MAINE REAL ESTATE SALES INCREASE 8.34% IN MARCH

Real estate sales in Maine were back on track last month, after weather in February caused a temporary slow down.

Real estate sales in Maine were back on track last month, after weather in February caused a temporary slow down. According to statistics released by Maine Listings, Maine’s statewide MLS, sales of single-family existing homes jumped 8.34 percent in March 2013, compared with sales from the same month, one year ago. The median sales price (MSP) for the 792 homes sold rose 6.25 percent to $170,000. The MSP indicates that half of the homes were sold for more and half sold for less.

Bart Stevens, 2013 President of the Maine Association of Realtors, said, “After one slow month in February, the real estate market continues to pick up steam. Buyers are out in full force. In most areas of the state, inventory is still acceptable—but the market is clearly shifting. The lack of inventory for buyers is not severe yet, but it is approaching that stage. Properties going under contract are selling for much closer to asking price than we have seen in quite some time.”

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Housing Tax Incentives Key to Recovery

Gary Thomas the President of the National Association of Realtors spoke recently on the importance of the continuation of the many long standing tax incentives to home ownership.

Gary Thomas the President of the National Association of Realtors spoke recently on the importance of the continuation of the many long standing tax incentives to home ownership.  Tax treatment favoring homeowners include the mortgage interest deduction, capital gains exclusion on the sale of a principle residence, and the deduction for mortgage insurance premiums on private mortgage insurance and FHA backed insurance.

Thomas noted that these are complicated issues that are not settled with a direct up or down vote and that they may be tucked into language on larger bills moving through Congress.  Right now we’re in the early stages of what we expect will be a long process..  The House Ways & Means Committee and the Senate finance Committee are holding ongoing meetings on the issues.  As REALTORS®, we have a seat at the table and are sharing our views.

We tell members of Congress and staff how necessary these incentives are for rebuilding the national economy.  Since we’re in the midst of a fragile recovery, additional housing taxes would crush the real estate market just as it is poised to help lift us out of the economic doldrums.

Thomas said our goal is to see that the tax code will continue to reflect the fundamental American value that homeownership helps build financial stability.  He added that not only is this the right policy for housing, it’s also the best for families, for communities and the entire country.

Bangor Area Sales Brisk, Up 9.7% Year to Date

Home sales continue to improve nationally and it’s the same for the Bangor Area*.

Home sales continue to improve nationally and it’s the same for the Bangor Area*.
Year to date sales for single family homes and condos out paced dollar volume for the same period last year by 9.7%, for a total sales volume of $37 million. This year there were 246 homes sold compared with last years pace of 232, a 6% increase.
With home mortgage interest rates continuing to be very attractive for home buyers, more homeowners are recognizing that it’s becoming more of a sellers market.
The average sale price of homes sold in the first quarter of 2011 saw no increase from the previous year. However, the average sale price of homes sold in the first quarter increased to $151,500 in the Bangor Area compared to $146,500 last year, a solid 3.4% gain. This gain is the result of an expected increase in demand and in consumer confidence that is accompanying the area’s improving economy.
*Bangor,Brewer,Glenburn,Hampden,Hermon,Holden,Orrington,Orono,OldTown,Veazie

Vacation Home Sales Increase

Vacation home sales improved in 2012 according to a survey by the National Association of Realtors (NAR). The 2013 survey covering existing, and new home transactions in 2012, shows vacation-home sales rose 10.1 percent to 553,000 from 502,000 in 2011.

Vacation home sales improved in 2012 according to a survey by the National Association of Realtors (NAR).   The 2013 survey covering existing, and new home transactions in 2012, shows vacation-home sales rose 10.1 percent to 553,000 from 502,000 in 2011. Vacation-home sales accounted for 11 percent of all transactions last year, unchanged from 2011. NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun said favorable conditions are driving second-home sales.  “We had a strong stock market recovery, which helps more people in the prime ages for buying vacation homes.  Attractively priced recreational property is also a big draw,” he said.

The median vacation-home price was $150,000, compared with $121,300 in 2011, reflecting a greater number of more expensive recreational property sales in 2012. All-cash purchases remain common in the vacation-home market with 46 percent. Seventy-eight percent of all second-home buyers said it was a good time to buy, compared with 68 percent of primary residence buyers.  “This suggests that second-home buyers tend to be a step ahead of general buyers in sensing a market recovery,” Yun said.

Thirty seven percent of the vacation home buyers said they were likely to purchase another vacation home within two years.

There are approximately 42.8 million people in the U.S. are ages 50-59.  An additional 43.1 million people are 40-49 years old which is the prime age for current vacation home buyers.  While 80 percent of vacation home purchases were for family retreat 27 percent plan to use it as a primary residence in the future.