Maine Real Estate Sales Statistics | Full Year 2011
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Maine Real Estate

2011 Sales Results

Maine real estate sales in 2011 continued a trend of transition.  For the most part prices in many communities demonstrated signs of improvement while declines in volume moderated, especially over the second half of the year.

AcroMaine Home Sales Updatess the state total single family home sales in 2011 were 9,908 representing a decline of 3.7% from the previous year.  The median price of $165,000 was down 2.4%.

In Southern Maine Cumberland County recorded 2,520 home sales reflecting a 9.5% decrease from 2010 levels while pricing remained relatively flat, declining a marginal .4%.  In York County single family home sale declined only 2.7% while pricing was down 1.8%.

Each month throughout 2011 yielded great volatility in sales statistics, and in most cases it was difficult to determine whether overall improvements in the market were actually being achieved.

As the year progressed, however, it became clear that price levels were stabilizing and sales volume was steadily improving. And this was happening against a backdrop of a wild swings in the DOW, high US unemployment, a European Euro crisis and an overall lack of confidence in the global economy – not the best environment for improving home sales.

The greater Portland area is the largest real estate market in Maine, and the city of Portland represented 22% of all single family and condo sales in Cumberland County.  This percentage has remained basically unchanged for the last several years, even with the growth in many of the surrounding communities.

For 2011 the median price of a single family home in Portland remained unchanged from 2010, which is a major improvement over the last several years and the median price of a condo was up 11.4%.  Although unit sales improved over the second half of the year, single family homes sales were down 6.9% in total, falling below the 400 unit level for the first time since 1997. The peak year was 2006, when 570 sales were recorded. Inventory levels continued to remain high, with a year-end absorption rate of nine months across all price ranges.

Middle & Luxury Market Faces Challenges

In 2011 the sale of higher priced homes retrenched from 2010, although there was improvement in the second half of the year.  For the full year there were 548 single family homes sold at prices $500,000 or greater compared to 586 in 2010.  In Cumberland County sales of such properties were down 4.9%.

Sales of homes priced above $1,000,000 were also lower in 2011 compared to 2010, as only 119 properties were sold, reflecting a decrease of 10.5%.  The median price, however, was up marginally .4% to $1,300,000.

In this luxury segment there continues to be a significant amount of competition as there were 456 similarly priced single family homes on the market at year end. As is characteristic of Maine, 75% of these homes have “owned” waterfront and 55% are directly on the ocean.  listing price.

Affect of Foreclosures & Short Sales 

Although exact numbers are somewhat difficult to obtain, sales of bank owned properties (foreclosures and short sales) represented approximately 14% of the total in 2011.  Although below the national average, this was, and continues to be, a drag on overall home pricing. In Cumberland County the impact was less, as these properties represented only 10.8%; In York County it was 17.9%.

As reported by RealtyTrac, at year end 1 in every 579 homes across the US had received a foreclosure notice.  At year end a comparable figure in Maine was 1 in every 1,471.

Finally, inventory continues to remain high in nearly all Maine towns. Sellers are faced with not only prices that are pre-2005 levels, but intense competition among those homes that do go under contract. The absorption rate, which measures the amount of inventory on the market and how long it will take to sell a home, still exceeds six months in most towns and cities.

According to government data, home prices peaked nationally in the second quarter of 2005. The rate of appreciation began slowly dropping until it turned negative in the summer of 2007 for the first time in 13 years.  In 2005 the median sale price in Cumberland County was $250,000 and has continued to decline to its current level of $224,900 – the lowest point of the last six years, reflecting a cumulative decrease of 10.4%. 

Local Information Available 

As always, real estate continues to be extremely local and very specific.  Towns, neighborhoods, school districts and specific home types all vary considerably in this difficult market.  Understanding the differences is critical to any buying or selling decision. View our commentary on the selected local towns or request a customized report.

As always real estate continues to be extremely local and very specific.  Cities, towns, neighborhoods, school districts and specific property types all vary considerably in this difficult market. 

Understanding the differences is critical to any buying or selling decision. View our commentary on the selected local towns or request a customized report.

NL_ReprtDownload prior and current year homes sales statistics. If you do not find what you are looking for, we can prepare custom reports.

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