Latest Posts

10 Aug 2017

Maine July 2017 Home Sales Down

Posted by Michael Sosnowski. No Comments

July represented the fourth consecutive month of 2017 in which single family home sales across Maine were below prior year.   While July sales were 1.2% below the same month of 2016, year-to-date sales trail 2016 by 3.8%.  The median selling price of $206.000 in July was the highest monthly result ever recorded and is up over July of 2016 by 4.1%.

Cumberland County

Single family home sales have been consistently below prior year each month in 2017, and July was no exception. For the month unit sales of 413 – 10.2% lower than July of 2016. Year-to-date sales are 12.0% below prior year. While the monthly median price of $295,000 reflected a small decrease from June, overall prices are up 8.8% over the prior year.

Condo sales are also up year-over-year. Unit sales are up 8.9% while median prices are up similarly at 7.8%.

With 1,503 single-family homes for sale, July represented the highest inventory level of 2017, yet was still 15.6% below the July of 2016. The condo inventory was 9.6% below 2016 at the end of July.

Download

Monthly Infographic – Cumberland County Overview

Selected Towns – Southern Maine YTD Sales by Town

National View

The Existing-Home Sales report for July 2017 by NAR (National Association of Realtors) is scheduled for Thursday, August 24, 2017, and we will update our website at that time.

Home sales in June slipped in June as low supply kept homes selling at a near record pace but ultimately ended up muting overall activity.  Overall sales were decreased 1.8%t to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.52 million in June from 5.62 million in May. Unlike Maine, national home sales are slightly ahead of last year (0.7%).

Total housing inventory at the end of June declined 0.5% to 1.96 million existing homes available for sale, and is now 7.1% lower than a year ago (2.11 million) and has fallen year-over-year for 25 consecutive months. Unsold inventory is at a 4.3-month supply at the current sales pace, which is down from 4.6 months a year ago.

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn
  • Google Bookmarks
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Print

Categories: Sales Statistics

4 Aug 2017

Remodeling Project That Make Sense

Posted by Michael Sosnowski. No Comments

Data is that friend who tells you like it really is…

Your home is in the perfect location and came at the perfect price – yet you are thinking about making it “More Perfect”. While any home improvement that brings you joy is priceless, not all projects create as much equity as you might expect.

This is especially true if you are thinking about selling in today’s market. Let’s get together to talk soon.

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn
  • Google Bookmarks
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Print

18 Jul 2017

Cyber Security – How Safe Are You?

Posted by Michael Sosnowski. No Comments

Did you know that more than 70% of cyber attacks are estimated to target small business?  What can you do to minimize risk and guard your home or businesses against cyber attacks?

Cyber Security Event at Maine Home Connection

Join us for a conversation with the partners of Launch Security July 27th from 5:30 to 6:30 at our office in downtown Portland.  Andrew and Rob will be sharing actionable takeaways for both and home business security to help us all feel better.

Use the link below to register:

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn
  • Google Bookmarks
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Print

13 Jul 2017

Maine Open House Listings

Posted by Michael Sosnowski. No Comments

Maine Home Connection is the only greater Portland real estate agency listing all local Open Houses this weekend – and every weekend. Find an Open House in the greater Portland area and fall in love! Our agents are here to help you.

Search … Find … Love!



It’s That Easy

To view homes, visit the directory page at: Weekly Open House. Select the town or community of interest to see all open homes, including times, directions and details.

Our agents are always available to help you find a new home you will love. If you don’t want to wait for the open house, reach out to Maine Home Connection today.  Our reputation, experience and repeat clients are proof positive that we’re the best boutique real estate agency in greater Portland, Maine.

Until next time – Image More!

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn
  • Google Bookmarks
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Print

6 Jul 2017

May 2017 Sales Update

Posted by Michael Sosnowski. No Comments

May represented the second consecutive month where single family home sales were lower in 2016 vs 2017.  Below you will find the most recent sales real estate sales statistics for Maine, with a focus on the greater Portland area.

While home sales trended downward statewide, sales in Cumberland County rebounded in May – yet were still 19% below last year.  On a year to date basis, sales are down 13%.  Much of the lower sales results have been attributed to low inventory.  Using the month of May as an example, single family inventory reached its highest level in 2008 with 4,593 properties for sale.  In 2016 this number had dropped to 3,008 and in 2017 stood at 2,528.  This represents a decrease of 45% from the high-water mark – and 16% below last year.

When it comes to pricing, May represented the 16th month out of the last 17 were current median prices outpaced those of the prior year.  The median price in Cumberland County is now 277,700, up 11%.

The percentage of homes under contract compared to inventory varies considerably by town, and those statistics are available on our website, but in Cumberland County this percentage stands at 48% compared to only 12% in 2008.
So, is inventory low – Yes it is!  Is there competition for fairly priced homes – absolutely!  Are there some homes overpriced and lingering on the market – Yes again!.

National View

Nationally, single-family home sale increased 2.7% in May.  NAR reported a nationwide median selling price (MSP) of $254,000 – a 6% increase from a year ago.  The Northeaster US experienced a sales increase of 2.6%, and the regional MSP rose 4.7% to $281.000.

Total inventory at the end of May rose 2.1% to 1.96 million existing homes available for sale, but is still 8.4% lower than a year ago (2.14 million) and has fallen year-over-year for 24 consecutive months. Unsold inventory is at a 4.2-month supply at the current sales pace, which is down from 4.7 months a year ago.

Thinking of Buying or Selling?

If you are considering selling in the near future, now is clearly the time to put you home on the market – and of course, we are the company to call………..As Ben Franklin once said: Well done is better than well said.   Until next time…..Imagine More!

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn
  • Google Bookmarks
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Print

16 Jun 2017

Five Multiple Offer Strategies

Posted by Michael Sosnowski. No Comments

Today we’re highlighting 5 of the best, most successful multiple offer strategies that really work in today’s real estate market, to ensure Maine Home Connection Buyers and Sellers end up with a purchase price that makes sense.

For would-be home buyers, competing against multiple offers to win the home of your dreams can be… more than a little stressful.  Our buyers, sellers, and friends are all curious about how best to navigate a multiple-offer real estate transaction. There’s no doubt it can be difficult if you are not prepared with the right strategies.

Southern Maine is experiencing a seller’s market. Home inventory levels are drastically low and there are not enough reasonably priced homes available to meet the demand.

This frequently leads to homes selling much quicker than normal and often well above asking. It all boils down to the basic economic principle of supply and demand. If demand is high and supply is low, prices go up.

Buying a home can be very emotional, especially when you’re competing against multiple offers. We use these strategies for our clients, and we trust they will be helpful to you, too.

1: Have Your Pre-Approval Letter Ready To Go!

Let’s start simply.  If you are looking at homes with a licensed Realtor® then you should already have a pre-approval letter in your back pocket.  When competing in a multiple offer market, it’s especially important to be prepared! The very first step in purchasing a new home is to meet with a lender, and it is best to use someone locally – and get pre-approved for a mortgage. This should be an amount that you are 100% comfortable with spending.  Too many home buyers that we meet with for the first time haven’t really given enough thought to financing.  This may seem surprising, but it is unfortunately true.

Your pre-approval amount sets the entire stage for your home search. Now you’re ready to get out there and do some serious home shopping, not just some serious home touring. The reason it’s so important to have that pre-approval letter when you do decide to write an offer (and particularly when dealing with multiple offers) is it demonstrates to a Seller that you are a serious, pre-approved buyer that actually has the financial means to buy their home. If an offer you’re competing with doesn’t have their pre-approval letter, you can see how your letter puts you in the stronger position.

Working with a LOCAL lender, especially in today’s real estate market, is more important than you might think.

2. Increase Your Earnest Money

Perhaps 80% of all Maine home buyers had no idea what earnest money was when it came time to write an offer. It’s one of those things that doesn’t get talked about all that often. The earnest money amount in an offer can be a very subtle but effective piece in the ‘multiple offer strategies’ puzzle. Typically, earnest money is between 1-2% of the overall purchase price. On a $250,000 purchase, earnest money would usually be somewhere between $2,500-$4,000 in a traditional real estate market. A Buyer pays the earnest money after their offer is accepted. If you back out or the deal falls through for a reason not covered by contingencies, the seller potentially gets to keep this money. This strategy works if you have the cash available to pay a little more earnest money to show the seller how serious you are about buying their home and winning the offer.

Ultimately, if you do end up buying the house, the Earnest Money will either be applied to your down payment or your closing costs; consider it a small down payment for your new home. Sometimes it literally comes down to just a couple thousand dollars to win the offer–especially when you are in a multiple offer scenario!

3. Be Flexible

This may sound a bit vague, so let’s expand on it.  One of the first hurdles in successfully winning a multiple offer scenario is getting the Seller to accept your offer, not the other buyer. Now that you’ve won and have the house under contract, the next few steps are the most critical in keeping the deal together and ultimately closing/purchasing the home. It’s important to remember that the seller had other options, so be as sensitive and flexible in your future negotiations as possible.

If your offer was contingent on inspection, be selective about what you ask the seller to pay for or repair. The seller is not going to be interested in spending thousands of dollars to fix a bunch of insignificant items that a buyer simply might not like or care for. In such a hot market, where the seller may have the opportunity for multiple offers, he or she may tell you to take a hike. Make sense? Respond quickly to any requests for information and be flexible if things like the closing date shift.

If you are aware of any stipulations that are of significant importance to the seller, try to accommodate them as much as possible. Remember, it’s the house you’re after, not the high efficiency washer/dryer combo or the awesome swing set in the backyard. If there are ways to accommodate the seller without giving too much, do so. And remember, don’t turn off the seller by being too demanding or overly critical of their home. It’s important to remember that, ultimately, the Buyer and Seller really have the same goal so why not be flexible with one another in an effort to reach that goal!

4. Offer More Than List Price

As the buyer, I’m sure you must be saying “There’s no way I’m paying over list price!” In the greater Portland area, as is the case in many other parts of the country, home buyers really don’t like paying the full asking price for a home; EVEN if it is perfect and EVEN if they are competing with multiple offers! The reality is, when you’re competing with multiple offers in a hot seller’s market, chances are whoever buys that house is going to pay over list price. So, if you really love the house then why not just go for it! Try not to get too caught up in the fact that you’re paying over list price. Sometimes Sellers will actually underprice a home in an effort to create a bidding war among buyers. That being said, it’s always important to remember your budget and a dollar amount you’re comfortable with spending. This is where the advice of a knowledgeable and professional Realtor® can be a tremendous asset! In a competitive market, a seller might scoff at being offered the list price for their home if comparable homes have been selling above list. Offer to pay what you think is a fair price based on the research you and your Realtor® have done.

There’s really no way of knowing what the other multiple offers are, so you have to focus on the fair market value of the home vs. a budget you’re comfortable with. We have worked with plenty of Maine home Buyers that actually decided to walk away from a home, knowing that it was in multiple offers, because they didn’t want to blow their budget out of the water. It’s easy to get caught up in “action” and forget that you have a budget. So stick to it and shop smart!

5. Include a Personal Letter with Your Offer

This is by far the MOST underutilized multiple offer strategy available.  Even if you’re not in a multiple offer situation, this is still a great strategy that might save you a little money on the front end and may make for a smoother transaction in general. Buying and/or selling a home is a very emotional process for everyone involved, and, as human beings, we all love that personal and human connection with one another. Just look at all the sharing of personal pictures and videos all over social media. So, why not embrace that connection and include a short letter introducing yourself and talking about why you love the home so much!

Chances are the person selling that home loved many of the same things you do. BOOM! …now you’ve got a connection. Often we see the “selling side” and “buying side” pit themselves against one another like they’re enemies. In every Maine Home Connection transaction, we do our best to bring buyers and sellers together – at the end of the day a Buyer and Seller really have the same goal so why not be flexible and work with one another in an effort to reach that goal? This can be especially important in a competitive, multiple offer scenario.

We hope these 5 tips will help you in the current real estate market both now and in the future. If we can assist you with buying or selling a home, please give our office a call at 207-517-3100. We look forward to connecting with you!

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn
  • Google Bookmarks
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Print

19 May 2017

Maine Homes Sales April YTD

Posted by Michael Sosnowski. No Comments

Single-family homes sales in Maine continued a recent trend in April as YTD sales volume was again lower than the record setting pace of 2016. Median selling prices, however, continue their push upward. The first graph below highlights sales for Maine, Cumber and York Counties and selected local communities.

Single Family Sales

While sales across Maine were down 3.1%, many communities in the greater Portland area are significantly behind 2016. Portland sales are down 31%, followed by several other towns in double-digits. Falmouth, Cape Elizabeth and Scarborough are all ahead of last year.

Pricing is universally strong as price appreciation in Cumberland York Counties exceeds that of Maine. Nearly every town in the greater Portland area is ahead of 2016 through the first four months of 2017.

Inventory

The graph below compares active inventory at month end versus homes under-contract (pending) for Cumberland County. Inventory is drastically lower (and much lower than the pre-bubble level). For comparison, the inventory in April 2010 was 2,337!

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn
  • Google Bookmarks
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Print

Categories: Sales Statistics, Video

17 Apr 2017

Single Family Sales Slow in March

Posted by Michael Sosnowski. No Comments

Through the first three months of 2017, sales of single family homes are … Only Human!  Following last year’s record breaking first quarter, homes sales throughout the state have slowed somewhat – reflecting a marginal increase of 1.2% statewide.  Sales in Cumberland and York counties were behind last year by 2 and 4 % respectively.

Single Family Homes

Nearly every community in the greater Portland area recorded sales decreases, many in double digits.  The graph below includes the details.  Portland, far and away the largest market, was down a significant 22%. – recording lower sales in each of the first three months of 2017.

Prices Continue to Increase – Inventory Low

Median pricing, however, continues to improve as the YTD level of $186,000 represents a 6% increase over 2016.  Pricing in Cumberland County is up 7%, as many local towns experienced record levels based on an unusually high proportion of upper end homes being sold. inventory continues to be low, with March’s being at the lowest level in 15 years.  Yes, 15 years!

Condo Sales are up

Through the first three months of 2017 condo sales in Cumberland County remained strong, up 8.7%.  The YTD median selling price of $245,000 is up 4.2%.  A word of caution, however, in that March 2017 prices were down from the highs recorded in the fourth quarter of 2016.  In 2016 median prices increase consistently all year, and first quarter 2017 are being compared to those results.

Until next time…..Imagine More!


  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn
  • Google Bookmarks
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Print

5 Apr 2017

In Search of Sunlight

Posted by Michael Sosnowski. No Comments

In case you missed it, the calendar officially turned to spring only days ago. Hi, I’m Laura Sosnowski with Maine Home Connection and I don’t know about you, but the recent cold weather and lingering dirty snow can be a little depressing.

To brighten your spirits, however, you might want to a take a few minutes to read the attached article published online by Mosaic Science: In Quest of Sunlight.

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn
  • Google Bookmarks
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Print

Categories: Random Musing, Video

16 Mar 2017

Maine Homes Sale: Feb 2017 YTD

Posted by Michael Sosnowski. No Comments

Following last year’s record performance, Maine home sales have started off 2017 slightly behind 2016. Through the first 2 months of the new year, single family home sales are down 3% statewide. To keep this in perspective, however, Jan and Feb of 2016 set all time sales records by almost 20%.

In Cumberland and York Counties, sales cooled off a bit more, with both areas down 6% year-to-date.

Yet pricing continues to tend upwards. The YTD price of $185,000 is 9% ahead of 2016. Locally (the greater Portland area) pricing continues to be even stronger, reaching an MSP (median selling price) of $268,000 in Cumberland County and $240,000 in York County.

As illustrated in the graph below, you can see there are wide fluctuations by community – often reflecting the mix of properties sold in any given month and the amount of inventory available.

Speaking of inventory, the number of homes available for sale continues to be low. In Cumberland County the number of days to sell a property stands at 45 – an 18% reduction from a year ago. The number of homes currently pending versus existing inventory is 54% – which is unusually high. In some communities, like Portland for example, this statistic is almost 70% – resulting in competition among buyers for those homes currently for sale.

Across the country, inventory levels have dropped for the 20th consecutive month vs the prior year.

Home Sales 2017 YTD

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn
  • Google Bookmarks
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Print

Categories: Sales Statistics, Video