Best of the Best Jaret & Cohn Real Estate The Inn at Camden Place
  • Recent Posts

  • 2013 will be a great year for real estate in mid coast Maine

    January 16th, 2013

    2013 bears all of the economic signs for a strong recovery in real estate.  While Maine does not always exactly follow national trends, an improving national real estate market and growing consumer confidence across the country will be one of many factors to support growth in mid coast Maine’s real estate industry.

    Looking forward, here are three major reasons why I predict robust growth in our local real estate market in 2013.  First, the growing national trends in real estate and general economic conditions will be a major factor.  Second, the employment outlook for mid coast Maine is positive.  Finally, interest rates are still historically low and the cost of home ownership is within reach for most.

    For the first time in recent memory, the country starts 2013 with a largely positive economic outlook.  This will impact our market for many reasons.  Second home buyers make up a significant percentage of middle and upper end real estate sales.  Throughout the recession, that segment of the market fell substantially.  As the overall economy improves, second home owners are returning.  Demand and showing requests for the upper segments of the market have been growing for months.  By the time the snow is gone and the prime selling season is upon us, the level of pent up demand will have increased.

    Beyond the second home market, trending national real estate growth inevitably helps our market.  The National Association of Realtors reports that nationwide sales of single family homes are up 12.4% over last year.  Additionally, median home prices are up more than 10% across the country.  Our closest large metro market, Boston, is performing extremely well.  Sales and median price in Boston are growing faster than the national average.  Agents in the Boston market report a growing number of multiple offers on new listings.

    While a growing national market is a positive factor for real estate, no single factor is more important than local employment conditions.  On January 10, the Maine Department of Labor laid out its predictions for 2013.  An improving job market is predicted throughout Maine.  The sectors projected to have the strongest job growth are healthcare, professional services, hospitality, and the service industry.  These sectors make up the core of the labor force in the mid coast and most have medium to high paying jobs.  Specifically, growth in healthcare and professional services will be major drivers of a local economic resurgence.

    Banking conditions remain favorable.  Mid coast Maine is blessed to have many very qualified mortgage professionals from both local and national banks.  Interest rates remain historically low.  Most buyers can find 30 year fixed rate mortgages at or below 3.5%.  Buyers who can comfortably afford the payments on a 10-15 year mortgage will often find fixed interest rates below 3%.

    When combined, all of these variables create an environment where we can all expect steady growth in the real estate market.  The recovery started, albeit slowly, in 2012.  Almost every month in 2012 showed gains in home sales compared to 2011.  Sales for the last quarter of 2012 are up nearly 20% over the previous year.

    Whether you are buying or selling, if you have been sitting on the sidelines watching the real estate market struggle along, 2013 will be the time get in the game.

    Chuck Brawn

    Jaret and Cohn Real Estate