The BDN is exploring Maine’s housing crisis from every possible angle, from how it affects home prices, to what it means for Mainers across the state. Read our ongoing coverage here and fill out this form to tell us what you want to know.
Rising mortgage rates and recession worries are beginning to pressure housing prices in major metropolitan areas in Maine, and that could be good news for buyers.
Price drops and homes taking longer to sell are signs that the housing market is cooling and offering opportunities to potential buyers who were sitting out because they couldn’t compete.
Even with rising mortgage rates, the housing market and real estate prices are unlikely to decline at the same pace and scale as in the early 2000s, when lax regulations and high mortgage debt triggered a housing bubble burst, Capital Economics chief economist Neil Shearing told Barron’s. He said household debt is a smaller share of income today and new regulations will help banks withstand a downturn.
Prices overall are not expected to fall to pre-pandemic levels anytime soon, Zillow senior economist Jeff Tucker told MarketWatch. Still, there are bargains to be had for homes whose prices may have been too high to begin with.
Almost 9 percent of active listings in the Bangor metropolitan area had price drops in the four weeks from May 30 to June 26, up 2.5 percent from the comparable period one year ago, according to new research from online real estate company Redfin. That is the highest percentage among Maine’s major metropolitan areas.
Some 35 homes sold in Bangor over the four weeks, down 17 percent from last year. At the same time, the median days a home was on the market in Bangor rose almost 7 percent to more than 12 days and active listings slid more than 1.5 percent to 323 compared to last year.
In the Augusta micropolitan area that includes Waterville, 7.4 percent of active listings saw price drops, up 3.2 percent from the comparable four weeks last year. Some 36 homes sold, down 8 percent over last year. The median days on the market were about the same as last year at six. Active listings were down 14 percent to 247.
The Portland metropolitan area saw 7.1 percent of its 852 active listings have price drops. The number of active listings was down 29 percent in the four weeks compared to last year. Median time on the market was about the same as last year at 7 days.
Lewiston was the only metropolitan area that saw fewer home price drops this year than last at 6.1 percent. That’s down 1 percent from the comparable four weeks last year. The area had 126 active listings, down 19 percent since last year. Homes are on the market for a little more than 6 days, the same as last year.