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Out-Of-State Demand Pushes Maine Real Estate Prices Sky High

Maine’s red-hot real estate market got a little hotter last month. The latest data from the Maine Association of Realtors show the median sale price of a home rose nearly 20 percent over Sept. 2019 levels, to more than $270,000.

“Highest prices ever in Maine,” says Dava Davin, the owner of Portside Real Estate Group.

Davin says homes are frequently selling for more than $100,000 over asking price. During the pandemic, she says, out-of-state city dwellers are seeking the refuge of rural living — a trend even more pronounced than after the 9/11 terror attacks.

And it’s happening in almost every part of the state, with a surge in midcoast sales leading the way most recently. Davin says that while a “pandemic premium” can be good for sellers and Realtors, she does have concerns about the American dream being pushed even further out of reach for many Mainers.

“In Maine, the job-loss — were seeing that hitting hourly workers, people who may not even be buying homes last year. And that’s really scary,” she says.

Davin adds, though, that last month saw a significant boost in the number of home sales statewide, a sign that supply might be opening up. And with colder weather coming, she says, prices might cool off a bit too.

A Columbia University graduate, Fred began his journalism career as a print reporter in Vermont, then came to Maine Public in 2001 as its political reporter, as well as serving as a host for a variety of Maine Public Radio and Maine Public Television programs. Fred later went on to become news director for New England Public Radio in Western Massachusetts and worked as a freelancer for National Public Radio and a number of regional public radio stations, including WBUR in Boston and NHPR in New Hampshire.