MAINE, USA — Home sales are booming across the country, and with the increased demand prices are rising, Maine seems to be amplified. Corelogic, which studies the home price index, says Maine ties for third in the country for the highest rate of increase in home prices.
While the national median sales price rose 14 percent from January to January, in Maine the increase was 18.3. That according to the National Association of Realtors and the Maine Association of Realtors.
The COVID era buying boom is being fueled in no small part by out-of-state buyers looking to escape to Maine. Whether they are buying primary homes or second homes they seem to be set on being within driving distance of family in New England.
Holly Mitchell with the Abode Group at Keller Williams said multiple offers are common now. Offers are coming in well above asking in this competitive market. Mitchell has seen offers as much as $100,000 over the asking price.
“We've seen prices go up year-over-year and seen the number of out-of-state buyers go from one in four to one in three. That is a huge change in a space of [a couple of months], probably from June to December of last year,” she said.
The Maine Association of Realtors numbers from Lincoln County show an astounding 47 percent increase in the median home prices there from the last quarter of 2019 to the last quarter of 2020.
Another example of the startling increase in home prices is in Scarborough, where a median price of a home was $445,000 in January of last year. This January the median price is $625,000.
As for where the market is going from here, “The crystal ball is murky,” Mitchell said.
It’s difficult to determine if this is a bubble and prices will drop when the pandemic is over, or if prices will just level out. One thing is certain though: out-of-state buyers are discovering the beauty and value of Maine real estate, and that is driving up prices for everyone.