September 2020 Real Estate Market Report

Real estate sales in Maine continue a healthy, highly positive trajectory. The value of single-family existing homes jumped 17.4 percent comparing August 2020 to August 2019, reaching a median sales price of $270,000, according to Maine Listings. The MSP indicates that half of the homes were sold for more and half sold for less. Home sales increased 1.31 percent from last August.

The August statistics show strong demand for residential real estate in Maine. After the steep decline during the second quarter due to COVID-19, Maine’s Q3 positive sales to date have brought us nearly even to 2019 levels.

We are experiencing an historically low supply of homes for sale, 40 percent below a year ago. Demand is being fueled by all-time low mortgage interest rates, Maine households moving within the state, and an up-tick in out-of-state buyers seeking Maine’s quality of life and safety. In August of 2019, Maine had 482 single family homes purchased by out-of-state buyers. In August 2020, that number was 707.

The National Association of Realtors today reported an 11.0 percent increase in the sales of single-family homes nationwide in the past year. Prices for those homes rose 11.7 percent to $315,000. Regionally, sales in the Northeast increased 5.7 percent, while the regional MSP jumped 10.4 percent to $349,500.

Newcastle Realty has had a very strong first eight months of 2020, despite the pandemic. As of the date of this report, our brokers have closed 134 transaction sides with a total volume of $36,893,965—up 26% over our Y-T-D numbers in 2019. In comparison, the local Sotheby’s office has booked $25,349,100 from 59 sides, and Drum and Drum Real Estate has sold $14,221,500 with 44 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 (50), Boothbay (74), Wiscasset (62), Jefferson (46), Bristol (65), and Boothbay Harbor (45). Slightly fewer sales have happened so far this year in Dresden (25), Whitefield (30), Damariscotta (28), Newcastle (24), and Edgecomb (29). Towns seeing even fewer sales include Westport Island (17), South Bristol (30), Nobleboro (27), and Bremen (20). Just a handful of 2020 sales have occurred in Alna (10), Southport (8), Somerville (8), and Monhegan Island (2).

There are currently 203 single-family homes for sale in Lincoln County (up slightly from 200 in August), with 36 percent of those priced at or above $500,000. The 652 residential sales that have occurred in the past 365 days represent transactions in the range of under $100,000 (9%), $100,000-$249,999 (40%), $250,000-$499,999 (37%), $500,000-$999,999 (12%), and $1 million-plus (2%). 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 1.5 months (under $100,000), 2.0 months ($100,000-$249,999), 4.2 months ($250,000-$499,999), 8.4 months ($500,000-$999,999), and 16.2 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 09/22/2020.