May 2018 Market Update Report

Tighter inventory in the single-family existing home real estate market has led to an uptick in sales prices and home sales. According to Maine Listings, 1,201 homes were sold in April—an 8.59 percent increase compared to April of 2017. Sales prices are also on the rise; a median sales price of $200,000 represents a jump of 8.11 percent comparing April 2018 to April 2017. The MSP indicates that half of the homes were sold for more and half for less.

The April statistics show continued high volume and confidence in home ownership. With limited for-sale inventory and tight markets in many areas of Maine, we’re seeing increased sales prices. Buyers are adjusting to the market conditions, choosing different commuting distances, and including larger down payments to keep their mortgages affordable and provide housing expense stability over the long-term.

Nationwide, sales decreased 1.6 percent over the past year. The National Association of REALTORS today released statistics showing a 5.5 percent increase in the national MSP to $259,900. The regional Northeast experienced an 11 percent dip in sales, while the regional MSP rose 2.8 percent to $275,000.

Newcastle Realty has had a strong start to the 2018 selling season. As of May 24, 2018, our brokers have closed 59 transaction sides with a total volume of $13,981,201—a 3 percent increase over our same Y-T-D sales in 2017. By comparison, Tindal and Callahan has posted 39 sides for $9,219,471 in volume, and Drum and Drum Real Estate has sold $5,924,000 with 16 sides.

Most of the year-to-date 2018 property sales in the local area have occurred in Waldoboro (58), Wiscasset (69), Boothbay (75), Boothbay Harbor (50), and Bristol (60). Slightly fewer sales have happened so far this year in Jefferson (49), Damariscotta (38), Edgecomb (30), Westport Island (24), Whitefield (28), Nobleboro (25), Bremen (15), Dresden (20), and Newcastle (24). Towns showing less than a dozen sales include South Bristol (10), Somerville (10), Alna (6), Southport (6), and Monhegan Island (1).

There are currently 374 single family homes for sale in Lincoln County (up from 318 last month), with 29 percent of those priced at or above $500,000. The 543 residential sales that have occurred in the past 365 days represent transactions in the range of under $100,000 (9%), $100,000-$249,999 (52%), $250,000-$499,999 (28%), $500,000-$999,999 (9%), and $1 million-plus (2%).

The current market absorption rates for Lincoln County homes is 3.5 months (under $100,000), 5.2 months ($100,000-$249,999), 10.3 months ($250,000-$499,999), 21.6 months ($500,000-$999,999), and 30 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 5/24/18.