The approach of the holiday season usually brings a slowdown of market activity. This, along with high interest rates and low inventory, are all contributing factors in the low sales and mortgage numbers for October.
The numbers were less than the recording numbers in September, but not dramatically so.
“We recorded 592 deeds in October, slightly down from the 661 deeds recorded in September,” reports Register of Deeds John R. Buckley, Jr. “Mortgages recorded in October closely trailed the September numbers. The Registry recorded 1,048 mortgages in October, compared to 1,084 mortgages recorded in September.”
Through the first 10 months of 2023, the Plymouth County Registry recorded 6,132 deeds, compared to 7,580 recorded during the same period in 2022. “Considering the high interest rates and low inventory it should come as no surprise that the sales numbers are 19 percent lower than last year at this time,” noted Buckley.
Mortgage activity this year is also quieter than last year. Plymouth County has recorded 38 percent fewer mortgages this year compared to last year at this time.
“We have recorded 10,785 mortgages this year compared to 17,302 mortgages recorded by this time last year. I would further note that the mortgage filings in each month in 2023, have been less than the number of mortgages recorded during the corresponding month in 2022,” observed Buckley. “The Federal Reserve’s decision not to increase interest rates is a positive sign as we close in on the end of the year.”
Both foreclosure recordings and foreclosure notices lag far behind the pre-COVID-19 numbers. For example, in October 2023, the Registry recorded 16 foreclosures, In October 2019, the Registry recorded 31 foreclosures. Through the first 10 months of the year, Plymouth County recorded 116 foreclosure deeds, representing a 36 percent increase from the 85 foreclosure deeds that were recorded through this time last year, but still much lower than our pre-COVID numbers, when at the same juncture in 2019, 268 foreclosure deeds had been recorded.
Foreclosure notices, the first document to reach the Registry in the foreclosure process, also provided comparatively good news for Plymouth County. Through October, 452 notices to foreclose have been recorded, compared to 576 notices recorded by this time in 2019. 386 notices were recorded last year at this time, so there has been a 17 percent increase over last year, likely attributed to the termination of the moratorium enacted during the pandemic.