October 2020 Real Estate Market Report

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With historically low interest rates and more buyers than sellers, sales of Maine single-family existing homes increased 22.78 percent comparing September 2020 to September 2019. According to statistics released by Maine Listings, the median sales price (MSP) for homes sold in September 2020 rose 19.56 percent to $273,500, compared to September 2019. The MSP indicates that half of the homes were sold for more and half sold for less.

Demand is being powered by historically-low mortgage interest rates combined with the allure of Maine’s quality of life and response to COVID-19 from across the country, while the supply of for-sale properties also remains historically low. With more buyers than sellers in most markets, we are seeing strong competition, faster sales, and increasing pricing. Typically, about 25 percent of home purchases in Maine are made by out-of-state buyers, and we’re seeing that percentage increase to around 33 percent. In September of 2019, Maine had 445 single family homes purchased by out-of-state buyers. In September 2020, that number was 735.

Across the country, sales also increased by double-digits. The National Association of Realtors reports that sales nationwide are up 21.8 percent comparing September 2020 to September 2019, and the national MSP reached $316,200 in September 2020—a rise of 15.2 percent over September 2019. In the regional Northeast, sales of single-family existing homes jumped 22.9 percent, and the regional MSP of $354,600 reflects a 17.8 percent increase.

Newcastle Realty has had an exceptionally strong sales year, despite the pandemic. As of the date of this report, our brokers have closed 168 transaction sides with a total volume of $48,943,365—up 57% over our Y-T-D numbers in 2019. In comparison, the local Sotheby’s office has booked $34,057,600 from 75 sides, and Drum and Drum Real Estate has sold $18,741,100 with 55 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 (59), Boothbay (86), Wiscasset (75), Jefferson (64), Bristol (82), and Boothbay Harbor (59). Slightly fewer sales have happened so far this year in Dresden (30), Whitefield (32), Damariscotta (33), Newcastle (29), and Edgecomb (35). Towns seeing even fewer sales include Westport Island (22), South Bristol (33), Nobleboro (33), and Bremen (23). Just a handful of 2020 sales have occurred in Alna (12), Southport (13), Somerville (10), and Monhegan Island (2).

There are currently just 190 single-family homes for sale in Lincoln County (down from 203 in September), with 37 percent of those priced at or above $500,000. The 698 residential sales that have occurred in the past 365 days represent transactions in the range of under $100,000 (8%), $100,000-$249,999 (37%), $250,000-$499,999 (39%), $500,000-$999,999 (13%), and $1 million-plus (3%). Listing inventory remains super 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 1.6 months (under $100,000), 1.8 months ($100,000-$249,999), 3.3 months ($250,000-$499,999), 6.1 months ($500,000-$999,999), and 15.4 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 1/1/2020 through 10/22/2020.