The latest stats can be misleading and confusing based on what you focus on. Home values in August in Maine increased 9.26% over August 2022, but sales were down 19.31% over the previous year, primarily due to the lack of inventory. According to the Maine Real Estate Commission, the average listing price of a home in Maine in August was $371,500. The average list price in Cumberland and York counties was $530,000 and $500,000, respectively, with an average of 6 - 16 days on the market, depending on the price point. So, what are the truths about this market? As in most life cases, the truths are simple.
The nature of transactions is changing, and buyer fervor to make property offers without proper due diligence is cooling. Every market segment, trickle-up or down, is affected by prices fluctuating, interest rates rising, and supply and demand shifts. It is more important than ever to make sure you use a professional to navigate the purchase and sale of one of the most critical assets in your portfolio.
For first-time home buyers, while rates can be a deterrent in what they can afford, there is more on the market, and financing and inspection contingencies are often now accepted. Properties that need work are selling slower or lower than in the last few years. I'd urge making offers on these properties and building equity by doing it over time. If you are a seller in this market, you can rely on your real estate professional to advise potential economical things to do to maximize the selling price.
In the luxury market, we are still very tight on inventory. I don't see that changing any time soon. Frankly, the luxury market always has little inventory for sale. While buyers in this segment are frequently still in multiple-offer situations, they can now have financing and inspection contingencies as well but must often forego an appraisal contingency. Appraisers are charged with finding sales in the same town that have sold within the last six months, and they typically don't exist. If it does not appraise for the contract price, qualified buyers can get their loan if they bring the difference between the appraised and purchase price. It is all the more reason, however, that buyers want assurance of long-term value from a professional.
What most buyers seek as value these days is "location" and "lifestyle" - variables that have always been timeless but have garnered more value than ever in today's market. It is paramount to use a professional who knows how to capitalize on that and advise a price accordingly. There is no better investment than a sound real estate purchase...while you make your memories for free.