The Registry of Deeds collects revenue for the Commonwealth through recording fees, excise tax stamps and surcharges for the Community Preservation Act and the Technology Fund. The amounts of money collected in these various categories can be used as indicators of trends in real estate.
Thus far in 2014 the registry has collected $9,026,581 in total revenue which averages $1,128,323 per month. If the eight month total was projected out over the full year, a total of $13,539,871 should be collected. This would be a 6% decline from last year when we collected a total of $14,367,410. The decline is mostly in recording fees. In 2013, the monthly average of recording fees received was $463,542; over the first eight months of 2014, the monthly recording fee average is just $304,859. This decline is consistent with the overall decline in documents being recorded. On a more positive note, the amount collected for excise tax stamps is trending upward. The monthly average of tax stamps in 2013 was $558,363 while the monthly average through August 2014 is $694,434. Since the tax stamp liability is based on the sales price of the property, this increase suggests that prices are rising. The higher the price, the higher the tax paid.