UNION COUNTY, NJ – Home sales are in the county are soaring according to Union County Clerk Joanne Rajoppi, who announced that her office recorded almost 8,200 deeds for residential and commercial properties through the first eight months of this year, putting Union County on track to record a total of more than 12,000 deeds in 2016 – the most since the global financial crisis of 2008.

“The numbers indicate that our economy has continued to recover at a strong pace,” said Rajoppi. “That’s a positive development, considering that the national rate of home ownership is still lower than it has been in the past 12 years.”

The jump in housing sales activity coincides with low interest rates and an increase in the population of Union County. The number of Union County residents was estimated at 555,786 as of July last year, up 3.6 percent since the 2010 census. By comparison, the population of New Jersey grew only 1.9 percent in that period.

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“It’s no surprise that Union County is a desirable area to live and have a business,” said Rajoppi. “Our walkable neighborhoods and award-winning school districts are major attractions, as is our convenient and accessible rail and bus service to New York City and other points in the metro area, including Washington, D.C.”

Rajoppi also cited the recent expansions of Union County College and Kean University, Union County’s proximity to Newark-Liberty International Airport, and its expansive recreation facilities including the highly regarded Galloping Hill golf course, the region’s only outdoor Olympic scale archery range, historic park system, and a public riding stable that features a new all-weather indoor ring.

The increase in recordings also translates into greater revenues for the County.  All recording fees go into the county’s general fund and are used to offset the county tax rate. The annual recording revenues total over $25.6 million dollars, up over $1.4 million over 2015.   To date, the county’s portion of the recording fees and realty transfer fee total $5,647,929.18, over $440,000 more than 2015.

The last year in which deed activity in Union County topped 12,000 was 2007, when the County Clerk recorded 12,153 deeds.

The number dropped to 10,359 in 2008, the year of the financial crash. Deed recordings continued to fall in the aftermath, hitting a low of 8,262 in 2011 before beginning a steady upward trend.

In 2015, the most recent full year of recordkeeping, the County Clerk’s office recorded 11,492 deeds. From January through August 2016, 8,283 deeds have been recorded.