Plymouth County Real Estate Report: Sales, Mortgages Down Compared to 2022

Filed Under: Real Estate

Both sales and mortgage recordings are about 80 percent of the number of comparable recordings last year at this time, reported Plymouth County Register of Deeds John R. Buckley, Jr.  

High interest rates and low inventory account for the decline in recordings, he said.

“Consumers are ‘staying put’ in homes that have mortgages reflecting the earlier lower interest rates,” Buckley said. 

Plymouth County recorded 661 deeds in September, down from the 819 sales recorded in September, 2022.   Through the first three quarters of 2023, Plymouth County recorded 5,540 deeds, down 20 percent from the 6,885 deeds recorded at this point last year.

While the number of sales declined over the past year, prices have thus far not followed suit. In Plymouth County, prices increased 1 percent compared to last year, from $610,976 through September 2022, to $617,716 through September 2023. The total value of Plymouth County sales during the first three quarters of 2023, totaled $3.4 billion.  This represents a 19 percent decline when compared to the $4.2 billion in sales transactions during the same period in 2022, a byproduct of the reduced number of homes sold.

Buckley reported that refinance activity also remains subdued, with only 1,084 mortgages recorded in September.  With interest rates over 7 percent, there is little likelihood that these numbers will soon improve.  By way of comparison, 3,158 mortgages had been recorded by September 2021, representing three times the number of mortgage recorded thus far in 2023.  Through the first three quarters of 2023, Plymouth County recorded 9,737 mortgages, down 39 percent from the 16,027 recorded through the same point last year.  Given the falling volume, it is understandable that the total value of mortgages is also down, from $5.62 billion through the first three quarters of 2022, to $3.34 billion thus far in 2023, a difference of 41%, or 2.22 billion dollars.

Buckley does not anticipate a dramatic upswing in the market in the coming months. 

“Sales activity typically begins to slow down heading into and through the holidays and given present market conditions, it is difficult to predict what we will see in the next few months in terms of the number of mortgages being recorded,” he explained.

Foreclosure activity continues to increase slightly.  The number of foreclosure deeds recorded through September climbed to 100, up from 73 recorded last year during the same time.    

Notices initiating new foreclosures also increased, but fortunately not as much as deeds. Through the first three-quarters of 2023, Plymouth County has recorded 414 notices to foreclose, compared to 339 notices to foreclose recorded through this time last year.  This represents a 22 percent increase in recordings.