Each month we report homes sales results for Maine, focusing on York and Cumberland County. For quite some time, we have said basically the same thing – inventory is extremely tight, and prices have continued to set new records. This month, we wanted to present some historical data that you might not see too often and could be interesting to those who enjoy details. In an effort to keep this brief and concise, we have included only three charts – but they really begin to be the basis of making projections going forward.
Median Percent of List Price:
From January 2016 to February 2021 prices hovered between 98 and 100 percent of list price. Things changed dramatically in February 2021, reaching a peak in June at 105%. Since then, the level of escalation has declined, as it does each year – but from a much higher base. Will this trend continue?
This chart readily shows the inventory trend since 2016. Current single-family inventory in September is 29% below 2020; 57% below 2019; and a staggering 72% below September 2016. Sometimes it is hard to wrap your head around the magnitude of this decrease.
If you ever questioned whether there was seasonality to the Maine real estate market, this chart clearly shows that there is in dramatic fashion. It represents all new listings added to the market each month. The red line reflects the high point of 2021, which is significantly below similar months dating back to 2008 – the last year we have such data available. New listings entering the market have never been lower (in September) since the 2008 – 2010 timeframe.
So what does all this mean? Our take is that it is difficult to make assessments from month-to-month data. It is better to look at things on a more macro level and keep abreast of the historical context. While the market is still strong and demand is high, the pressure to bid for homes excessively above list price is decelerating. There is also a level of buyer fatigue, as many have dropped out of the market.
As a result, while the number of homes sold in 2021 is still ahead of last year on a year-to-date basis, sales volume for the last three months is below prior year’s levels. Additionally, the number of homes that have gone pending (under contact) has also been declining during the recent quarter, indicating lower sales in the months to come,
If you are thinking of selling, there is still time to stay ahead of the curve. Let’s talk soon.
Until next time, be safe and … Imagine More!