May 2020 Real Estate Market Report

Despite a pandemic-fueled wane in the sales of single-family homes, values in Maine increased by double digits last month. According to Maine Listings, Realtors sold 194 fewer homes in April 2020 compared to April 2019, which is a decrease of 15.41 percent. The median sales price (MSP) jumped 12.29 percent to $235,800, compared April 2020 to April 2019. The MSP indicates that half of the homes were sold for more and half sold for less.

The April 2020 statistics show the beginning impact of the pandemic pause on Maine’s real estate sales. Because real estate transactions take 30-45 days to close, contracts written before the pandemic have likely now been completed. Recent statistics show that Maine’s for-sale inventory is down 19 percent compared to a year ago. Activity reported by Newcastle Realty brokers indicate that buyers are plentiful and multiple offer situations are prevalent due to historic low mortgage interest rates and the constrained inventory levels. Values remain strong.

Nationally in April 2020, sales decreased 15.5 percent compared to April a year ago. The National Association of Realtors also cited a rise in April’s home prices—7.3 percent—to a national MSP of $288,700. In April 2020, the regional Northeast experienced a sales dip of 18.2 percent, while the regional MSP increased 8.7 percent to $312,500 compared to April 2019.

Newcastle Realty has had a strong start to this sales year. As of the date of this report, our brokers have closed 43 transaction sides with a total volume of $10,784,000—down slightly from our same Y-T-D numbers in 2019. In comparison, the local Sotheby’s office has booked $8,471,200 from 20 sides, and Drum and Drum Real Estate has sold $3,715,500 with 13 sides. We are pleased to remain the leading real estate firm in our area.

Most of the year-to-date 2020 property sales locally have occurred in Waldoboro (20), Boothbay (17), Wiscasset (24), Jefferson (17), Bristol (20), and Boothbay Harbor (13). Slightly fewer sales have happened so far this year in Dresden (11), Whitefield (11), Damariscotta (8), Newcastle (10), and Edgecomb (9). Towns seeing even fewer sales include Westport Island (7), South Bristol (8), Nobleboro (9), and Alna (4). Just a handful of 2020 sales have occurred in Southport (3), Somerville (4), Bremen (3), and Monhegan Island (1).

There are currently 222 single-family homes for sale in Lincoln County (down slightly from 233 in April), with 36 percent of those priced at or above $500,000. The 618 residential sales that have occurred in the past 365 days represent transactions in the range of under $100,000 (9%), $100,000-$249,999 (46%), $250,000-$499,999 (34%), $500,000-$999,999 (10%), and $1 million-plus (1%). Listing inventory remains low—it is a great time to sell and we are ready to answer your questions about the process.

The current market absorption rates for Lincoln County homes is 1.80 months (under $100,000), 1.82 months ($100,000-$249,999), 5.3 months ($250,000-$499,999), 12.4 months ($500,000-$999,999), and 27.0 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 1/1/2020 through 05/22/2020.