For the third consecutive month of 2016, single family home sales in Maine exceeded prior year results. YTD sales are up and impressive 15.2%. Sales in Cumberland County are up 12.9% over the same time period. As a point of reference, sales in the first quarter of 2015 were at their highest level since 2005; and now essentially a new record level has been achieved.
The median selling price (MSP) continues to trend up as well, recording YTD gains of 5.3% and 9.0% across Maine and Cumberland County respectively.
The graph below includes sales statistics for many communities in the greater Portland area. Most have recorded unit increases year-over-year, with the only exceptions being South Portland, Cape Elizabeth, Gorham and Harpswell. Pricing, however, continues to be much more unstable as six towns reported MSP decreases – four of which were greater than 10%.
Price fluctuations by town have a tendency to confuse what is happening in the market. Understanding the dynamics in each price segment is important to making buying or selling decisions. For example, large price variations in Falmouth or Yarmouth are more reflective of changes in the mix of homes being sold rather than dramatic movement in the median selling price.
In Cumberland County homes priced above $500,000 increased by two in 2016 (20 vs 18) yet the MSP of these properties declined by approximately 1%. Not surprisingly, homes priced below $250,000 increased 22.8% while the MSP of those homes improved 10.4% – both above the median level for both Maine and Cumberland County.
Inventory continues to be low. Homes under contract in March represented 52% of all available inventory – the highest level in a very long time. New homes coming on the market, especially in the lower price segments, can expect to go under contract quickly (assuming they are market ready). The inventory of higher priced homes is more competitive and buyers have more choices, leading to a longer time on market and more price pressure.
MaineHomeConnection.com is updated each month with the latest sales statistics. You can access this information by town at Local Communities, or try our Interactive Sales Chart. If you don’t see what you are looking for, we can prepare a custom report for you.