There is a lot of information out there in the national media about the housing market right now. Some of these are indicative of the market in Greater Portland, and some of which just don’t apply to what’s going on locally. Rising interest rates, fears of a looming recession, and high inflation are all having an impact on the national housing market. As in previous boom and bust cycles, those areas of the country that experienced the biggest swings, are again looking at a volatile real estate market. Historically, greater Portland has had less volatility and that appears to be the case so far – but we acknowledge that the market is shifting.
The October statistics for Single Family homes in Cumberland County show that prices have come down 4.6% compared to September, but that still represents an 8.6% appreciation over last year. The number of sales in October is down 19.6% from September and the number of new listings is down 23.6%. While rising interest rates cool demand, it appears that Sellers that are benefitting from their low-interest rates are reluctant to move. On the demand side, many Buyers have exited the market as their buying power has been eroded by rising interest rates. However, houses are still selling quickly, with a median Days on the Market of 7. Although prices have fallen somewhat, the median List Price to Sale price is still 102%, which is a decline of 1.5% over last year. We expect the push-pull of lower buyer activity and reduced inventory to result in low inventory and a relatively steady state in prices through the first quarter of 2023.