Our Register’s Monthly Report on real estate activity in Plymouth County during the month of April shows several positive signs as we enter a key period for marketing and selling real estate. Despite an extremely low inventory of available properties to list and sell, our office recorded 595 sales during the month of April. While our total sales year to date remain 6 % behind last year’s pace, our average sales price across the county was 7 % higher than last year at this time.
Our current historically low interest rates have continued to drive a healthy level of refinances. We are recording 4 % more mortgages than last year.
On another positive note, our foreclosure crisis, which has been a negative influence on our marketplace and forced many thousands of Plymouth County residents from their homes, appears to be waning significantly. Our foreclosure deeds are down 68 % and foreclosure notices are down 21% year-to-date. These are among the lowest numbers of filings since we began tracking these particular recordings after the banking crisis and resulting so-called Great Recession that began in 2008. While many organizations, such as the Warren Group, have declared victory over the foreclosure crisis, we will continue to monitor these filings very closely.
If you would like to compare the results of this months report with activity since January, 2010 , please go to the Register’s Monthly Report section on this website.
With our recording numbers in for the first quarter, real estate activity in Plymouth County has seen different results on a monthly basis. While our recording results for February didn’t keep pace with what we saw thoughout 2012, March 2013 activity gets us back to a more positive trend. The 586 deeds recorded in March were the highest so far in 2013, and the 2167 mortgages recorded is 7% higher than last year at the turn of the first quarter.
One of the biggest drags on our real estate market in Plymouth County-foreclosures-seem to be continuing a downward trend. There were ony 31 foreclosure deeds recorded in March from thoughout the county, a 69% decrease from the first quarter of 2012. Foreclosure notices are also lower in the first quarter of 2013-14% lower than last year at this time.
Realtors and attorneys representing homebuilders, many of whom were at the Registry at our busy end-of- the-month, are predicting another strong “Spring Market”, and are hopeful for an increase in what has been an extremely low inventory over the last several months. For a full report of March activity go to our Register’s Monthly report on this website.
Over this past weekend, the City of Brockton conducted an event at Westgate Mall to promote the goal of providing equal access and opportunities for all, in housing. The Plymouth County Registry of Deeds joined the City of Brockton and Mayor Linda Balzotti, the Brockton Redevelopment Authority, the Brockton Housing Authority, Father Bill’s and Mainspring, Self-Help, Mass Housing, Neighborhood Housing Services, Boston Community Capital and the Brockton Housing Partnership as sponsors for this event.
Over forty vendors consisting of banks, credit unions, realtors and numerous non-profit agencies provided information on issues relating to purchase of homes, foreclosure prevention, energy saving opportunities and other government programs. The federal department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Boston office, provided materials related to federal law and guidelines protecting equal access to housing.
This program organized by the Brockton Revelopment Authority brought very important information provided by the event sponsors and vendors to hundreds of pre-Easter holiday shoppers at the Westgate Mall.
February brought a lot of snow and bad weather to Plymouth County. It also brought mixed results in our real estate market. For the first time in a long time, a lower number of sales were recorded as compared to the corresponding month in the previous year. There were 406 deeds recorded in February, 2013–24% lower than the 531 deeds recorded in February, 2012. Whether it was a drop in inventory, as some realtors have been proclaiming for quite some time, or weather-related, will become clearer over the next few months. February has always been a slower period for recording activity.
Mortgage filings remained constant.The number of mortgages recorded in February, 2013 were 2% higher than in February, 2012. Historic low interest rates still prevail.
A very interesting development was the extremely low number of foreclosure deeds recorded. The 22 foreclosure deeds recorded in Febuary, 2013 were 79% lower that in February, 2012. For our complete report go to our February, 2013 Register’s Monthly Report.
The ability to search land records through our indexes has been expanded once again. The scanned version of our original index books now goes back to 1915 for both Grantor and Grantee indexing.
Whether you are in our main office in Plymouth, one of our satellite offices in Brockton or Rockland, at work or at home, you are now able to search 97 years of our recorded land documents. Our goal is to bring this version of document search back to 1685, the founding date of Plymouth County.
I want to thank Christine Richards, Chuck DiPirro, Karen Schuster and Ronnie Young for their work in making this available through our website. I will keep you updated on our next advancement in this special project.
Paper recycling was initiated at the Registry of Deeds in 2009. Brought forward by the Registry’s Green Building Committee, our volume continues to steadily increase. Enhanced by the Committee’s innovative ideas, such as Holiday Season Clean-out days, Earth Day themed Spring Cleaning days, and other promotions, the paper from the Registry’s three locations, the Plymouth County Commissioner’s and Treasurer’s offices, as well as paper brought in by our employees take a lot of material out of the refuse stream. The 19.10 tons of paper recycled in 2011, jumped to 26.04 tons for 2012.
We have reduced the amount of refuse at our buildings by approximately 75%, reducing disposal costs. We celebrate these accomplishments with special green “dress down” days when we come to work in green clothing to demonstrate our commitment to protecting our environment. Thank you to our Green Building Committee and everyone who helps out in this and other “green” initiatives.
Members of our Green Building Committee: John Zigouras, Chair, Barbara Bardon, Beth Sheibley-Goldrosen, Gina Clark, Sue Wood, Greg White and Chris Grasso.
Plymouth County real estate, as measured by the filing of real estate documents in 2012, saw continuing improvement. The Plymouth County Registry of Deeds saw more douments recorded than in any year since 2006.
The number of sales were up 15% over 2011 activity. Even more impressive were the number of mortgages recorded in 2012. There were 28,507 mortgages recorded in 2012 as compared to 21,571 in 2011, a 32% increase. Historically low interest rates are expected to continue well into 2013.
The foreclosure crisis is continuing although at a slower pace.
Please see our December Register’s Report for further details.
With one month to go in 2012, the Plymouth County real estate market is coming to a strong close. Sales are up 16 % and recorded mortgages are up 34 % through the end of November, 2012 begin with what was termed by many an “early spring market” and in comparison with 2011 has been stronger each month than last year. We have recorded 128,619 recorded land and land court instruments though November 30th. In all of 2011, we recorded 119,394 instruments.
Foreclosure filings have dwindled from earlier in the year high volumes. Foreclosure deeds through the end of November are 4 % less than 2011 year to date and foreclosure notices are down 1 % for the same period.
So far in this year real estate sales volume amounts to $300 million in additional commerce. For the full November 2012 report Click Here
Join us for a hands-on training seminar on how to use our online search to it’s maximum potential, tomorrow, Tuesday, October 23rd, beginning at 4:30 p.m. Please call Lorna Green-Baker at 508-830-9290 to register. As our online indexes continue to go back in time (soon to be back to 1915) an understanding of our available online resources and how to access them becomes increasingly important. Don’t miss this free opportunity! Click here for more information.
In an effort to continue providing expanded access for online research, both our Grantor and Grantee Indexes are now available back to 1925. While a Massachusetts title examination typically requires a fifty year search, our online index search now extends over seventy five years.
Our hard copy books, dating back to Plymouth County’s creation in 1685, remain available at our main office located at at 50 Obery Street in Plymouth. Thank you once again to our Information Systems Department and the Index and Comparing Department for the very detailed work in this area.