We were recently contacted by a potential home buyer inquiring about vacation and second homes, especially those along the Maine coast. The focus was pricing – and whether the market had reached the bottom.
If we zero in on waterfront homes, it is clear that the market has improved dramatically in this segment in 2012. Through August of this year sales of homes with “owned” waterfront along either the ocean or a lake were up compared to 2011.
In the price segment of less than $500,000 sales were 562 compared to 404 representing a significant increase of 39%. Sales of waterfront homes in excess of $500,000 in 2012 were 150 compared to 127 in 2011. Although this increase of 18% was not a dramatic as the lower priced segment, it was still significant.
Pricing, however, is more difficult to interpret. The average price of a single family home sold below $500,000 was $230,112 reflecting a modest increase of just over 1%. There was much more flexibility in the higher priced segment (as would be expected) as the average price of $923,994 represented a decrease of 15%. Median pricing followed a similar trend.
The selling prices of waterfront homes also typically include the most negotiation. For both price segments the final transaction prices were just over 80% of the original median listing price. For non-waterfront homes this relationship was closer to 90%, indicating the difficulties in accurately pricing and valuing unique waterfront properties to begin with.
Thinking about a waterfront home or property in Maine and want to learn more about the different parts of the state, visit Waterfront Real Estate in Maine.