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Maine Realtors forecast 2022 after 'never-before-seen' price hike last year

The Maine Association of Realtors released its data on home sales.

MAINE, USA — Demand for homes in Maine is strong, and a lack of options is driving up prices, according to the Maine Association of Realtors.

The association presented its 2021 homebuying statistics, stating its members sold 20,401 units — 2.4% more than in 2020. Meanwhile, the median home sale price rose 16.8% to $299,000 by year’s end.

Josh Fifield of the Maine Real Estate and Development Association said the market usually finds its level, but something has to give in the year to come.

“We’re at a crossroads from a supply and demand crunch,” he said during a Tuesday interview. “There’s a lot of demand for housing in the state of Maine, and limited supply is what we’re talking about.”

The weekend prior, MEREDA held its annual forecasting conference for members to share results and ideas for the days ahead.

Dava Davin founded Portside Real Estate Group and dealt with properties in and around Maine’s densest cities and sought-after seascapes. She was one of a dozen speakers at the conference and spoke with NEWS CENTER Maine on Tuesday at her Falmouth office.

“This is the most dramatic growth we have ever seen,” she said. “This is much higher than we saw in the real estate boom back in 2007.”

Existing house inventory is low. Davin, Fifield, and Tanya Emery, with the city of Bangor, hope that spurs new development outside congested cities into its sparse rural communities.

State and federal tax credits are available to developers of affordable housing projects, adding incentives.

“We’re now seeing that those supply chains have relaxed a bit,” Emery said of shortages plaguing suppliers and builders alike during the pandemic. “You’re able to get those materials more readily than you were before 18 months ago. The prices are not what they were pre-pandemic, and they’re not going to be, but we certainly are at a point where we can get supplies. You can generally find contractors.”

While the realtors say the market should level off, Davin says “level” still slants upward.

“We’re gonna be in this competitive market for quite a while,” she said. “Will prices go up 20% year after year? Absolutely not. But will they go up 3%? Will they go up 5%? Absolutely.”

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