March 2018 Market and Sales Update

Single-family existing home values in Maine continue to rise, and sales have remained in healthy territory. Maine Listings today reported that 822 homes changed hands in February, an increase of 5.93 percent compared to February 2017. The median sales price (MSP) for homes sold reached $194,450, up 8.03 percent, comparing February 2018 to February 2017. The MSP indicates that half of the homes were sold for more and half for less.

Now is a great time to list your property, because buyers are searching for homes in anticipation of spring. Realtors are reporting that multiple offer situations are common in areas that are at full employment. In Maine’s rural areas, buyers are more cautious, but they are finding great values.

According to the National Association of Realtors, sales of single-family existing homes nationwide were up 1.8 percent in February, and the national MSP of $243,400 represents a 5.9 percent increase from February 2017. Regionally, February sales in the Northeast dipped 7.2 percent, while the regional MSP increased 3.6 percent to $258,900 compared to February 2017.

Newcastle Realty has had a very strong start to the 2018 selling season. As of March 21, 2018, our brokers have closed 32 transaction sides with a total volume of $8,069,001—a 37% increase over our same Y-T-D sales in 2017. By comparison, Tindal and Callahan has posted 24 sides for $6,208,000 in volume, and Drum and Drum Real Estate has sold $2,531,500 with eight sides.

Most of the early 2018 property sales in the local area have occurred in Waldoboro (11), Jefferson (8), Wiscasset (9), Boothbay (14), and Bristol (10). Just a few sales have happened so far this year in Boothbay Harbor (6), Damariscotta (4), Edgecomb (2), Nobleboro (2), Bremen (4), Dresden (2), and Newcastle (4). Towns showing just one or two sales include South Bristol, Westport Island, Somerville, and Whitefield, and no 2018 sales have been posted yet in Alna or Southport.

There are currently 310 single family homes for sale in Lincoln County (down from 325 last month), with 28 percent of those priced at or above $500,000. The 619 residential sales that have occurred in the past 365 days represent transactions in the range of under $100,000 (13%), $100,000-$249,999 (50%), $250,000-$499,999 (26%), $500,000-$999,999 (9%), and $1 million-plus (2%).

The current market absorption rates for Lincoln County homes is 2.5 months (under $100,000), 3.9 months ($100,000-$249,999), 8.1 months ($250,000-$499,999), 14.8 months ($500,000-$999,999), and 20.3 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 1/1/18 through 3/21/18.