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May 23, 2013

MEREDA unveils real estate activity index

The Maine Real Estate & Development Association on Wednesday unveiled a new economic index to gauge real estate activity trends in the state.

The new index, using the first quarter of 2006 as a benchmark, shows a general decline in real estate activity through the recession, leveling out between late 2009 and the first quarter of this year.

The index, built in collaboration with professor Charlie Colgan of the Muskie School of Public Service, puts current real estate activity at 70, against the first quarter of 2006 benchmark that's set at 100.

That overall index is a weighted combination of residential and commercial real estate activity and construction employment.

While the index lags far behind the 2006 benchmark, the report introducing the new index says slow improvement is expected to continue in the coming years.

Drew Sigfridson, MEREDA's president, said the trade association hopes the index will become a trusted resource and will show links between real estate activity and Maine's overall economy. That, he hopes, will help lead to public policy decisions encouraging growth in real estate.

A view of the MEREDA index, broken into its constituent parts, is now featured in our "Maine's economy at a glance" dashboard (top right):

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