August 2019 Real Estate Market Update

Sales of single-family existing homes in Maine remain stable and positive. Maine Listings today reported a 0.16 percent rise in sales comparing July 2019 to July 2018. The median sales price for the 1,866 homes sold in July reached $230,000, an increase of 2.22 percent compared to July 2018. The MSP indicates that half of the homes were sold for more and half sold for less.

For-sale inventory has crept up slightly, though competition for entry-level homes remains high. With an increase in available listings and very affordable mortgage interest rates, we expect markets to remain steady.

According to the National Association of Realtors, sales across the country rose 1.0 percent in July. The national MSP increased 4.5 percent to $284,000. Regionally, sales in the Northeast dipped 4.3 percent in the past year, and the MSP reached $305,800—down one percent. Sales volume has been up-and-down over the first seven months of 2019 and is running only 1.6 percent below the comparable time period for 2018, Maine’s record-breaking year. Real estate continues to be a great long-term financial investment.

Newcastle Realty has experienced a very good first half of 2019. As of the date of this report, our brokers have closed 96 transaction sides with a total volume of $22,981,835—down slightly from our same Y-T-D sales in 2018. By comparison, the local Sotheby’s office has booked $16,385,870 from 46 sides, and Drum and Drum Real Estate has sold $15,530,710 with 59 sides. We are pleased to remain among the leading real estate firms in our area.

Most of the year-to-date 2019 property sales locally have occurred in Waldoboro (64), Boothbay (53), Wiscasset (43), Jefferson (48), Bristol (44), Boothbay Harbor (33), and Damariscotta (35). Slightly fewer sales have happened so far this year in Westport Island (14), Bremen (16), South Bristol (20), Dresden (14), Southport (12), Nobleboro (18), Edgecomb (14), Whitefield (16) and Newcastle (23). Towns seeing just single-digit sales are Alna (8) and Somerville (3).

There are currently 446 single-family homes for sale in Lincoln County (down slightly from 452 last month), with 30 percent of those priced at or above $500,000. The 635 residential sales that have occurred in the past 365 days represent transactions in the range of under $100,000 (8%), $100,000-$249,999 (49%), $250,000-$499,999 (32%), $500,000-$999,999 (9%), and $1 million-plus (2%).

The current market absorption rates for Lincoln County homes is 3.9 months (under $100,000), 5.4 months ($100,000-$249,999), 9.6 months ($250,000-$499,999), 18.9 months ($500,000-$999,999), and 37.3 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 1/1/19 through 8/22/19.