“Do not assume anything Obi-Wan. Clear your mind must be if you are to discover the real villains behind this plot.” – Yoda
For the third consecutive year, Maine home sales set a new sales record in 2017 as 17,796 single family homes were sold, representing an increase of .9% over 2016 when total volume was 17,641.
As a point of comparison, sales in 2015 were 15,868. Homes sales have increased for six consecutive years and have been up annually each year except two since the historic low of 9,782 in 2008 – at which time they had declined an unprecedented 19% from the year before.
While single family sales continued to grow statewide in 2017, sales in the southern part of the state, specifically in Cumberland and York Counties, experienced surprisingly different results. Sales in York County were unchanged from 2016 to 2017 as 3,149 units were sold each year. Sales in Cumberland County declined 3.8%. As the graph at the end of this report illustrates, nearly every community in the greater Portland area experienced sales declines in 2017 – some in double digits. For example, Portland, eclipsed 600 annual single-family homes sales for the first time in history in 2016, recorded a decline of 15% in 2017.
The YTD (Year-to-Date) median single-family price of $200,000 represented a 5.3% increase over 2016. It was the highest year-end level since
2007, when $194,000 was achieved. Overall, pricing was up in 15 of Maine’s 16 counties. The highest single month was August at $206,745,
followed by September and October at $206,500. Each month of 2017 was higher than 2016. Between 2007 and 2011 median prices declined each year, reaching their lowest level in 2011 at $165,000. From 2012 onward, pricing has increased ever year, with one exception – 2014.
Throughout 2017 media outlets across the country reported that home inventory levels were low and Maine was no exception. Beginning in Januar
y 2017, total inventory available was 20% lower than in 2016, but as the year progressed inventory increased, ending the year only 10% below the prior year.
Waterfront properties of all kinds are an important part of Maine real estate – whether as a permanent residence or a vacation home. Sales of oceanfront properties (owned waterfront) increased from 537 in 2016 to 545 in 2017. The median price also increased from $507,000 in 2016 to
$537,500 in 2017, reversing a trend from previous years of declines in this market segment. This group of properties were on the market for 98 days, selling at 89% of their original list price. Inventory was considerably lower than prior years, contributing to higher overall selling prices.
Complete Report Available:
A more comprehensive report is available on our website at: 2017 Real Estate Update. This report includes more details by community, a condo update and a comparison of Maine to the rest of the country and the Northeast.