Today’s Real Estate Report – Maine

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Today, in our ongoing series about local real estate markets, we’ll take a look at home sales and trends in the Maine real estate market.

Overall, Maine home sales were up more than 8% in the first quarter of 2013 vs. 2012, the Bangor Daily News reports:

In Maine, home sales were up 8.3 percent in the first quarter of 2013 compared with the same quarter last year. During the same period, home sales in the Bangor metropolitan service area, which includes all of Penobscot County, were up 9.1 percent, while the Portland metropolitan service area — which is York, Cumberland and Sagadahoc counties — experienced an 8.6 percent rise in home sales, according to Nothaft.

Maine’s home prices have not seen a big spike, but then the market didn’t suffer as much during the recession as other states:

“You had a big run-up in home values, but it pales in comparison to what we saw in some of the real hot markets that are the poster childs for the boom and bust,” Nothaft said. “The decline in home values, while pretty substantive here in this market — 15 percent or so decline from the peak — is much more moderate compared to what we see in national indices and much more moderate relative to what we saw in the really distressed markets … like Las Vegas down 60 to 70 percent in value. So it’s a much more moderate boom and bust relative to other markets.”

Real estate business is up along Maine’s Midcoast as WCSH reports:

People in the real estate business in the Midcoast say they’ve seen a noticeable increase in business this year. Brokers say homes are selling in all price ranges, which is a change from the past few years, They also say that more people are looking at houses, apparently encouraged by a better economy and continuing low mortgage interest rates.

Up north, things aren’t going as well for The County. The St. John Valley Times reports:

The number of existing, single-family homes sold (units) and volume (MSP) during the months of January, February and March of 2012 and 2013 for Aroostook County are as follows:

In this rolling quarter of 2012, 65 of the state’s 1,902 units were from The County. For this rolling quarter of 2013, 52 of the state’s 2,049 units were from The County. “Units Sold” therefore saw a decrease of 20 percent. MSP for this rolling quarter of 2012 was $79,000 in Aroostook County. MSP for this rolling quarter of 2013 was $74,500. “MSP” therefore saw a decrease of 5.7 percent. Aroostook County saw the largest percentage drop in Units Sold of all 16 Maine counties for this rolling quarter.

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