April 2020 Real Estate Market Report

February statistics released on March 20, 2020 by Maine Listings indicated a 5.75 percent increase in sales of single-family existing homes, comparing February 2020 to February 2019. The median sales price (MSP) for the 865 homes sold reached $216,900—an uptick of 8.45 percent over that same period. The MSP indicates that half of the homes were sold for more and half sold for less. Pre-pandemic February 2020 was an especially strong month for real estate sales, recording the second highest number of February sales (865) since statistics began being kept more than 20 years ago.

Nationwide, sales of single-family homes were up 7.3 percent when comparing February 2020 to February 2019. That National Association of Realtors reports that the national MSP has jumped 8.1 percent to $272,400. Regionally, sales across the Northeast increased 2.9 percent, and the regional MSP rose 8.2 percent to $295,400.

Concern for the health and safety of our clients and customers is paramount. With the Covid-19 outbreak, our broker staff has adapted quickly; we continue to list and show properties via phone or video. We can exchange information and execute contracts electronically. Interest rates remain low, and it is important to remember that real estate is still being transacted routinely—just differently. Reach out to us with any questions.

Newcastle Realty has had a good start to this sales year. As of the date of this report, our brokers have closed 31 transaction sides with a total volume of $6,769,000—down slightly from our same Y-T-D numbers in 2019. In comparison, the local Sotheby’s office has booked $5,767,700 from 14 sides, and Drum and Drum Real Estate has sold $2,805,500 with 10 sides. We are pleased to remain the leading real estate firm in our area.

Most of the year-to-date 2020 property sales locally have occurred in Waldoboro (18), Boothbay (15), Wiscasset (17), Jefferson (13), Bristol (15), and Whitefield (10). Slightly fewer sales have happened so far this year in Dresden (9), Boothbay Harbor (8), Damariscotta (7), Newcastle (6), and Edgecomb (5). Towns seeing even fewer sales include Westport Island (4), South Bristol (4), Nobleboro (4), and Alna (3). Just one or two 2020 sales have occurred in Southport (2), Somerville (2), and Monhegan Island (1).

There are currently 233 single-family homes for sale in Lincoln County (down from 317 in January), with 33 percent of those priced at or above $500,000. The 632 residential sales that have occurred in the past 365 days represent transactions in the range of under $100,000 (8%), $100,000-$249,999 (46%), $250,000-$499,999 (34%), $500,000-$999,999 (10%), and $1 million-plus (2%). Listing inventory remains low—it is a great time to sell and we are ready to answer your questions about the process.

The current market absorption rates for Lincoln County homes is 2.6 months (under $100,000), 2.1 months ($100,000-$249,999), 5.4 months ($250,000-$499,999), 11.2 months ($500,000-$999,999), and 21.9 months ($1 million and up). This tells us how long it would take for existing inventories to be absorbed into the market at current rates of sales if no new listings were introduced.

Newcastle Realty tracks Lincoln County and statewide sales, along with other important metrics, which keeps our brokers fully informed of current market conditions and emerging trends as they serve buyer and seller client needs. Questions or comments may be directed to Dennis Hilton, President of Newcastle Realty at dennishilton@cheneycompanies.com or 207-380-3435.

  • Sales statistics based on information from the Maine Real Estate Information System, Inc. (d/b/a Maine Listings) for the period 1/1/2020 through 04/13/2020.