December marked the end of a challenging 2022 for real estate sales and refinances, reported Plymouth County Register of Deeds John R. Buckley Jr.
While Buckley reported some signs of encouragement for Plymouth County in the month of December, the year was marked by a large decline in the volume of mortgages, a decline in sales, and an increase in foreclosure activity. Total documents recorded in 2022 was 115,802 compared to the 164,582 documents recorded in 2021, making it a 29 percent drop.
Buckley reported a slight bounce for Plymouth County real estate over the last month, with the number of sales rebounding to 701 from 664 in November, and the 1,205 mortgages recorded in November increased to 1,300 mortgages recorded in December.
“December had better numbers for deed and mortgage recordings than November,” said Buckley.
While the number of December recordings were higher than November, overall volume of sales declined compared to 2021. Plymouth County recorded 8,945 deeds in 2022, down 17 percent from the 10,824 deeds recorded in 2021. While the average sale price of $600,564 did increase by 9 percent over last year, there is evidence that there has been a significant drop in the average sales price during the last three months.
With respect to refinances, because of the increases in the interest rates, Plymouth County saw a 47 percent decline in the number of mortgages recorded in 2022, down to 19,807 from 37,213 in 2021.
“Last year will be remembered more for the decline in the number of sales and refinances than for the increase in foreclosure activity,” Buckley noted.
The total year-end foreclosure recordings were 103, which is a 37 percent increase over the 75 moratorium impacted foreclosures recorded in 2021.
Plymouth County recorded 476 notices to foreclose in 2022, compared to the 221 notices recorded in 2021, also impacted by the lifting of the moratorium. “We will continue to watch these figures and report them on a monthly basis,” added Buckley.
In terms of the year ahead, Buckley describes his perspective as “hopeful, for all those who have felt the impact of the declining real estate market. A drop in the average sales price may generate more sales.”