Maine Waterfront Real Estate Prices and Sales - 2009
Owning oceanfront real estate in Maine is more than just a home or lot – it is an attitude, or more correctly a lifestyle. The ocean is synonymous with Maine and our outdoors persona.
Searches for waterfront property and corresponding questions are the leading inquires we get from our website. In most cases we have found that when people begin to consider waterfront homes in Maine they often don’t have a good feel for geography (just how big Maine is) and what the prices are like. There is often a misconception that owning oceanfront real estate in Maine is inexpensive. Although it is affordable compared to many other parts of the country, prices are still high.
That being said, the environment has indeed changed. During the height of the market in 2005 through the middle of 2007 waterfront properties were in great demand and prices were at historic levels. Since then the cooling off process has been dramatic, yet sales are still happening, albeit at a reduced rate and at lower prices.
In 2005, through the first three-quarters of the calendar year, there were 263 homes and condos sold in Maine that included “owned” oceanfront. The number of sales declined each year - and stands at 129 in 2009. That is a reduction of 49%. Pricing has similarly declined from a median sales price of $700,000 in 2006 to the current level of $520,000.
During this time period there have been some record high sales, including one in Tremont in 2007 at $7,200,000. In 2007 there were 5 sales recorded over $4,000,000. This has dropped to one in both 2008 and 2009 above this threshold level.
That being said, sales activity for all oceanfront homes has improved dramatically over the last several months, as evidenced by an increase in “pending” properties (currently under contract, awaiting closing). There are currently 49 such properties across the state.
Buyers, however, are still in a strong position as there are 811 oceanfront properties listed for sale, 267 of these priced above $1,000,000.
In southern Maine, specifically Cumberland and York counties, there are 216 oceanfront properties on the market. Only 37 are listed below $500,000; 73 between $500,000 and $1,000,000; 70 between $1,000,000 and $2,000,000 and 36 greater than $2,000,000.
To date this year there have been 64 sales at a median price of $621,877, which were discounted 9% from their last list price. 20 of the 64 sales were in Harpswell. There are currently 19 properties pending.
York and Cumberland counties represent 49.6% of all oceanfront home sales in 2009 and 39.6% of all pending sales.
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