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Maine real estate

Maine – Could Its Housing Be the "Little Engine That Could"?

Maine faces unique challenges in its bid to recover from the Great Recession. Because of its size alone, the Pine Tree State has fewer resources than its larger counterparts. But now is not the time to give up on Maine! To the contrary, if the housing market is any indicator of better economic times ahead, Maine is clearly on the right track.

According to realtors in Maine, sales of single-family homes increased 17% in 2012. In December 2012 alone, sales jumped 12%. And in that same period, sale prices also rose 6%. That good news spreads across the state. Piscataquis County led the pack with an 8% increase in sales. In fact, only three counties experienced falling home sales.

Realtors around Maine report that many buyers moved up to larger homes. And, there was a steady stream of first-time home buyers. Experts agree that a combination of historically-low interest rates and declining inventories made home buying in 2012 very attractive.

Other indicators suggest continued progress in Maine's economy, and hence, a continued strengthening of the housing market. For example, while Maine's manufacturing industry suffered significant losses in 2012 (like the Hostess Brands plant that closed in Biddeford), there are some indicators that other industries are actually improving slightly. One notable example would be the Portland Fish Exchange. While the numbers have not reached the volumes seen in 2007, the total amount of fish sold in 2012 increased by a half million pounds – from 4.8 million in 2011, to 5.3 million in 2012.

In fact, Portland's housing market itself experienced a remarkable renewal in 2012, with homes sales up 14% over 2011. In December alone, Portland's home sales increased by a record 34%. Mirroring the health of it largest industry, this represents the largest gain since 2007.And while home prices only improved slightly in 2012, experts predict that 2013 will produce further gains.

More good news for Southern Maine in 2012 was the surge of new home construction. In the first nine months of the year, housing starts rose 35% over 2011. While this level falls below pre-recession numbers, it remains in stark contrast to the depressed levels experienced in 2011.

Maine's unemployment rate is also demonstrating signs of improvement. From a high point of 8.4 in February of 2010, the statewide rate has since dropped to 7.2%. Studies suggest that Mainers will regain pre-recession levels by 2015.

Maine has suffered more than its share of economic woes in recent years, and while its recovery depends on the nation's overall economic health, there are indeed positive signs for the nation's 12th smallest state. Seafood production is on the rise, new home starts are up, unemployment is dropping, and home sales are showing real signs of life. The Pine Tree State is on the move – just like "the little engine that could"!

Living in Maine

If you’re looking for an opportunity to combine beautiful coastal views and deep forested lands along with your love for the great outdoors, Maine may be your ideal location.

Aptly coined “The Pine Tree State” because of its extensive forests, Maine is considered both the northernmost and easternmost portion of New England. The Atlantic Ocean lies to its south, and New Hampshire lies to the west. It is bordered by Canada in the north.

If you’re drawn to rugged ocean views, Maine’s rocky and jagged coastline stretches nearly 230 miles. The striking waterways, low mountains and deep forests will give you a sense of serenity.

Before you head up to Maine, let’s go over some of the fast facts:

  • What is the population of Maine?
  • The population of Maine is 1,329,192
  • What is the capital of Maine?
  • The capital of Maine is Augusta
  • What is the largest city in Maine?
  • The largest city in Maine is Portland

Because of its multiple opportunities for outdoor recreation – including sport fishing, boating, snowmobiling, skiing, camping and hiking – Maine is popular with thrill-seekers. Deer, moose, and bear hunting are also popular in this highly-wooded area. In fact, nearly 90% of Maine land is forested!

If you decide Maine is the place for you, have a good coat and boots because the winters are cold and snowy! While the coastal areas are a bit more moderate in temperature, the northern parts of Maine can be severe. Summers, however, are sunny and not too hot. Most days the temperature doesn’t reach above 80 degrees, and the nights are cool.

Because of its proximity to the Atlantic Ocean, Maine is famous for its fresh seafood cuisine -- especially lobsters and clams. Commercial fishing, once the foundation of Maine’s economy, continues to concentrate on lobstering and groundfishing. Aquifers in western Maine have become a chief source of bottled water. Maine is also the number-one exporter of blueberries.

Maine’s location also lends itself to the shipbuilding industry. Bath Iron Works and Portsmouth Naval Shipyard are big employers here.

If you enjoy learning about history and culture, Portland offers numerous educational museums and historical sites. From the Seashore Trolley Museum and the Maine Maritime Museum to the Boothbay Railway Village and the Sabbathday Lake Shaker Village, there is a something for everyone here!

This is the Census data for Maine

Population

Total population estimate for Maine (July 1) 2012
1,329,192
Total population change for Maine- April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2012
0.1%

Age

Percentage of the population that's under 5 years old in Maine, 2011
5.1%
Percentage of the population that's under 18 years years old in Maine, 2011
20.3%
Percentage of the population that's 65 years and over Maine, 2011
16.3%

Gender

Percentage of the population that are females in Maine, 2011
51.1%

Race breakdown for Maine in percentages

White alone, 2011
95.4%
Black alone, 2011
1.3%
American Indian and Alaska Native alone,2011
0.7%
Asian alone, percent, 2011
1.1%
Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander alone, 2011
NA
Two or more races, 2011
1.5%
Hispanic or Latino Origin, 2011
1.4%
Not Hispanic, White alone, 2011
94.3%

A little more about the residents of Maine

Percentage of residents who lived in the same house 1 year ago, 2007-2011
86.2%
Percent of residents who are foreign born 2007-2011
3.3%
Percent speaking a language other than English at home, 2007-2011
7.0%

Education

Percent high school graduates or higher for residents 25 years old and over in Maine, 2007-2011
90.2%
Percent with a bachelor's degree or higher for residents 25 years old and over in Maine, 2007-2011
27.1%

Veterans

Total number of Veterans living in Maine 2007-2011
134,547

Communting

The average travel time to work for workers in Maine (16 years and over not working at home), 2007-2011
23.0 mins

Real estate stats in Maine

Housing unit estimates, 2011
725,577
Owner-occupied housing units - percent of total occupied housing units, 2007-2011
72.7%
Housing units by units in structure - multi-dwelling structure, percent, 2007-2011
19.3%
Median value of specified owner-occupied housing units, 2007-2011
$176,600.00
Households, 2007-2011
551,601
Average household size, 2007-2011
2.34

Income

Per capita income for Maine in the past 12 months (in 2011 inflation-adjusted dollars), 2007-2011
$26,195.00
Median household income in Maine, 2007-2011
$47,898.00
Percentage of people living in poverty in Maine 2007-2011
12.8%

Business and commerce info for Maine

Private nonfarm establishments, 2010
40,571
Private nonfarm employment for pay period including March 12, 2010
480,932
Private nonfarm employment for pay period including March 12, 2010, percent change, 2000-2010
-2.2%
Total number of businesses in Maine, 2007
150,389
Percentage of Black-owned businesses in Maine, 2007
0.5%
Percentage of American Indian- and Alaska Native-owned businesses in Maine , 2007
0.5%
Percentage of Asian-owned businesses in Maine, 2007
0.7%
Percentage of Native Hawaiian- and Other Pacific Islander-owned businesses in Maine, 2007
NA
Percentage of Hispanic-owned businesses in Maine, 2007
0.7%
Percentage of Women-owned businesses in Maine, 2007
25.6%

Land size and population

Size of Maine in Square Miles, 2010
30,842.92 mi²
Population per square mile in Maine, 2010
43.1

Maine real estate

New Limerick

Newcastle

Nobleboro

Ogunquit

Old Orchard Beach

Other City - Not In The State Of Florida

Outside Area (Outside Ca)

Parsonsfield

Phippsburg

Portage Lake

Prentiss

Presque Isle

Sabattus