March 2013
Maine Home Connection
Monthly Newsletter You Tube


At the beginning of March there were 1,517 single family homes for sale in Cumberland County. That is the lowest level since May 2005 - when the total inventory was 1504. During this time the highest level in any given month was 2,766 in July 2010.


That is a significant change in the condition of the market - a difference of available inventory of 1,249 homes from the peak of the over-supply to today. Additionally, sales during the first two months of 2013 are 17% ahead of the first two months of 2012.


The first reaction to this information is that inventory is low, selling times are getting shorter and prices are going up. The reality, however, is not as straight forward.


Although sales volumes continue to improve, the absolute number of properties being sold is still well below the levels prior to the crash in the market. For example, in the city of Portland, although 2012 sales were up, they were still 25% below the peak year of 2006. This same relationship holds true in most area towns and cities. Another way of looking at things is to consider the absorption rate (the numbers of weeks of inventory). Although your mileage may vary depending up your community, based on the sales rate from the last six months, there is still 58 weeks of inventory available in Cumberland County.


Yet some homes are still selling quickly - and some with more than one offer. In the market today good homes, priced correctly (and of course marketed well), can sell quickly. Others may not sell - at any price!


As we move forward in 2013 some key indicators to keep an eye on include:


Days on Market (DOM): The time it takes for a property to go under contact. Currently this is 72 days. This statistic varies considerably by town and price range.


Pending Ratio: Measures the properties under contract versus available inventory. February's result was 37% - one of the highest levels in a long time.


Selling Price vs List Price %: Compares the final selling price versus the original list price. Through the first two months of 2013 the percentage was 91%, suggesting that considerable negotiating was occurring to get contracts finalized.   


As the year progresses, we will keep you updated on changes in these market metrics. 

Optimism for Local Condo Market
Will Inventory Grow too Fast?


At the height of the housing bubble in 2005, Portland condo sales peaked at 368, with a median selling price of $232,558.  During the next six years sales steadily declined, reaching their lowest level in 2011 at 189 and a median price of $215,000.  In 2009 the price had dropped to $185,000.   


Yes, sales volume did increase significantly in 2012, as 228 properties were sold - yet pricing continued to be pressured as the median price decreased to $199,600.  At year-end, inventory was still relatively high and buyers had many choices. 

Changing demographics are influencing condos buyers in Maine and across the country.  There is a growing sense of optimism that 2013 will see an overall improvement in condo sales, especially in urban areas.

 Read More  

Zeitgeist 2012
The World in Review


For the last several years we have been providing our readers with the Google Zeitgeist video, but for some reason completely forgot to do so as 2012 came to an end. Well here it is!

What also was surprising was that Google has been preparing its Year End Zeitgeist for 12 years. The Zeitgeist, which is an in-depth look at the "spirit of the times" is based on how and what people actually search for on Google's Search Engine.

14 million people can't be wrong.  Watching this video (it's less than 3 minutes) reminds you that a lot went on last year.

View Video
Reports Are Exaggerated
Home Ownership Still Alive


There are many variations about the origins of the "reports of my death" quote by Mark Twain.

We do know, however, that a note was written in May 1897.  It included scribbles and cross-outs and of course the famous line "The reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated".  In this note, Mr. Twain was clearing up confusion about an obituary; that apparently was intended to be about his cousin, not him.

Given this background, the death of the American homeowner has also been greatly exaggerated.  Since the housing bubble burst several years ago, many so-called experts have predicted the end of home ownership as an important part of the American Dream.

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Editor's Note


Thank you for your continued support. As with everything we do, we constantly strive to set a standard of professionalism uncommon in our industry.

We would love to hear your comments and suggestions as to what you would like to read in the weeks and months ahead. Email us anytime at:  Or visit our Facebook page for current updates and market trends.

If you are thinking of buying or selling - or know of someone who is, it would be our privilege to assist them.

Laura & Michael Sosnowski
Maine Home Connection
In This Issue
Condo Market Forecast
Zeitgeist 2012
Home Ownership Lives
Editor's Note

We hope you enjoy our monthly Newsletter.  Laura provides a quick overview.

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