Real Estate Market Springs Back to LIfe


Norfolk County Register of Deeds William P. O’Donnell reported that Norfolk County recordings for the month of April 2024 indicate an increase in overall real estate activity, with significant increases in property sales and mortgage activity as compared to April 2023.

The Registry of Deeds recorded 8,312 documents in April 2024. This was 9% more than in April 2023 and an 8% increase compared to March 2024.

“Spring is the first half of the traditional home-buying season and typically marks the beginning of a busy period for the real estate market," said Register of Deeds William P. O’Donnell. “The rise in property sales and mortgage activity compared to last year reflects a strong demand for housing in Norfolk County.”

The total number of deeds recorded for April 2024, which reflects both commercial and residential real estate sales and transfers, was 1,250, up 12% from April 2023 and up 6% from March 2024. Looking at just commercial and residential real estate sales, the number was up 15% from last year.

“Despite some difficult market conditions, the total number of commercial and residential property sales in April 2024 showed a significant increase compared to the previous year,” stated Register O’Donnell. “This may be an indication that March's increase in property listings, while still not enough to counteract the overall lack of available property inventory is beginning to attract more buyers, leading to more property sales."

The average sale price of commercial and residential properties for April 2024 rose to $1,036,735, a 12% increase compared to April 2023 but a decrease of 1% from March 2024. The total dollar volume of commercial and residential sales is up, increasing 28% from last year and up 13% from last month.

O’Donnell noted, “With a limited supply of available properties on the market, any increase in demand is likely to cause an increase in the average property sales price. Unfortunately, when prices rise without an equivalent rise in inventory, it may result in increased competition among buyers. This makes it harder for homebuyers in general, but especially for first-time homebuyers.”

For the month of April, lending activity showed an increase compared to the same month a year ago. A total of 1,243 mortgages were recorded in April 2024, up 12% from April 2023 and 14% more than last month.

“The increase in lending activity this month is likely a product of the increase in the number of property transactions compared to 2023,” stated O’Donnell. "This may suggest that while some homeowners are still hesitant to make moves with average mortgage interest rates above 7%, others are not dissuaded by current interest rates, but time will tell if this trend holds out."

The Norfolk County Registry of Deeds has been closely monitoring the foreclosure market. In April 2024, there were 6 foreclosure deeds recorded as a result of mortgage foreclosures taking place in Norfolk County, whereas in April 2023, there were 10 recorded. However, in April 2024, there were 43 notices to foreclose, the first step in the foreclosure process, more than the 30 recorded in April 2023.

“The substantial increase in the number of these notices is troubling. It suggests that more of our neighbors may have financial difficulties in the future,” said O'Donnell. “If you are having difficulty paying your monthly mortgage, please consider contacting one of these non-profit agencies for help and guidance,” said Register O’Donnell.

For the past several years, the Norfolk County Registry of Deeds has partnered with Quincy Community Action Programs (617-479-8181 x376) and NeighborWorks Housing Solutions (508-587-0950) to help anyone facing challenges paying their mortgage. Another option for homeowners is to contact the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Consumer Advocacy and Response Division (CARD) at 617-727-8400.

O’Donnell concluded, “It is good to see that the increase of property listings in March resulted in an increase in property sales which is an indication that the desire for individuals to live in Norfolk County communities remains strong. As we move further into the home buying season we hope to see similar real estate activity.”

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The Norfolk County Registry of Deeds is located at 649 High Street in Dedham. The Registry is a resource for homeowners, title examiners, mortgage lenders, municipalities and others with a need for secure, accurate, accessible land record information. All land record research information can be found on the Registry’s website Residents in need of assistance can contact the Registry of Deeds Customer Service Center via telephone at (781) 461-6101 or email us at

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