March 2019 Market and Sales Update

Sales of single-family existing homes in Maine eased slightly, while prices rose 2.85 percent comparing February 2019 to February 2018. The Maine Association of Realtors released statistics indicating a 0.49 percent decline in sales during the month of February 2019 compared to February 2018. The median sales price for the 818 homes sold statewide reached $200,000. The MSP indicates that half of the homes were sold for more and half sold for less.

Conversations with Realtors across Maine and a review of the statistics indicate that we may be shifting to a more balanced real estate market. Sales volume over the past few months has shown decreases compared to figures from a year ago. However, for-sale inventory continues to be tight—four percent lower than February of 2018. While slightly decreasing, the February 2019 data shows a comfortable pace—the third highest February sales volume since 2011.

According to the National Association of Realtors, sales across the country were down 1.4 percent while the national MSP of $251,400 represents a 3.6 percent increase. Regionally, sales in the Northeast increased 1.5 percent and the MSP rose 3.8 percent to $272,900.

Newcastle Realty has had a good start to 2019. As of March 22, 2019, our brokers have closed 25 transaction sides with a total volume of $5,760,130—down from our same Y-T-D sales in 2018. By comparison, Tindal & Callahan has booked $4,394,000 from 17 sides and Drum and Drum Real Estate has sold $3,023,500 with 14 sides. We are pleased to remain the #1 real estate firm in our area.

Most of the year-to-date 2019 property sales in the local area have occurred in Waldoboro (15), Wiscasset (10), Boothbay (15), Jefferson (10), and Bristol (11). Slightly fewer sales have happened so far this year in Damariscotta (8), Westport Island (5), Boothbay Harbor (8), Bremen (5), South Bristol (4), Dresden (5), Edgecomb (4), Nobleboro (6), and Newcastle (5). Towns seeing just one or two sales are Alna (2) and Whitefield (2). Those that have yet to show any sales include Southport, Somerville, and Monhegan Island.

There are currently 245 single family homes for sale in Lincoln County (down from 254 last month), with 32 percent of those priced at or above $500,000. The 620 residential sales that have occurred in the past 365 days represent transactions in the range of under $100,000 (9%), $100,000-$249,999 (49%), $250,000-$499,999 (31%), $500,000-$999,999 (9%), and $1 million-plus (2%).

The current market absorption rates for Lincoln County homes is 3.0 months (under $100,000), 2.6 months ($100,000-$249,999), 5.5 months ($250,000-$499,999), 11.3 months ($500,000-$999,999), and 26.4 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 3/22/19.