Are You Ready for Maine’s 2021 Real Estate Market?
Maine’s real estate market was already reporting higher-than-average prices on residential properties before the pandemic, but the demand for homes in the state exploded once the pandemic took hold of the country. The state was a seller’s market for several years heading into 2020, and now home sale prices have risen by over 7.0% on average, compared to just 4.0% the previous year. And why not? Americans all over the northeast conjure up images of a majestic life in Maine, and many look to flee big cities for life on Maine’s coasts.
So, entering 2021, what should Maine real estate agents expect?
2021 Maine Real Estate Outlook: Hot
Home sale prices in Maine increased throughout 2020, despite the initial lulls in spring. The median home sale price rose to $273,500 in September, an increase of 19.6%. The main driver behind this price jump was the lack of inventory in the state. In August 2020, there were 40.0% fewer homes listed compared to August 2019, yet home sales were up 31.0% year-over-year in November 2020. The result of low inventory has increased homebuyers’ radar for homes, bringing lots of competition to rural markets like Androscoggin County and Lincoln County. As such, 2021 is expected to be a seller’s market as the year unfolds.
While Maine’s rental prices did not increase year-over-year, the state’s rental prices have increased steadily over the last three years, around 4.2%, which is below the national average of 6.8%. This can be seen as both good and bad, what’s important is that rent did not decrease due to the pandemic and changes put on the rental market.
Meanwhile, Maine’s 1.0% delinquency rate is just above the national average of 0.8%, thanks in large part to the strain put on residents during the pandemic. Maine’s unemployment rate peaked around 10.4% in April of last year, which is one of the highest rates the state has seen since 1990. Currently, the unemployment rate is under 5.0% and trending downward as the state’s economy re-opens. Tourism and fishing were some of the hardest-hit industries within the state, and there’s hope that they’ll rebound as COVID-19 vaccinations increase.
2020 Maine Real Estate Market Data
|Zillow Home Value Index||$269,753|
|1-Year Change on Home Values||+10.5%|
|1-Year Change on Rent Prices||0.0%|
|Delinquent on Mortgages||1.0%|
|Buyer’s or Seller’s Market||Seller’s|
Market Insights for Maine
Home sales in 2020 were the highest in Maine’s history, showcasing just how hot the market is currently. A third of home sales in November 2020 was enacted by buyers from other states, leading to a record high 31.0% increase in homes sold compared to November 2019. The median sale price is ~$270,000, which is an increase of 20.0% from last year’s figure.
Relatedly, Maine has seen steady growth in its population and home appreciation rates. While plenty of new residents are coming from New York, they’re not the only ones competing in this hot market. Dava Davin, principal and broker with Portside Real Estate Group in Falmouth says they are seeing buyers primarily coming from New York, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Texas, California, and Florida in a big city exodus -- and it’s no surprise why. Here's how Maine stacks up against the rest of the nation:
- First in lobster harvesting
- First in toothpick production
- Second highest moose population
- Third in low crime and corrections
The housing market is expected to continue to be hot in 2021, driving competition and bidding wars. This will put pressure on you as a real estate professional to navigate the market and find clients their dream home to accommodate their needs. Homebuyers will need to be quick and decisive with their choices. Be prepared for a busy few months before the seasonally hot months. The added competition will put a strain on both your clients and yourself, so be ready to work hard and help your community!
Take On 2021 With the Best Maine Real Estate Courses From The CE Shop
Are you struggling with the National portion of your licensing exam? With The CE Shop’s Exam Prep Edge, you can pass your licensing exam the first time around. Or keep going strong with one of our comprehensive, 100% online Continuing Education packages. Want to stay up to date on everything in Maine? Join the New England Real Estate Facebook Group!