June 2020 Real Estate Market Report

Sales of Maine’s single-family homes eased in May, due to effects from COVID-19 and limited supply; however, value and demand for available homes remained strong. According to Maine Listings, Realtors sold 21.34 percent fewer homes in May 2020, compared to May 2019. Prices continued to rise, with a median sales price increase of 3.43 percent to $237,900. The MSP indicates that half of the homes were sold for more and half sold for less.

We are seeing greater impact on supply and demand in Maine’s real estate markets due to COVID-19. For-sale inventory is extremely tight—28 percent below a year ago; statewide, the days on market statistic for May was 17. Since March, when COVID-19 arrived, days on market statistics are down an average of 30 percent. The brokers at Newcastle Realty are guiding buyers and sellers through this unique market to help them achieve their real estate needs, while following Maine’s CDC guidelines.

The National Association of Realtors reported that sales across the United States eased 24.8 percent and the national MSP increased 2.4 percent to $287,700 comparing May 2020 to May 2019. Regionally, sales in the Northeast fell 29.9 percent compared to last May. The regional MSP rose 7.8 percent to $327,900.

Newcastle Realty has had a strong start to this sales year, despite the pandemic. As of the date of this report, our brokers have closed 55 transaction sides with a total volume of $12,899,300—down slightly from our same Y-T-D numbers in 2019. In comparison, the local Sotheby’s office has booked $8,656,200 from 21 sides, and Drum and Drum Real Estate has sold $4,077,500 with 15 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 (29), Boothbay (22), Wiscasset (32), Jefferson (20), Bristol (25), and Boothbay Harbor (20). Slightly fewer sales have happened so far this year in Dresden (13), Whitefield (17), Damariscotta (13), Newcastle (10), and Edgecomb (15). Towns seeing even fewer sales include Westport Island (9), South Bristol (10), Nobleboro (11), and Alna (8). Just a handful of 2020 sales have occurred in Southport (4), Somerville (6), Bremen (5), and Monhegan Island (1).

There are currently 278 single-family homes for sale in Lincoln County (up from 222 in May), with 35 percent of those priced at or above $500,000. The 594 residential sales that have occurred in the past 365 days represent transactions in the range of under $100,000 (8%), $100,000-$249,999 (44%), $250,000-$499,999 (36%), $500,000-$999,999 (11%), 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 1.7 months (under $100,000), 2.5 months ($100,000-$249,999), 6.3 months ($250,000-$499,999), 12.3 months ($500,000-$999,999), and 30.4 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 06/22/2020.

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.

Introducing Matterport 3D Virtual Tours

The COVID-19 Pandemic of 2020 has caused a significant adjustment to the way real estate is viewed, and bought and sold. The brokers at Newcastle Realty now follow important safety protocols and often meet with clients by phone and video chat. Paperwork and documents are signed electronically, and showings are conducted by video, or by adhering to certain distancing and disinfection standards.

In order to keep the real estate firm’s staff and clients safe while still being engaged in real estate, Newcastle Realty has continued to update their business practices in ways that support those goals. As a prime example of those efforts, Newcastle Realty has made a significant investment in Matterport, an industry leader in 3D Virtual Tour technology. 

“We have long partnered with Tyler Plummer at Maine Aerial Photography Services,” explains owner Dennis Hilton. “Tyler provides professional photos and videos of many of our property listings, and now we are working with him to offer exciting 3D Virtual Tours, detailed floor plans, and even measuring tools using sophisticated 3D mapping camera equipment.”

The Matterport 3D Virtual Tours allow a viewer to move through a home however they wish, from room Matterport Virtual Tours - Newcastle Realtyto room, and floor-to-floor, even outside onto patios and decks. It is easy to navigate and turn around to see the surrounding room features. The experience very closely resembles an actual visit to the home, but from the safety of the viewers’ remote location.

With over 20 agents, Newcastle Realty is one of the largest real estate firms in Lincoln County, serving hundreds of property sellers and buyers. While the impact of the Covid-19 virus has caused a slight slowdown in activity, their staff are still introducing new listings and placing properties under contract. Inventories are low and buyer demand remains strong, making this an excellent time to list your property for sale, even with the extra steps required for safety. Your Newcastle Realty broker is prepared to answer your questions and guide you through the process.

To learn more about how Newcastle Realty is using Matterport technology to assist clients and to market properties more effectively, please visit www.MyNewcastle.com and click on the Matterport 3D Virtual Tours button. Newcastle Realty is a member of the Cheney Financial Group, which also includes Cheney Insurance and Newcastle Vacation Rentals. They can be reached at (207) 563-1003.

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April 2020 Real Estate Market Report

February statistics released on March 20, 2020 by Maine Listings indicated a 5.75 percent increase in sales of single-family existing homes, comparing February 2020 to February 2019. The median sales price (MSP) for the 865 homes sold reached $216,900—an uptick of 8.45 percent over that same period. The MSP indicates that half of the homes were sold for more and half sold for less. Pre-pandemic February 2020 was an especially strong month for real estate sales, recording the second highest number of February sales (865) since statistics began being kept more than 20 years ago.

Nationwide, sales of single-family homes were up 7.3 percent when comparing February 2020 to February 2019. That National Association of Realtors reports that the national MSP has jumped 8.1 percent to $272,400. Regionally, sales across the Northeast increased 2.9 percent, and the regional MSP rose 8.2 percent to $295,400.

Concern for the health and safety of our clients and customers is paramount. With the Covid-19 outbreak, our broker staff has adapted quickly; we continue to list and show properties via phone or video. We can exchange information and execute contracts electronically. Interest rates remain low, and it is important to remember that real estate is still being transacted routinely—just differently. Reach out to us with any questions.

Newcastle Realty has had a good start to this sales year. As of the date of this report, our brokers have closed 31 transaction sides with a total volume of $6,769,000—down slightly from our same Y-T-D numbers in 2019. In comparison, the local Sotheby’s office has booked $5,767,700 from 14 sides, and Drum and Drum Real Estate has sold $2,805,500 with 10 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 (18), Boothbay (15), Wiscasset (17), Jefferson (13), Bristol (15), and Whitefield (10). Slightly fewer sales have happened so far this year in Dresden (9), Boothbay Harbor (8), Damariscotta (7), Newcastle (6), and Edgecomb (5). Towns seeing even fewer sales include Westport Island (4), South Bristol (4), Nobleboro (4), and Alna (3). Just one or two 2020 sales have occurred in Southport (2), Somerville (2), and Monhegan Island (1).

There are currently 233 single-family homes for sale in Lincoln County (down from 317 in January), with 33 percent of those priced at or above $500,000. The 632 residential sales that have occurred in the past 365 days represent transactions in the range of under $100,000 (8%), $100,000-$249,999 (46%), $250,000-$499,999 (34%), $500,000-$999,999 (10%), 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 2.6 months (under $100,000), 2.1 months ($100,000-$249,999), 5.4 months ($250,000-$499,999), 11.2 months ($500,000-$999,999), and 21.9 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 04/13/2020.

Our Plan to Serve You Throughout COVID-19 (Update)

At Newcastle Realty, our top priority is to keep our staff, clients, vendors, and community partners safe during the COVID-19 crisis.

On March 18, we closed our office to non-staff personnel and transitioned to meeting with clients via phone or video—many of our brokers were already working remotely. Today, we are moving all remaining support staff to work-from-home arrangements to help slow the spread of the virus.

While the way in which we are here to assist and serve your needs may look different, please be assured that we are adapting quickly to support our buyer and seller clients in creative ways. We are still here, and only a phone call, email, or video chat away.

You may still dial 207-563-1003 to speak with a duty broker or to leave a message for other staff. Additional broker contact info and property information can be found on our website. We will continue to walk clients through the purchase or sale of their home step-by-step, by phone, email, or video conference.

Property brochures and disclosures will be provided electronically, and transaction documents can be discussed over the phone and emailed for electronic signature. We can provide a virtual walk-through for you to view from the safety of your home, and we can deliver an opinion of value by video.

Given the evolving nature of the outbreak, we will be assessing the situation and adjusting our business practices on an ongoing basis and post updates as they become available.

Thank you for your understanding and cooperation as we navigate this difficult time. We appreciate your business and hope that you and your family remain healthy and safe!

 

Our Plan to Serve You Throughout COVID-19 (Coronavirus)

At Newcastle Realty, our top priority is to keep our staff, clients, and vendors safe during the COVID-19 crisis, as we look for ways to support others in our local community.

We are doing our part to reduce risk by closing our office to non-staff personnel effective March 18. If you need to meet with us, please do so via phone or video chat. While the way in which we are here to assist and serve your needs may look different, please be assured that we are still here, and only a phone call, email, or video conversation away.

You may still dial 207-563-1003 to speak with a duty broker or to leave a message for other staff. Additional broker contact info can be found here and you may still search for available properties on our website here.

Given the evolving nature of the outbreak, we will be assessing the situation on an ongoing basis and we will post updates as they become available. Thank you for your understanding and cooperation as we navigate this difficult time. We appreciate your business and hope that you and your family remain healthy and safe!

Meet Team JMZ at Newcastle Realty

Teams of Real Estate brokers are the new trend in Real Estate firms across the country, with Newcastle Realty on the forefront in this area. Lorrie Zeiner, a seasoned broker with over 35 years experience reaching from Camden to Kennebunk, became Dean Jacobs’ mentor two years ago. Dean’s business background prompted him to approach Lorrie with the strengths that collaboration of efforts would bring to the level of customer service possibilities for their clients. Soon after, Clint Miller came on board with a strong marketing background, and the three readily agreed that each of their backgrounds complimented one another.

 

Newcastle Realty, with its’ 20 full-time agents, offers an office culture of cooperation and common goals. The advantage of Team JMZ, within the Newcastle Realty firm, is being able to provide three people who are exclusively looking out for their buyers and sellers, confidentially strategizing marketing ideas, pricing, and knowledge of the properties. The three are involved with all facets of each client relationship and provide a check and balance with every transaction. There is always someone available and on call for showings. Buyers and sellers get to know Lorrie, Dean and Clint, with one of them being the point person.

Dean Jacobs, raised in Damariscotta, was part of a family business on Main Street, and is proud to uphold that tradition. As a broker at Newcastle Realty, he shares his passion for the midcoast, the people who live and work here, and the natural beauty intrinsic to this area. Clint Miller grew up in Tenants Harbor, graduating from USM in 2002. His career in business took him to Florida and Kentucky until a recent move home to the Boothbay area. He has a passion to help people and the energy to match. Lorrie Zeiner has spent her entire career in real estate because she loves selling homes. Her attention to detail and constant contact throughout transactions places her in the forefront ofthe top producing agents in the area.

Team JMZ continues to increase their volume and revenue and transactions each year contributing to Newcastle Realty’s number one spot in the Damariscotta area in 2019. Newcastle Realty is located at 87 Main Street, Damariscotta. Team JMZ can be reached at 563-1003, extension 120 or by email: teamJMZ@cheneycompanies.com. Visit MyNewcastle.com for current listings.

Newcastle Realty Finishes Strong in 2019

Newcastle Realty completed another banner year in 2019 with 168 transactions and $43 Million in sales, putting them in the forefront of the Damariscotta area market. In spite of a very tight supply of for-sale inventory, the number of homes sold during 2019 is at a statistical dead heat with 2018, Maine’s best year ever for residential real estate sales. The number of Maine homes for sale is 13 percent lower than a year ago, which impacts sales volume. Most of the year-to-date 2019 property sales locally have occurred in Waldoboro (110), Boothbay (78), Wiscasset (78), Jefferson (80), Bristol (87), Boothbay Harbor (68), and Damariscotta (50). Slightly fewer sales have happened so far this year in Westport Island (19), Bremen (29), South Bristol (32), Dresden (25), Nobleboro (35), Edgecomb (20), Whitefield (30), Southport (20) and Newcastle (35). Towns seeing about a dozen or fewer sales include Alna (15) and Somerville (7).

President Dennis Hilton credits his team of twenty for their hard work and dedication to outstanding client satisfaction. Last year Debby Schling and Kirsten Ingram were the leaders in sales, each having sales in excess of $5,700,000. Debi Fox had sales in excess of $4,400,000, Sara Rogers, in excess of $4,000,000 and Dean Jacobs, Clint Miller and Lorrie Zeiner, Team JMZ, in excess of $9,300,000.

Cheney Financial Group Recognizes Outstanding Service at Awards Dinner

Dennis Hilton, CEO of Cheney Financial Group, and Suzanne Strachan, President of Cheney Insurance, hosted the annual celebration dinner at The 1812 Farm. The spirit of cooperation, comradery, and team-work by the entire team of 35 CFG associates was recognized. CFG, comprised of Newcastle Realty, Cheney Insurance and Newcastle Vacation Rentals are the leading providers of home, auto, business and life insurance, real estate services, and vacation cottage rentals to thousands of families in this area.
Strachan recognized Hilton for 35 years of service with this family-held firm. Hilton’s father started in the business 50 years ago, joined by Hilton’s mother, Brenda, who established herself as an iconic presence in the eyes of staff and clients, and who sadly passed away this year. Strachan remarked “ As our fearless leader of the Cheney Financial Group, Dennis is cutting edge, innovative, and his vision is always full of possibilities. His positive outlook keeps us grounded and hopeful.” Also recognized for five years of solid performance, was Holly Harris, the Cheney Personal Insurance Division Team Leader.  In addition, Harris was the recipient of the 2019 CFG Presidents Award for her willingness to face challenges with determination, humor and a positive attitude.
Key Contributor Awards were given to Jasmyn Rose for her ability to adapt in a meaningful way enhancing the team at Cheney Insurance and to Clint Miller for his outstanding service to Newcastle Realty’s team of brokers. Brokers Kirsten Ingram and Debbie Schling were recognized for having the highest current sales volume to date, of $5.37 million and $5.29 million, respectively. The Spotlight Award went to Kristy Battles for the exceptional value, service and positive attitude she brings to all three CFG companies. 
Guests and partners that were recognized for their contributions to Cheney Financial Group were Kim Traina, of Jumpstart Creative; Mike Dorr and his wife Jamie, of Burgess Computers; Tori Doucette with Acadia Lending; and Skip Lemar, CFG Facilties Manager. Names of guests were drawn to receive envelopes from the famous “Wall of Cash,” door prizes and gift baskets.
The 1812 Farm provided delicious hors d’ouevres and an exceptional full course dinner. The lively evening was capped with a contest where each table was provided a box containing hardhats for all, a foreman vest, a box of spaghetti, a bag of marshmallows and masking tape. Each team was challenged to build a structure utilizing those three materials, with the highest, free standing structure, winning. At the end of the alloted time, amongst alot of laughter and creative strategies, the winning table at 49 inches was led by Bill Byrnes. 
 
Ecumenical Food Pantry was the recipient of the many non-perishable food items donated that evening.

Helping to combat hunger in Lincoln County!

In the spirit of Community Giving, employees from Cheney Financial Group volunteered to help the Rotary and Lions Clubs of Damariscotta-Newcastle fight hunger in Lincoln County. One in seven persons is hungry in Lincoln County. The bell ringing season starts each November and runs through Christmas Eve. Volunteers are the difference between an empty kettle and one that raises enough to provide a family with groceries. All donations go directly to local Lincoln County Food Banks.

Cheney Financial Group, comprised of Newcastle Realty, Cheney Insurance and Newcastle Vacation Rentals, is committed to supporting our local communities and neighbors, in a variety of ways throughout the year, through an established Charitable Giving and Community Outreach Program.