September 2018 Market and Sales Update

Strong sales continue in Maine’s single-family existing home market. According to Maine Listings, REALTORS sold 2,072 homes in August, equaling a 5.88 percent sales increase compared to August 2017. The median sales price (MSP) for those homes increased 6.80 percent to $220,000. The MSP indicates that half of the homes were sold for more and half for less.

The fourth quarter is a strong time for real estate transactions. Currently, there are more than 10,000 active for-sale residential listings statewide, with more coming onto the market every day. Buyers and sellers want to be settled before the holidays and take advantage of any tax benefits prior to year’s end.

Nationally, sales dipped 1.0 percent over the past year, while the MSP increased 4.9 percent to $267,300. The regional Northeast experienced a 2.7 percent sales decrease, and the MSP rose 2.8 percent to $292,800. REALTORS across Maine report that the availability of for-sale inventory continues to slow prospective buyers, yet sales through the first eight months of 2018 are nearly four percent ahead of the same time period in 2017. To date, 2018 has been a banner year for real estate.

Newcastle Realty has had a strong 2018 selling season. As of September 21, 2018, our brokers have closed 121 transaction sides with a total volume of $29,385,201—up 3.6 percent over our same Y-T-D sales in 2017. By comparison, Tindal and Callahan has posted 98 sides for $31,469,771 in volume, Drum and Drum Real Estate has sold $18,554,665 with 57 sides, and Sotheby’s Legacy Properties has booked $17,431,050 from 41 sides. We are proud to remain a leading firm in Lincoln County.

Most of the year-to-date 2018 property sales in the local area have occurred in Waldoboro (71), Wiscasset (72), Boothbay (52), Jefferson (36), and Bristol (56). Slightly fewer sales have happened so far this year in Damariscotta (30), Boothbay Harbor (32), Edgecomb (19), Westport Island (21), Whitefield (21), Nobleboro (23), and Newcastle (27). Towns showing around a dozen-plus sales include Bremen (15), South Bristol (17), Southport (12), and Dresden (13). Towns seeing just single digit sales are Somerville (9), Alna (3), and Monhegan Island (1).

There are currently 435 single family homes for sale in Lincoln County (down from 456 last month), with 29 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 (11%), $100,000-$249,999 (48%), $250,000-$499,999 (29%), $500,000-$999,999 (10%), and $1 million-plus (2%).

The current market absorption rates for Lincoln County homes is 3.6 months (under $100,000), 5.8 months ($100,000-$249,999), 9.6 months ($250,000-$499,999), 17.4 months ($500,000-$999,999), and 54.0 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 1/1/18 through 9/21/18.