Newsletter:  Spring 2014
Maine Home Connection


"Bad weather always looks worse through a window".
                                                           - Tom Leher

It's the end of May and the temperature is barely above 50 degrees - what gives! 

We wanted to start off this month's newsletter with a quick thank you to everyone who attended our open house last month. 

Maine Home Connection
Laura, Susan & Julia
The event could not have gone any better and it was great to share that special day with so many friends.  In the end there was only one bottle of wine left unopened and absolutely no food leftover - which is probably a good sign!

The Numbers........

As reported in the Portland Press Herald last week (where I must shamelessly mention that we were quoted), home sales statewide in April were up 8% while prices declined 3%.  YTD unit sales are up 9.5% and pricing is actually flat - although it has decreased in the last several months. (more on pricing in the next section).

Of all the local communities, Falmouth has experienced some of the most dramatic growth in both sales and prices in 2014 - up 32% and 18% respectively.

As always, sales details of local towns can be found on our website.  Select the Communities tab and follow the link to the community  that is of interest to you.
Forecast for Home Prices
Maine vs the National Averages


Every quarter, Pulsenomics surveys a nationwide panel of over one hundred economists, real estate experts, and investment & market strategists about where home prices are headed over the next five years. They then average the projections of all 100+ experts into a single number.  


The results of their latest survey include:


  • Home values will appreciate by 4.4% in 2014.        
  • The cumulative appreciation will be 19.5% by 2018.  This would result in an average annual appreciation of 3.6% over the next 5 years.        
  • Even the experts making up the most bearish quarter of the survey still are projecting a cumulative appreciation of 9.4% by 2018.

The graph below illustrates Maine single family median prices since 2005.  In 2007 they reached their highest annual level - $194,000 - and dropped to $164,000 in 2009. 


As a point of reference the median price in Cumberland County at year end 2013 was $241,000, representing a 7.1% increase over 2012.  YTD, the median price is down - to $225,000, which probably would surprise most people.   


As you look at each individual month, however, there is a wide variation in the mix of homes sold (i.e. price ranges) that lead to dramatic differences in monthly median prices.   


For this reason, it is very important to look at the most micro-level of data available when trying to interpret (i.e. make sense of) actual prices.  For more local information, visit Sales Data.    

Better than Expected
April Budget Surplus Best Since 2008


According to Market Watch, the federal government had a budget surplus of $114 billion in April. That is $1 billion more than a year ago and would be the largest April surplus since 2008. Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates receipts were 2% higher in April versus the same month a year ago. Spending rose 2.5%.    


For the fiscal year to date, CBO estimates the deficit to be $301 billion, down $187 billion compared to the same period in 2013. The fiscal year runs from October to September. 

Refinancing Drops Dramatically 
Lower Home Mortgage Applications


Strange things are going on with interest rates and mortgage applications.  According to the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA), loan applications fell a seasonally adjusted 1.2% last week, despite anticipated higher home sales.


Mortgage rates are now at their lowest level since June of 2013 for a fixed rate conforming loan.  


Mortgage applications to refinance home loans have fallen precipitously since last summer, when rates jumped over a full percentage point. Refinance applications are down 62% over the last year and now represent only 52% of total applications, compared to over 80% in early 2013.  


Applications to purchase a home - an indicator of future home sales - fell 1% last week, but the year-ago comparison continues to widen. Two weeks ago purchase applications were down 11% vs 1 year ago; last week the annual drop increased to 15%.  Interesting. 

About Maine Home Connection


Thank you for your continued support. As with everything we do, we constantly strive to set a standard of professionalism uncommon in our industry. Our ongoing goal is to provide value to our clients and create relationships that endure the current transaction.

As you consider your future real estate needs, or know of someone who could benefit from our services, it would be our privilege to be of assistance.

Laura & Michael Sosnowski
Maine Home Connection
Direct: 207.517.3100


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

Inside the 207 | May 2014 Newsletter
Featured Properties 

Falmouth: $432,000
View Details & Video

Cape Elizabeth: $639,000
View Details & Video

Scarborough: $444,000
  View Details & Video

Home Search
Create A Custom Search

Looking online for a home, condo, or land? Try our interactive spatial map.   

Begin Your Search

Find the perfect fit of home and neighborhood.   
Neighborhood Spotlight

Scarborough homes sales are up 62% so far this year - that is not a typo - 86 homes this year compared to 53 (through April) of 2013. 

Pricing, however, has been flat.  The median price in 2014 is $313,430 vs $310,000, representing a small increase of 1.1%.

The mix of homes sold in 2014 include fewer properties over $500,000 - a decrease of 28%.  Only 2 properties priced over $1,000,000 have sold in 2014, yet they were at a much higher price level than the year before.

Homes sold in the price range of $200.000 to $300,000 are up 250%, thus contributing to the margin increase in overall price levels for the community.

To see all local properties for sale, visit Scarborough Homes.
Cool Web Products
Lots of Wicked Smart People


Are you are a techno geek? If so, check out Product Hunt.  This website provides daily updates of some of the newest web products and applications.  


Contributors post and discuss their latest discoveries - pretty cool!     

World View
Real Estate Slumps in China



Housing sales across China have declined 9.9% during the first quarter of 2014, despite efforts by the central government to increase lending.  New home construction is down 24.5%.


For the full article, visit the WSJ and China Property Slump

April Home Sales
5 Year History
Source: PPH | MREIS