Our Final Real Estate Market and Sales Update for 2020

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Wow, what a year in Maine’s residential real estate market, which thrived during 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Statistics released recently by the Maine Association of Realtors and Maine Listings show a sales increase of 9.82 percent for all single-family existing homes sold during 2020. Values increased by double digits with the statewide median sales price (MSP) reaching $256,000, an increase of 13.78 percent. The MSP indicates that half of the homes were sold for more and half sold for less.

The sales year ended with historic highs for the number of reported transactions (19,921) and median sales price ($256,000) since the Maine Association of Realtors began compiling data more than 20 years ago. During the month of December only, sales across the state of Maine were up 31.53 percent compared to December 2019, and the statewide MSP of $270,000 represents an increase of 15.38 from the previous year.

Nationally, December 2020 sales of single-family existing homes jumped 22.8 percent over December 2019. According to the National Association of Realtors, prices were also on the rise last month, with an increase of 13.5 percent to a national MSP of $314,300. Sales in the regional Northeast climbed an incredible 27.4 percent and the regional MSP reached $362,100—a jump of 19 percent comparing December 2020 to December 2019. Last year began with the positive momentum from 2019 and then was jolted in the second quarter by the arrival of COVID-19.  Since July, sales demand and volume has been exceptionally strong. Coupled with tight for-sale inventory, most markets in our state have experienced double-digit appreciation for median sold prices.

Our company had an exceptionally strong sales year in 2020, and we are thankful for the many families we served. As of 12/31/2020, our brokers had closed a record 221 transaction sides with a total volume of $64,413,915—up 51% over our Y-T-D numbers in 2019 and the highest in our company history. In comparison, the local Sotheby’s office booked $41,569,370 from 93 sides, and Drum and Drum Real Estate sold $26,970,780 with 82 sides. Thanks to their hard work and on behalf of our staff of professional brokers and the clients they served, we are pleased to remain the leading firm in our area.

Most of the 2020 property sales locally have occurred in Waldoboro (80), Boothbay (116), Wiscasset (100), Jefferson (79), Bristol (124), and Boothbay Harbor (90). Slightly fewer sales happened last year in Dresden (35), Whitefield (40), Damariscotta (47), Newcastle (48), and Edgecomb (45). Towns that saw even fewer sales include Westport Island (32), South Bristol (40), Nobleboro (43), and Bremen (27). Just a handful of 2020 sales occurred in Alna (15), Southport (22), Somerville (13), and Monhegan Island (2).

There are currently just 128 single-family homes for sale in Lincoln County (down from 153 in December), with 36 percent of those priced at or above $500,000. The 759 residential sales that 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 (15%), and $1 million-plus (3%). Listing inventory remains super low—it is still 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 are 1.2 months (under $100,000), 1.4 months ($100,000-$249,999), 1.9 months ($250,000-$499,999), 3.1 months ($500,000-$999,999), and 8.6 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 dennishilton@cheneycompanies.com or 207-380-3435.

  • Sales data is based on information from the Maine Real Estate Information System, Inc. (d/b/a Maine Listings) for the period 1/1/2020 through 12/31/2020.