Mortgage Transactions Up in Ocean County, Clerk’s Office Reports
Mortgage transactions are up for reasons of refinancing and rebuilding, as well as new ownerships, say related numbers counted by the Ocean County Clerk’s Office. The office is tasked with recording documents affecting real estate titles.
Home sales took a “slight improvement,” but other reasons figured into the 18 percent hike in transactions seen in the office, according to the clerk.
In 2016, the office recorded 25,300 deeds and 24,665 mortgages. It also placed on record 85,653 other documents including assignment of mortgages, canceled mortgages, discharges of mortgages, notice of settlements and other documents, for a total of 135,618 documents recorded.
“The office recorded almost 4,000 more documents last year compared to 2015,” said Ocean County Clerk Scott M. Colabella on Jan. 24.
Colabella attributed the increase to a steady stream of refinancing of existing mortgages due to low mortgage interest rates.
“It is also a reflection of the continuing rebuilding and recovery from Superstorm Sandy,” Colabella said. “Many residents are still recovering from the storm, and the progress is seen in the documents we are recording.”
He added that the recording numbers also increased because of a slight improvement in existing home sales.
“Ocean County continues to be an attractive place to live,” said Ocean County Freeholder Director Joseph H. Vicari. “New mortgages for home building and rebuilding are an indication that the county is a popular area to raise a family and retire.”
The 18.4 percent increase in recording revenue during 2016 as compared to 2015 amounts to $8 million more, county officials pointed out.
“This revenue is part of the county’s anticipated revenue and is used to help balance the county’s annual budget,” said Ocean County Freeholder John P. Kelly, who serves as liaison to the county clerk’s office.
“The Recording Division of the Ocean County Clerk’s Office collected $51,865,991 in revenue for documents placed on record during the 12 months of 2016,” Colabella said.
Of the amount taken in, Colabella said the state received $37.1 million and the county realized a revenue total of $14.8 million from realty transfer fees. Of that amount, $12.7 million was returned to the county while $2,076,558 was used to operate the county clerk’s office. —M.S.