November Real Estate Market Update

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Maine’s real estate sales are still crazy high—up by double digits. According to statistics released today by the Maine Association of Realtors, agents across the state sold 2,341 single-family existing homes last month (!)—a jump of 26.88 percent over October 2019. The median sales price (MSP) for homes sold reached $280,000, a 24.50 percent increase over October 2019. The MSP indicates that half of the homes were sold for more and half sold for less.

The residential real estate recovery since the COVID-impacted second quarter has been, shall we say, robust. January through October 2020 sales are 5.6 percent ahead of the comparable time period for 2019. Buyers are plentiful across Maine and they are facing a sustained tight supply of for-sale inventory. This supply/demand imbalance, buoyed by historically-low mortgage interest rates, has resulted in increased competition and price appreciation.

The National Association of Realtors reported a national sales increase of 26.7 percent last month, while the national MSP reached $317,700—up 16.0 percent. The regional Northeast experienced a sales climb of 30.4 percent in October, and a 20.2 percent jump in median sales prices to hit $356,500. Maine’s lower incidence of COVID compared to the rest of the country, plus the increase in tele-working, has resulted in out-of-state buyers adding to the demand for Maine homes. Historically, about 25 percent of monthly home purchases in Maine are by out-of-state buyers, but during October, that number was 36 percent.

Newcastle Realty has had an exceptionally strong sales year, despite the pandemic. As of the date of this report, our brokers have closed 195 transaction sides with a total volume of $55,898,465—up 70% over our Y-T-D numbers in 2019. In comparison, the local Sotheby’s office has booked $35,937,600 from 80 sides, and Drum and Drum Real Estate has sold $23,411,280 with 68 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 (68), Boothbay (98), Wiscasset (81), Jefferson (72), Bristol (102), and Boothbay Harbor (73). Slightly fewer sales have happened so far this year in Dresden (31), Whitefield (33), Damariscotta (40), Newcastle (34), and Edgecomb (40). Towns seeing even fewer sales include Westport Island (26), South Bristol (35), Nobleboro (39), and Bremen (24). Just a handful of 2020 sales have occurred in Alna (13), Southport (16), Somerville (11), and Monhegan Island (2).

There are currently just 179 single-family homes for sale in Lincoln County (down from 190 in October), with 36 percent of those priced at or above $500,000. The 711 residential sales that have occurred in the past 365 days represent transactions in the range of under $100,000 (7%), $100,000-$249,999 (34%), $250,000-$499,999 (42%), $500,000-$999,999 (14%), and $1 million-plus (3%). Listing inventory remains super low—it is a great time to sell and we are ready to answer your questions about the process.

The current market absorption rates for Lincoln County homes is 1.1 months (under $100,000), 1.8 months ($100,000-$249,999), 3.0 months ($250,000-$499,999), 5.2 months ($500,000-$999,999), and 12.1 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 11/22/2020.