August 2018 Market and Sales Update

Maine experienced solid gains in both sales prices and sales volume for single-family home sales during the month of July. Maine Listings reported that 1,864 homes changes hands last month—an increase of 9.65 percent from the same period last year—and the median sales price jumped 9.22 percent to $225,000. The MSP indicates that half of the homes were sold for more and half for less.

For-sale inventory is coming onto the market, but statewide we’re seeing 12 percent fewer homes for sale than a year ago. Pricing is related to these market forces; home prices continue to rise, which is an advantage for current homeowners looking to build equity, but rising prices can become an obstacle for first-time buyers. In some Maine markets, price gains are outpacing income growth because of consistently low for-sale inventory levels.

Nationally, sales dipped 1.2 percent in the past year. According to data released today by the National Association of Realtors, the national MSP increased 4.6 percent to $272,300 in July. The Northeast experienced a 1.5 percent sales decrease, while the regional MSP jumped 6.8 percent to $309,700.

Newcastle Realty has had a strong first half of the 2018 selling season. As of August 22, 2018, our brokers have closed 106 transaction sides with a total volume of $25,396,201—up 4.6 percent over our same Y-T-D sales in 2017. By comparison, Tindal and Callahan has posted 81 sides for $23,488,771 in volume, Drum and Drum Real Estate has sold $15,817,465 with 46 sides, and Sotheby’s Legacy Properties has booked $15,037,650 from 34 sides. We are proud to remain the #1 firm in Lincoln County.

Most of the year-to-date 2018 property sales in the local area have occurred in Waldoboro (60), Wiscasset (54), Boothbay (43), Jefferson (32), and Bristol (41). Slightly fewer sales have happened so far this year in Damariscotta (28), Boothbay Harbor (27), Edgecomb (18), Westport Island (20), Whitefield (15), Nobleboro (21), and Newcastle (22). Towns showing around a dozen sales include Bremen (13), South Bristol (13), Southport (10), and Dresden (12). Towns seeing just single digit sales are Somerville (9), Alna (3), and Monhegan Island (1).

There are currently 456 single family homes for sale in Lincoln County (up slightly from 446 last month), with 30 percent of those priced at or above $500,000. The 621 residential sales that have occurred in the past 365 days represent transactions in the range of under $100,000 (12%), $100,000-$249,999 (48%), $250,000-$499,999 (29%), $500,000-$999,999 (10%), and $1 million-plus (1%).

The current market absorption rates for Lincoln County homes is 2.9 months (under $100,000), 6.1 months ($100,000-$249,999), 10.3 months ($250,000-$499,999), 18.2 months ($500,000-$999,999), and 59.5 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 1/1/18 through 8/22/18.