deeds website.

The Norfolk County Registry of Deeds unexpectedly showed reduced activity in real estate sales and mortgages for the month of July.

Norfolk County Register of Deeds, William P. O’Donnell stated, “Last month the total number of deeds recorded, both residential and commercial, decreased 13% across Norfolk County from the previous July. The average sales price for these properties was $668,688, an 11% reduction.”

Overall, the total volume of real estate sales in Norfolk County, both residential and commercial, fell 24% when comparing the same time last year.

Register O’Donnell said that some local Realtors might have particular insight into the numbers. “At first glance, the numbers are surprising, especially when considering the warm weather for the month and the continuing low interest rates. We are hearing from real estate professionals that the reduced volume is a result of low inventory and buyers being concerned about overpaying on properties.”

On an extremely positive note, there was a reduced level of foreclosure activity in July of 2016, when compared to July 2015. O’Donnell added, “While one foreclosure recording is one too many, I am encouraged by the reduced numbers. I am hoping that this is the start of a positive trend,” stated the Register.

Register O’Donnell concluded the summary and said, “July’s sluggishness was not what we were expecting. Clearly the evidence seems to indicate low real estate inventory has dampened the market. Potential buyers are concerned that they may be overpaying for property. On the other hand, sellers appear to be reluctant to put their property up for sale afraid that they will not be able to find something for themselves once their home is sold. Hopefully, an increase in real estate inventory can eliminate these concerns.”

Visit the Norfolk County Registry of Deeds website for more information.


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