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January 26, 2023

Maine's 2022 top 10 'hottest towns' for home sales reflect booming market

Chart showing real estate prices and changes in 10 Maine towns Maine's hottest towns of 2022.

The 2022 home-buying trends for Maine real estate show that fewer homes are hitting the market, resulting in competitive offers from demanding buyers, according to this year's "Maine's Hottest Towns" top 10 rankings. 

The list, compiled by Maine Life Real Estate in Scarborough, measures which towns and cities had the most significant increases in single-family home sales over the previous year. Criteria included median listing prices and median days on the market.

The top 10 ZIP codes usually include the most significant increase in the number of homes sold compared to the previous year.  However, only a few municipalities saw an increase in the number of homes sold from 2021 to 2002; the majority saw a decrease. According to the report, Portland, the state's most populated city, was down by nearly 30% in unit sales for 2022.

"The real, deeper story here is the shortage of supply, not demand," said the release by Maine Life Real Estate. "The proof of this can be found by taking a look within sale prices. Not a single town within the report for this year saw a decrease in median sale price. Fewer homes are hitting the market resulting in competitive offers from demanding buyers."

This year's report by Maine Life Real Estate looked at the towns that saw the highest boost in median sales price, where buyers are putting down their money, and where they are willing to pay for their piece of what Maine offers.

  1. Rockland, a Knox County town with a population of 7,219, took first place. Moving up from fourth place last year, Rockland saw a 40% increase in the median sale price from $225,000 in 2021 to $317,000 in 2022. The town is known for its importance to Maine's lobster fishing industry and its working waterfront, and is also home to two influential downtown museums, the Farnsworth Art Museum and the Maine Museum of Contemporary Art. 
  2. Kittery, one of Maine's oldest and southernmost towns, has retaken second place after making the list in 2020. In 2022, Kittery saw a 23% increase in its median sales price of $594,000 — up from a $482,000 median in 2021. In 2022, 133 units were sold, compared to 188 in 2021. Home to the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, Kittery is also known for its many outlet stores. 
  3. Old Orchard Beach, home to many summer visitors and one of the state's longest and most popular beaches, has seen a 22.7% increase, with a median sales price of $445,000, compared to $362,500 in 2021. Old Orchard Beach ranked ninth in 2021. 
  4. Gray, a Cumberland County town of 7,700 halfway between Portland and Lewiston in the Sebago Lake region, made its debut on the list back in 2020 and is back for another year. The town has seen a 22.1% increase in its median sales price. At $352,000 in 2021, Gray grew to a notable median sales price of $430,000 in 2022. One of the few on the list that saw an increase, home sales in Gray grew 4% in 2022. 
  5. Westbrook's median sale price jumped 20.5% from $340,000 in 2021 to $410,000 in 2022. Westbrook has been booming over the last several years, especially with the Rock Row development project. 
  6. Kennebunk is back on the list after 2019; it shot up to place sixth in 2022. The beautiful coastal town known for its sandy beaches and vibrant villages had a 20% increase in its median sale price to $570,000, up from $474,950 in 2021. 
  7.  Placing ninth place in 2021, Augusta returns to the list this year, seeing a considerable increase in its median sales price at a nearly 19% rise. In 2021, the median price was $200,000, jumping to $237,750 for 2022. 
  8. Waterboro placed in the Top 10 in 2017 and 2019 and returned to the list in 2022, when the median sale price was $338,450 in 2022, an 18.7% increase from 2021, when the median price was $285,000. According to the release, in the 1960s Waterboro became home to the largest development in southern Maine, the Lake Arrowhead community, which inspired state legislation regarding subdivision regulations and planning boards. 
  9. Last on the list in 2019, Lewiston saw an impressive 18% increase in its median sales price between 2021 and 2022. The median price increased by $260,000 from $220,250 in 2021. Lewiston was once known for its textile mills, but recently the town has seen redevelopment efforts. The downtown is now home to cafes, restaurants, bars, breweries, and one of the country's leading small liberal arts colleges, Bates.
  10. Waterville saw a 17.6% jump in the median home price between 2021 and 2022, increasing in value from $170,000 to $200,000. Waterville was also one of the few towns in the report that saw an increase in unit sales at 2% increase. For the last two years, Waterville residents and businesses have seen an $200 million downtown revitalization in partnership between Colby College,which provided almost half that investment, the city and the Maine Department of Transportation to transform the downtown. The town is also home to the Paul J. Schupf Art Center, a partnership between Colby College and Waterville Creates, and is expected to be a hub for Waterville's visual and performing arts, arts education, and film.

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