9 min read Mar 08, 2024

Maine Real Estate Market: Predictions for 2024

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Maine homes continued to sell at eye-popping prices last month. The median home sale price rose 14.1% year-over-year from $329,000 to $375,300 in January.

The number of homes sold on the market declined by 3.5% YoY from 917 to 885 homes, with only 3 months of supply. Does the scarcity of houses make Maine a seller’s market? Let’s look at the facts.

Bangor homes sold for a median sale price of $320,000 in January, up 35.9% year-over-year. There were only a few markets in Maine where prices declined year-over-year.

Interest rates are at record highs, with few home buyers. But the inventory is so low that 27.3% of homes sold above the list price!

  • If you are a home buyer: You can avoid bidding wars and avail seller concessions if you buy a home now. The 8.5% interest rate and mortgage payments are significant, but rates are unlikely to drop in the next few months. If they do, you can refi.
  • If you are a home seller: You can lock in Maine’s high home prices. The scarcity of homes in ME makes it a seller’s market. Homes listed on MLS sell faster and for 17.5% more than off-MLS homes. That could be thousands of dollars in additional proceeds if you sell via Houzeo.

The current Maine real estate market statistics reflect the national trend of high demand and low supply. Despite the strong housing demand, home sales tanked. The property prices in Maine have increased regardless.

Sluggish! Home values in Maine rose by 70% in the last 5 years.

But, home sales decreased by 3.5% in January 2024 YoY. Maybe due to the mortgage rate climbing to a two-decade high of nearly 8%! The number of houses for sale in ME was 4,096 in the month, 3.5% less than in 2023. Maine’s housing market is bearish.

The decrease in home sales can be attributed to insufficient properties in the Pine Tree State. The months of supply is 3 months, which makes ME a seller’s market. So, if you want to sell a Maine property, now is the right time to list it on MLS.

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Maine Real Estate Market Statistics

  • Average Home Prices: The average median home price in Maine is $375,300, up by 14.1% YoY. In 2024, the median sale price will keep increasing marginally due to ME’s tight inventory. The sale-to-list price ratio is at 97.9%, with an increase of 0.02 pt YoY compared to January 2023.
  • Home Sales: As per January 2024 data, home sales decreased by 3.5% YoY! In January 2024, only 885 homes were sold, down from 917 in January 2023.
  • Average Rent Prices: Rental costs vary statewide. An average tenant in Standish pays $800, while the one living in Lake Arrowhead pays $1,850.
  • Median Days on Market: The median days on the market for homes for sale was 50 days, up 8 days YoY.
  • Pending Sales: The number of homes for sale declined by 24.4% YoY compared to 2022. Currently, there are ~1600 homes for sale in Maine.
  • Months of Supply: The average months of supply is 3 months. ME’s demand can’t be satiated with the low supply. ME’s house scarcity is worse than the national housing market.

Maine Housing Market Predictions 2024

Mainers have survived the shockwaves of skyrocketing mortgage rates and rising home prices of 2023. Here’s what we predict for Maine’s housing market:

  1. Home Sellers Will Return to the Market in 2024: Sellers who chose the sidelines in 2023 will come back. Especially those who can’t avoid new jobs or want to move to a cheap place. Whitney, the analyst who predicted the 2008 financial crisis accurately, has forecasted that baby boomers looking to downsize will also add up to 30 million housing units. Yowaza!
  2. Mortgage Interest Rates Will Stabilize by the 2nd Half of 2024: Mortgage rates hit 7.79% in October 2023, the highest level in 23 years. However, the rate dropped to 7.35% in November due to the softening labor market and slowing economy. Even the annual inflation rate went from 3.7% to 3.2%. We think the rates will remain above 6%, but they will stabilize in the second half.
  3. The Number of Home Buyers Will Rise: The historically high interest rates averted buyers in 2023. But mortgage demand rose after the interest rates lowered to 7.28% in January. The easing inflation and stabilizing rates will bring back house hunters.
  4. Home Prices Will Continue to Rise: Home prices rose steadily in the top metros across ME YoY, reaching $375K in January 2024. Experts predict home prices will continue to rise until the low supply-high demand dynamic changes.
  5. New Home Constructions Sales Will Increase: 12.3% of homes purchased in September were new homes, the highest since 2022. Home builders offered $30,000 worth of concessions to attract buyers in 2023. We think builders and sellers will compete for buyers in 2024.
  6. iBuyers Will Continue to Make Lowball Offers: iBuyers offered 104.1% of market value in 2021. They offered 86% in 2022 and around 70% in 2023. Opendoor and Offerpad have lost billions of dollars in 2023. As they struggle to survive, they will make lowball offers.
Bonus Prediction: Buyer Broker Commissions Will Be Negotiable!

In a shocking turn of events, the jury in Missouri awarded more than $5 billion in damages to the Sitzer-Burnett plaintiffs. This motivated nationwide home sellers to file grievances against NAR’s Cooperative Compensation Rule.

NAR’s Cooperative Compensation Rule or Participation Rule states that listing brokers must offer competitive compensation to buyer agents if they want to list properties on a NAR-affiliated MLS.

Sitzer/Burnett v. NAR

The Bombshell Lawsuit that Could End Buyer Agent Commissions

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Lawsuits like Moehrl, Gibson, Batton, Nosalek, and Batton 2 challenge the Participation Rule. They accuse NAR and other top real estate companies of colluding and conspiring to keep agent commissions high.

If the jury also finds the defendants guilty in these cases, buyer agent compensation may change. Buyer agents may become obsolete by 2025! Phew.

While buyer agents are unlikely to be obsolete in 2024, they may be open to negotiating commissions. That’s probably how they will still have some skin in the game.

When Will the Housing Market Crash in Maine?

A housing market crash in the Pine Tree State is unlikely.

The average cost of living in Maine is $50,559. Maine currently has a population of around 1.4 million people, with Sanford being the most fastest-growing city.

The state is also one of the cleanest states in the entire U.S. Maine boasts an amazing air quality of 93.2%, which is more than the national average of 82.5%. Maine has the lowest crime rate in the whole U.S., with a crime count of 108.6 per 100k.

Maine’s unemployment rate is at 2.80%. Maine private-sector employment has increased 2.1% over the past 12 months. Maine’s affordability, natural beauty, and low crime rate will draw homebuyers in 2024.

2024: Is it a Buyer’s or Seller’s Market?

2024 will be a terrific market for sellers. (And buyers, too!)

Home prices in Maine are rising and will continue to rise till the supply-demand dynamic changes. The number of houses for sale in ME was only 4,096 in January 2024. There is minimal inventory to satiate the demand from house hunters. This also makes it the best time to sell a house in Maine.

In fact, new listings rose after the mortgage rate plummeted from a two-decade-high rate of 8% to 7.35% in November. This shows that those who refused to sell due to mortgage rate lock are finally acclimatizing to 7% rates. Come Spring 2024, more homeowners will follow suit and list properties on Maine MLS.

As home listings in Maine increase, home shoppers hugging the sidelines will also return. The recent uptick in mortgage applications shows that buyers are returning.

House hunters who could not find affordable homes in 2023 will also start shopping in 2024. The demand for Maine houses will increase – and that’s why sellers may be able to dominate the market.

However, new builds will compete for attention from buyers. Home builders have persuaded buyers to buy new construction homes with mortgage buydowns worth $30K in 2023! Builders will continue offering concessions in 2024, and home sellers may have to wage wars against them.

Listings of new constructions, baby boomers looking to downsize, and desperate home sellers will flood the market in 2024. The properties for sale in Maine will increase. So, whether you are looking for a condo in Westbrook or seeking to live in a co-op in Standish, you will find your dream home next spring.

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Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. It does not constitute an offer, solicitation of an offer, or any advice or recommendation. Houzeo doesn’t provide any legal or financial advice. The views and opinions expressed herein are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Houzeo Corp., its affiliates, or its employees. However, the author does not make any representation or warranty, express or implied, as to the information’s accuracy or completeness, nor does the author recommend that the attached information serve as the basis of any investment decision.

Frequently Asked Questions about Maine Real Estate Market

When will the housing market crash in Maine?

Not for the next few years. Maine's housing market will not crash in 2024. Despite 2023's skyrocketing interest payments and soaring home prices, Mainers have managed to keep the market afloat.

What are the real estate housing market 2024 predictions for Maine?

2024 will be a stellar market for Mainers. Here's our 2024 forecast for Maine housing market are: (1) Home sellers will return to the market come Spring 2024. (2) Number of houses for sale will increase (3) Property prices in Maine will increase marginally (4) Mortgage rates will stabilize in the latter half of 2024 (5) iBuyers will buy homes for lower than their fair market value. (6) Buyer agent commissions will be negotiable!

Are home prices dropping in Maine?

No, the property prices in Maine were up by 14.1% YOY in January 2024. However, you can still find some of the cheapest places to live in Maine. With a 70% rise in the past five years, exploring budget-friendly cities is crucial amid the current scarcity of available properties in ME.

Is it a good time to buy a house in Maine?

Yes! Currently, there are very few buyers in the market compared to the supply of homes in Maine. The soaring interest rates has kept buyers at bay, so you can avoid bidding wars. As the mortgage rate stabilizes in 2024, more buyers will return, so we'd recommend you to buy a house now. If mortgage payments burn a hole in your pocket, you can always refinance.

» Best Time to Buy a House in Maine: Find out the best time to buy a Maine property & plan your finances accordingly.

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