December 2019 Real Estate Market Report

Maine single-family existing home values increased in November, while limited inventory led to a decrease in sales. According to Maine Listings, 123 fewer homes were sold in November 2019—a 7.59 percent decline from November of 2018. The statewide median sales price (MSP) hit $225,000, up 2.74 percent compared to November 2018. The MSP indicates that half of the homes were sold for more and half sold for less.

Statistics from November continue to reflect the up-and-down pattern for 2019. The reality is, even with November’s sales decline and the very tight supply of for-sale inventory, the number of homes sold during 2019 is at a statistical dead heat with 2018—Maine’s best year ever for residential real estate sales. The number of Maine homes for sale is 13 percent lower than a year ago, which impacts sales volume.

The National Association of Realtors reported a sales jump of 3.5 percent comparing November 2019 to November 2018; the national MSP rose 5.4 percent to $274,000 over that same time period. Sales in the Northeast decreased 1.4 percent while the regional MSP increased 3.9 percent to $301,700 comparing November 2019 to November 2018. We are expecting a strong winter market. Serious buyers are searching, and life transitions prompt the need to sell and buy homes year-round.

Newcastle Realty is wrapping up an excellent sales year. As of the date of this report, our brokers have closed 164 transaction sides with a total volume of $42,237,810—down slightly from our same Y-T-D numbers in 2018. In comparison, the local Sotheby’s office has booked $34,559,050 from 72 sides, and Drum and Drum Real Estate has sold $27,122,365 with 83 sides. We are pleased to remain the leading real estate firm in our area.

Most of the year-to-date 2019 property sales locally have occurred in Waldoboro (110), Boothbay (78), Wiscasset (78), Jefferson (80), Bristol (87), Boothbay Harbor (68), and Damariscotta (50). Slightly fewer sales have happened so far this year in Westport Island (19), Bremen (29), South Bristol (32), Dresden (25), Nobleboro (35), Edgecomb (20), Whitefield (30), Southport (20) and Newcastle (35). Towns seeing about a dozen or fewer sales include Alna (15) and Somerville (7).

There are currently 317 single-family homes for sale in Lincoln County (down from 380 last month), with 31 percent of those priced at or above $500,000. The 649 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 (31%), $500,000-$999,999 (10%), and $1 million-plus (2%).

The current market absorption rates for Lincoln County homes is 3.8 months (under $100,000), 3.4 months ($100,000-$249,999), 6.8 months ($250,000-$499,999), 13.1 months ($500,000-$999,999), and 31.0 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 12/24/19.