Maine Real Estate Market Active
Fueled by low interest rates and high demand for property, Maine’s real estate values increased 7.93 percent in January, over the same month in 2004.
According to the Maine Real Estate Information System, realtors sold a total of 733 homes across the state during January 2005, revealing a 1.95 percent increase in sales. The median sales price for those homes hit $182,300, up from $168,900 in January 2004. The median sales price indicates that half of the homes were sold for more and half sold for less.
Nationally, sales in January were up 13.7 percent over last year. According to the National Association of Realtors, the median sales price reached $189,000, an increase of 10.5 percent from last January’s price of $171,000.
On a regional scale, NAR reported real estate sales in the Northeast jumped 11.2 percent in January. The median sales price increased 9.5 percent to $231,000.
As for Maine’s real estate trends, Alan Peoples, president of Home Sellers in South Portland, has seen “more of the same. We have an active market driven by continually low interest rates coupled with the influx of out-of-state buyers who still perceive Cumberland County as a viable place to live. Since most of these buyers are coming from areas with higher price points, people are selling their current homes, coming here, buying homes and still have money left in their pocket.”
Peoples’ clients have cited solid reasons for choosing Maine real estate; buyers value “safety, a simpler life, a good-size city with a plethora of amenities that usually only larger cities had, [all located] on the eastern seaboard. Greater Portland is an extremely livable area, close to the ocean and lakes, with little serious crime, where one can raise a family.”
The big question is whether the positive real estate values and trends will continue. Peoples reported, “Most of the factors are positive – interest rates, unemployment, employment growth, consumer confidence and inflation. The only cloud on the horizon is the housing affordability index, which sadly is increasing. Even so, the low interest rates keep things moving forward.”