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Real Estate Market Update January 2018

The Maine residential real estate market is continuing its steady growth into January 2018. According to Maine Real Estate Information System (MREIS), sales of single-family homes, condos, and mobile homes exceeded 20,600 units statewide, increasing the number of units sold by 1.6% compared to 2016. In 2017, there were increases in units sold in all counties except Aroostook (-0.2%), Cumberland (-2.3%), Lincoln (-6.0%), and Piscataquis (-4.9%). Franklin County was the leader in increases of units at 14.5% more units sold in 2017 than in 2016.

Normally a slow month for home sales because of weather and holiday influences, December 2017 was quite strong in Cumberland County. With an increase of only 2.7% in number of units sold, the median sold price in the county jumped 8.4% from $260,000 in December of 2016 to $281,750 in December 2017. Total volume sold in Cumberland County in December of 2017 also increased by 9.0% to $145,605,350 from $133,620,775 in 2016. These results in December are down but only slightly (roughly 2%) from November 2017.

The year ahead is looking very busy for the real estate industry. Anecdotal data of multiple offer situations increasing and days on market decreasing are not surprising given the “months of supply” available. For instance, in Cumberland County we currently have 904 active listings. This is roughly two months of inventory available given 2017 sales. York County’s current 981 active listings provides 3 months of inventory to that county. A “normal” market favoring neither sellers nor buyers would have roughly 5 to 6 months of inventory available. As the weather improves and the days get longer, look for more people to put their houses on the market.

Watch for our first quarter update in April.