Reports: Maine real estate market brightening

January 24th, 2014 by admin Leave a reply »

While the national and regional economies are showing modest signs of growth, real estate industry watchers at the annual Maine Real Estate Development Association forecasting conference said they are seeing bright spots in key markets, particularly in the southern part of the state.

Across a day of forecasts, here’s what analysts had to say about key areas of activity in Maine’s real estate market in 2014.

Multi-family homes

Multi-family sales in southern Maine continued a strong rise in key markets like Portland and Saco/Biddeford over the past year, while Lewiston-Auburn saw flats sales volume, transactions and median prices, according to Brit Vitalius, principal at Vitalius Real Estate Group in Portland and president of the Southern Maine Landlord Association.

Sales volume for multi-family units rose 8% from 2012 to 2013 in Portland, 14% in South Portland, 20% in Saco/Biddeford and were flat in Lewiston-Auburn. The median price rose by the same percentages in each of those areas. In Portland, three-unit commercial buildings were in high demand, with the average price rising 18% over 2012. Notably, South Portland saw a 40% rise in the number of transactions. “South Portland had an incredible year,” he said, noting that Westbrook also was up a strong 28% in transactions.

Half of the properties that sold in Portland went under contract from March to May. “In the spring it felt like there was a mini bubble,” he said.

Notably, 2-4-unit sales saw a rebound. “For the first time in a bunch of years we’re finally getting back some of the

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