October 24, 2019
Lenders in Monroe County may be as busy now as they’ve been since 2013. Whether looking at the broader market (chart page 7) or a slightly narrower slice of mortgages securing loans in the conforming dollar range (charts pages 9 & 10), the increased volume is clearly shown. The third quarter mortgage recordings in the $50K to $500K range were up almost 30% from 2018. This is a substantial improvement from the first half of this year which showed a five percent decline from last year.
Also quite clear is that this increased volume is not a result of new purchase mortgages but refinances. The sale market as shown by either recorded deeds or sales disclosures (charts pages 13, 14, & 15) is flat to slightly off. Recorded deeds through nine months of this year at 1965 are down about six percent from last year when 2065 deeds were recorded.
There are two important changes to our team this month. First, Wendy Kitchel, our Title Counsel is relocating with her husband to Florida. She secured a position with a title company there already. We will miss Wendy. She contributed significantly to our success in her four years as a team member.
Secondly, I am delighted that Dan Stewart is rejoining our team. Dan returns still brandishing a wealth of historical knowledge about the title business in Monroe County. Dan will assume those portions of Wendy’s former role that are best handled by an attorney.
In September we helped 535 people buy, sell or refinance their homes. Our team is grateful for the opportunity to help that many people with such an important event in their lives. Our title team’s average turn-around time for new Monroe County orders improved to 5.3 days. Our closing team produced seller side closing statements two or more days prior to closing for 89% of our transactions and averaged 5.24 days prior to closing.
~ John Bethell