December 2020 Real Estate Market Update

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Low for-sale inventory and high demand for Maine’s lifestyle has driven real estate sales and values into double-digit gains. Today, Maine Listings reported that 1,965 single-family existing homes changed hands in November—a rise of 31.17 percent compared to November 2019. Values also increased 20 percent to a median sales price (MSP) of $270,000, comparing November 2020 to November 2019. The MSP indicates that half of the homes were sold for more and half sold for less.

Residential real estate activity in Maine is still crazy-busy. In most markets across the state, Realtors are reporting multiple offer situations on move-in ready listings. The increased competition for historically low for-sale inventory availability is resulting in higher prices. January through November sales are 7.9 percent ahead of the same time period for 2019—Maine’s best year ever. One-third of November’s sales involved out-of-state buyers, compared to one-fourth during November of 2019.

Nationally, sales of single-family existing homes rose 25.6 percent in November 2020 compared to November 2019. According to The National Association of Realtors, values also increased 15.1 percent to a national MSP of $315,500. The regional Northeast witnessed a sales jump of 25.7 percent, and the regional MSP of $354,100 represents a 17.4 percent increase comparing November 2020 to November 2019. Maine’s reputation as a safe place is fueling interest. With tight market conditions, buyers and sellers should partner with a Newcastle Realty broker for expert counsel around inventory availability, marketing and pricing, and negotiating strategies to successfully achieve their real estate needs and goals.

Our company has had an exceptionally strong sales year. As of the date of this report, our brokers have closed 215 transaction sides with a total volume of $63,065,915—up 70% over our Y-T-D numbers in 2019. In comparison, the local Sotheby’s office has booked $38,468,100 from 88 sides, and Drum and Drum Real Estate has sold $25,339,780 with 77 sides. We are pleased to remain the leading real estate firm in our area.

Most of the year-to-date 2020 property sales locally have occurred in Waldoboro (77), Boothbay (113), Wiscasset (92), Jefferson (78), Bristol (118), and Boothbay Harbor (86). Slightly fewer sales have happened so far this year in Dresden (35), Whitefield (37), Damariscotta (44), Newcastle (46), and Edgecomb (45). Towns seeing even fewer sales include Westport Island (31), South Bristol (40), Nobleboro (43), and Bremen (26). Just a handful of 2020 sales have occurred in Alna (14), Southport (22), Somerville (13), and Monhegan Island (2).

There are currently just 153 single-family homes for sale in Lincoln County (down from 179 in November), with 35 percent of those priced at or above $500,000. The 736 residential sales that have occurred in the past 365 days represent transactions in the range of under $100,000 (7%), $100,000-$249,999 (31%), $250,000-$499,999 (44%), $500,000-$999,999 (14%), and $1 million-plus (4%). Listing inventory remains super low—it is a great time to sell and our brokers are ready to answer your questions about the process.

The current market absorption rates for Lincoln County homes is 1.6 months (under $100,000), 1.7 months ($100,000-$249,999), 2.3 months ($250,000-$499,999), 4.0 months ($500,000-$999,999), and 11.6 months ($1 million and up). This tells us how long it would take for existing inventories to be absorbed into the market at current rates of sales if no new listings were introduced.

Newcastle Realty tracks Lincoln County and statewide sales, along with other important metrics, which keeps our brokers fully informed of current market conditions and emerging trends as they serve buyer and seller client needs. Questions or comments may be directed to Dennis Hilton, President of Newcastle Realty at or 207-380-3435.

  • Sales statistics based on information from the Maine Real Estate Information System, Inc. (d/b/a Maine Listings) for the period 1/1/2020 through 12/22/2020.