Processing Your Payment

Please do not leave this page until complete. This can take a few moments.

January 25, 2021

Low mortgage rates, pandemic flight fuel another record year for Maine home sales

a house with a sale pending sign in front Photo / Maureen Milliken Maine set records for both single-family home sales and median price in 2020.
How did each of Maine's counties do for number of transactions and median sales price in 2020?
More Information

Fueled by low mortgage rates and pandemic flight, Maine single-family home sales and prices set records in 2020, the second year in a row the state's residential real estate market hit new highs.

Sales of single-family existing homes were up 9.82%, according to Maine Association of Realtors and Maine Listings. The statewide median sales price reached $256,000 — an increase of 13.78% from 2019's record $234,000. The median price means half of the homes sold for more and half for less.

None of Maine's 16 counties had decreases in either transactions or sales prices from the previous record year of 2019, and the biggest increases in 2020 were in Maine's more rural, less populated counties.

“2020 was a year like no other for residential real estate in Maine,” Aaron Bolster, 2021 MAR president said in the Maine Association of Realtors news release. Bolster, broker-owner of Allied Realty in Skowhegan, said that the number of reported transactions, 19,921, and median sales price, $256,000, are the highest since the association began compiling data more than 20 years ago.

During December alone, sales across Maine were up 31.53% compared to December 2019, and the statewide median sales price of $270,00 was an up 15.38% from the previous year.

“Last year began with the positive momentum from 2019 and then was jolted in the second quarter by the arrival of COVID-19,” Bolster said. “Since July, sales demand and volume has been exceptionally strong. Coupled with tight for-sale inventory constraints, most markets have experienced double-digit appreciation for median sold prices.”

He said sustained low mortgage interest rates were part of the story, but not all of it. "Maine’s rural geography and controlled COVID experience relative to the rest of the U.S., plus the emergence of teleworking, and the allure of our beautiful four-season recreational state has created unprecedented demand for residential real estate in Maine," Bolster said.

The biggest increases in transactions were in Maine's most rural counties — Washington, 39.14%, with 551 transactions in 2020 and 356 in 2019; Aroostook, 34.94%, with 838 in 2020, 641 in 2019; and Piscataquis, 31.69%, 453 and 344.

Four more of Maine's 16 counties — Hancock, Knox, Somerset and Waldo — had increases of more than 20%. No county showed a decrease.

Sales price was much the same story. The biggest increase, 32.09% was in midcoast Lincoln County, where the median price was $301,500 in 2020, compared to $228,250 in 2019. In Franklin County, in western Maine, prices were up 31%, to $189,950 from $145,000. Other counties where prices rose more than 20% were Hancock, Oxford and Waldo. All 16 counties had increases, with the only ones not in double digits Piscataquis and Penobscot.

Bolster said the industry should remain strong this year, "With buyers searching for their new home as a long-term financial investment and a quality-of-life investment.”

Nationally, December 2020 sales of single-family existing homes were up 22.8% over December 2019. According to the National Association of Realtors, prices increased 13.5% to a national MSP of $314,300. Sales in the regional Northeast climbed 27.4% and the regional MSP reached $362,100 — an increase of 19% compared to December 2019.

Sign up for Enews


Order a PDF