On the heels of sluggish sales in August and September, Plymouth County Register of Deeds John R. Buckley Jr. reported a continued slowdown in the number of Plymouth County sales and refinances during the month of October.
With 695 sales, October became the third month in 2022, in which Plymouth County recorded fewer than 700 deeds.
“A decrease in activity is certainly well documented throughout the industry right now,” Buckley noted. “There is no question that the Federal Reserve is impacting recordings with its rate decisions.”
Thus far in 2022, Plymouth County has recorded 7,580 deeds. Last year at this time Plymouth County had recorded a total of 8,921 deeds, 15 percent more than this year.
“We have to look at the slow-down in the context of longer-term trends, but certainly at this time of the year we anticipate sales and even refinances to slow down as we head into the holidays,” said Buckley.
Plymouth County recorded the fewest mortgages in October since pre-COVID-19 times. A total of 1,275 mortgages were recorded, bringing the total number of mortgages recorded this year to 17,302, a 46 percent decline in mortgage recordings when compared to the 31,846 mortgages recorded in Plymouth County in 2021. In fact, the 1,275 October mortgage recordings represent the fewest number of monthly recordings in almost four years, going back to February 2019.
While the dormancy in deed and mortgage recordings may provide some concern to those watching the real estate market, Buckley said the continued increases in the foreclosure numbers are potentially more troubling. Plymouth County recorded 55 foreclosure deeds through the first 10 months of 2021. This year that figure has increased 55 percent to 85 percent. October foreclosures increased by 140 percent when compared to October 2021 foreclosure recordings. There have been 12 foreclosures recorded this October and in 2021, there were only five.
“It is important to note that these numbers remain miniscule when we look back at the challenging days of 2008,” noted Buckley. “In October, 2008 Plymouth County recorded 91 foreclosures, which brought the year total to 1,095.”
Notices initiating new foreclosures continue to increase at a comparable rate. In October there were 47 notices to foreclose recorded in Plymouth County. This represents a 47 percent increase over the 32 notices recorded last October. Year to date, 386 foreclosure notices here have been recorded.