Archive for E-Newsletters

The 7th Inning Stretch? – Maine Real Estate

The 7th Inning Stretch – Maine Real Estate

It was nearly three years ago that many who follow the technical and fundamental aspects of the national real estate market were growing concerned that the recovery in most of the country was surprisingly quick and quite strong. There were questions about [read more …]

Spring 2017 eNewsletter


Maine Real Estate Update

We have had the best of both worlds for so long that we didn’t think the solid real estate market fundamentals would ever come to an end. For the better part of the last 5 years we have enjoyed a healthy stretch of what is a “classically Maine” slow and steady growth in unit sales, accompanied by trending modest increases in the median price. Read more…

Summer 2016

Maine Real Estate

Maine Real Estate Update – It was not all that long ago that we were managing a relative flood of prospective international buyers looking to purchase their dream vacation home or lock in an investment property with a weak US dollar when compared to their local currency. Read more:

A Safe Harbor In Stormy Seas – February 2016 E-Newsletter


Fall eNews

Maine Real Estate   Welcome to our summer e-Magazine Newsletter! Our loyal followers have grown to well over 40,000 subscribers in all 50 states and several countries around the world. It is humbling that you have chosen Legacy Properties Sotheby’s International Realty to be your eyes and ears for Maine Real Estate. Please click the image above or click here to view this issue.

Maine Coastal Market Report – 3rd Quarter 2015

As we approach our 10-year anniversary as a Maine Real Estate company, we are proud of the great accomplishments of our talented brokerage team.
We have established Legacy Properties Sotheby’s International Realty as Maine’s Leading Luxury Property Company. When working with buyers, we are uniquely qualified to provide the expertise across a wide range of communities and prices. Whether you are looking to buy or sell real estate in Maine, we have the agents to help you achieve your goals. Our analysis of the market is detailed throughout this report.
Please click the image above or click here to view this issue.

Summer eNews



Welcome to our summer e-Magazine Newsletter! Our loyal followers have grown to well over 40,000 subscribers in all 50 states and several countries around the world. It is humbling that you have chosen Legacy Properties Sotheby’s International Realty to be your eyes and ears for Maine Real Estate.

Please click the image above or click here to view this issue.

Maine Real Estate…as the Patriots go…

Maine Real Estate


As the Patriots go…

So goes the Maine real estate market! I am sure you would not be surprised to know that Maine Single Family home prices are perfectly correlated to the fortunes of the New England Patriots Super Bowl performance since the turn of the 21st century. If you live in New England, it seems like an obvious predictor of market movements. Read more…

Maine Real Estate – “Price Makers” Drive Transitional Market in Maine

20 & 10 Cricket Lane, Rockport, ME | $1,100,000

A Qualitative Look at the Maine Real Estate Market


I want to personally thank you for taking the time to read our Maine Real Estate Newsletter. You, and more than 26,000 others share a passion for the Maine lifestyle and the real estate market commentary we produce. Historically, I have approached our market overview from a technical perspective, weighing data from many different sources which factor into the decision to buy and sell real estate. Given the many conversations I have had with buyers, sellers, and agents in recent months, I think it is worthwhile to simply share my thoughts related to managing a Transitional market environment.

Transition is very difficult for market participants in any type of market. Whether it is stocks, bonds, gold, currencies, commodities, and/or real estate, it is helpful to know if you are a “Price Maker” or a “Price Taker.” While each market has to have both parties at the negotiating table, it is crystal clear that everyone wants to be a “Price Maker.”  It is, however, becoming increasingly obvious that you, as the market participant, do not always get to make that choice. The choice is almost exclusively driven by the market Supply and Demand dynamics in which you participate.

A very brief history will help develop a perspective to guide us into the present. From 2001 – 2007, the Home Seller was the “Price Maker” who could lean into a rising market with an aggressive (high) listing price and be greeted by a broad field of enthusiastic “Price Takers.” The Takers were comforted with the knowledge that fast moving price increases would protect them in the long run.  I view 2008 – 2009 as other most recent period of Transition characterized by lower liquidity and a disconnect between the Makers and the Takers. It was a time of price discovery in a new world of financial market panic. Government Stimulus programs from  2009 – 2010, such as the FIRST TIME HOME BUYER TAX CREDIT, gave an artificial zing to the lower priced properties nationwide leaving a void of REAL market value buyers in its aftermath.

Maine is fortunate to have two good solid years of home sale increases in terms of unit volume (33% since 2011) creating a base from which to build. Sold Prices, on the other hand, have been stubborn and very slow to move higher (only 6% since 2011) despite the otherwise improving local, regional and national fundamentals.

Fast forward to February 2014 with the spring market just a month away, Maine home owners have been adding new listings (2,555) at a pace 250% more quickly than homes are selling (1,095). I suspect, given our pipeline of fantastic new listings, that we are going to see a large surge in new listings in all categories. Much of the expected listing boom is seasonal, but I also see a large cadre of sellers who have been waiting for the market conditions to improve since 2008. It appears that time is now as I think we all agree that it is safe to get back into the market to list your home in 2014.

The buyers, at the moment, are restless and malcontent with a lack of broad based, market priced inventory. It has been many years since we have felt that we have more buyers than sellers for quality properties at quality prices. Like the patient Maine sellers, the buyers have also been patient and in wait for the new surge of quality inventory to hit the market. We are at the Transition Point with buyers and sellers ready and willing to enter the market this spring. Sounds GREAT, doesn’t it?

The important thing to remember about Transition is that it will lead to inevitable conflict between the parties. The sellers think, and rightly so, they are the “Price Maker” with a fabulous, unique asset to sell.  The buyers think, and rightly so, that they are the “Price Maker” with cash, liquidity, and chasing a market that has not allowed prices to rise much. So brace yourselves for what is looking to be a clash of the ready, willing, and able market participants. We will see more multiple offer situations this year, but our crystal ball will also be clouded with homes that have been on the market for a year or more without any activity. It appears this period of consolidation and transition will be good for the market as a whole. But keep in mind, market Transitions are not uniform in scale, direction, location or pace.  Fair to say the market has improved significantly, but it has yet to shine its light on all towns and all pricepoints.

I would encourage all participants to show their hands a bit more and your desire to Buy or Sell clear to the other party. Do not play negotiations so close to the vest that no one really understands your goals. There are going to be some incredible properties coming to the market this year. If you want to sell this year, make sure that your home offers the best value in its price range. If you are ready to buy, you are going to have to be on your toes to be a “Price Maker” in a significantly more competitive residential property market.


Maine Listings is the source of data, its accuracy cannot be guaranteed.



Legacy Properties Sotheby’s International Realty is proud to announce the addition of a brand new, market leading search functionality to This innovative product allows our clients to search the complete Maine Real Estate market utilizing an incredibly easy to use and powerful map search technology. Easily input your search criteria and our custom Google map allows you to instantly see changes to your results. You can zoom in, pan around, and see exactly where your property is located. You are even able to draw a custom polygon on the map and restrict your search to a specified area!


Try our new search for yourself: Make sure to easily set up an email alert so that when new properties come on the market you are instantly notified. We think you will find that this new technology is the easiest, fastest, and most user-friendly real estate search around!


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We are also very pleased to introduce our new mobile site. When you visit via your phone, tablet, or other mobile device you are now presented with a mobile-optimized site which easily allows access to all of the same in depth search functionality that our main site offers. You can quickly access all of the properties near your current location via a GPS based search, easily see all of them on a map, maintain favorite properties, and quickly connect with an agent for any questions. Our new mobile site is the perfect way to stay connected to the Maine Real Estate market!



F E A T U R E D   

C U R R E N T   L I S T I N G S

Click on the office name to view all the listings for each office.

Kennebunk | Portland | Brunswick | Camden | Damariscotta

Making Moving Transitions Simple


Are you thinking of moving, but are overwhelmed by the thought of clearing out your home and putting it on the market? You are not alone! Did you know moving is the 2nd most stressful event in someone’s life? Add 30 years of family memories and loads of accumulated “stuff” and the monumental task becomes unbearable.

  • What: “Making Moving Transitions Simple”
  • When: March 26th from 4:30-6:30
  • Where: Woodlands Club in Falmouth 

Kim and Liz from SimplySized Home will break down the moving process for you, putting your moving anxieties to rest. The workshop will be highly interactive and provide resources for participants that will be extremely valuable for anyone who is planning to make a move soon, to list their home, to downsize or rightsize. 



News archive

Unless otherwise specified, all Maine real estate statistics were compiled using Maine Listings data.  There is no guarantee of the accuracy and completeness of the data.

Where (Oh Where) has the “Middle Market” Gone

Where (Oh Where) has the “Middle Market” Gone?

Maine real estate continues to show very strong year-over-year volume growth numbers. The Maine Association of Realtors most recently reported a 25% increase in sales volume for the month of September which is more than double that reported at the national level over the same time period. Half of the homes in Maine sold for $173,000 or less compared to a northeast median sale price of $240,900 (39% higher) reflective of a long standing pattern of lower priced housing stock in Maine. Improvement in median pricing in the past year is lackluster with low single-digit gains for both Maine and the northeast region which is lagging the national data.

We see the “Middle Market” real estate as a segment that clearly has soon room for improved fundamentals given the emergence of Maine as a national and international lifestyle destination. I am not sure a definition for “Middle Market” homes in Maine exists. Maine is such a large state geographically, further complicated by a very high concentration of population centers in the southern and coastal communities. At Legacy Properties Sotheby’s International Realty, our expertise is primarily associated with coastal communities from York County through Hancock County including Cumberland, Sagadahoc, Lincoln, Waldo and Knox Counties. Although we do provide services to many other parts of the state as well.  While there are many methodologies which could be employed, we are going to define the “Middle Market” as the broad price point segment between the active liquid real estate segment ($500,000 and lower) and the waterfront/luxury segment ($1 million and higher). This “Middle Market” segment consists of homes valued from $500,000 to $1 million. While it is actually quite a small part of the overall Maine  real estate market, it is a critical element for so many of our buyer and seller clients and, therefore worthy of consideration.

There are 526 homes (and an additional 114 pending) which have sold in 2013 (YTD) between $500,000 and $1 million. There is a high correlation to coastal communities and southern Maine. “Middle Market” sales in York County and Cumberland County accounted for nearly 75% of the unit volume statewide. Even within these counties there are high concentrations of sales in a handful of towns with the most activity being in Portland and its suburbs of Cape Elizabeth, Falmouth, Yarmouth, Cumberland and Scarborough. York, Kittery and the Kennebunks were the beneficiaries of more than 60% of the “Middle Market” sales in York County. In addition to the coastal element, all of the above towns have close proximity to the economic centers of Maine, Massachusetts and/or New Hampshire. There is also a very high correlation to highly ranked public school systems, town services, infrastructure, cultural and outdoor amenities. Needless to say, the size of the community is a key indicator as well. For example, Camden Maine, with less than 6,000 residents, shares many of the attributes to support strong “Middle Market” activity despite being 30% +/- smaller than other cited communities.

Given the relatively small number of buyers in this broadly defined category, it can be more difficult and volatile with respect to pricing, and much more difficult to come to decisively similar comparable homes. After considering the location, the age of the home, design, maintenance and unique attributes (acreage, water views, marsh views, privacy), it often becomes a series of unique uncorrelated events between a single buyer and seller. While there are a dozen neighborhoods which are reasonably well defined and can be held to a mathematical standard of analysis, they are far and few between.

The “Middle Market” peaked in 2005 with sales reaching 820 units statewide. There was a decline of more than 50% from the peak to trough sales in 2009 with less than 400 homes sold. Despite significant improvements in overall market conditions, the “Middle Market” will likely only realize sales slightly above 600 units in 2013. We remain confident this relatively small but vitally important segment of the market will continue to show gains in coming months and years. It will be driven by both the national economy and the incredible lifestyle real estate values offered in Maine. The expansion in telecommuting will be a stable feeder of new Mainers looking for access to the many incredible and easily accessible arts, culture, outdoor and culinary offerings.

As for the market today, it will be a bit more of the same as the upturn in the “Middle Market” is not likely to be dramatic, but we believe it will be steady. It will require the ongoing patience of sellers recognizing there are only a handful of buyers in any given market at any particular point in time.    Conversely, for buyers, it remains a market with a supply/demand imbalance. The supply of beautiful, well-built and well-located homes priced between $500,000 and $1 million, is well in excess of the number of buyers. This imbalance creates opportunities, that have long since dried up in other market sectors, for buyers to find a fantastic home at what will likely be considered a very good long term value.

Maine Listings is the source of data, its accuracy cannot be guaranteed.

F E A T U R E D   C U R R E N T   L I S T I N G S

Click on the office name to view all the listings for each office.
Kennebunk | Portland | Brunswick | Camden | Damariscotta


Objective, Perspective & Consequence

– Competitive Pricing –

Whether you are John Q. Public, the CEO of a Fortune 500 Company, an investment banker, a world economist, or a Phi Beta Kappa graduate, it is difficult to be objective about your own property. The accurate fair market value of a property can only be determined by using objective criteria.

A seller may assume they can anticipate what a buyer’s perspective may be. In reality, this is difficult to do, since the seller and buyer have very different perspectives.

Today’s buyer is sophisticated. With access to data on sold and competing properties, many buyers have done their own market analysis of comparable properties prior to scheduling a showing. They are able to judge and bracket value. Their estimate of “current fair market value” may even be more accurate than last quarter’s bank appraisal.

Buyers pay attention to competitively priced properties. And cooperating agents focus their efforts where they anticipate there will be a sale. When the distance between listing and selling price is more than 10 or 12 percent, it is hard to get the attention of buyers and agents alike. They may not have time to inspect all properties in their price range, and so will limit their search to those that are the most competitively priced.

There are consequences to every action. A positive consequence of pricing a property competitively is that the property sells.

George Ballantyne is a Senior Vice President with Legacy Properties Sotheby’s International Realty specializing is High Value and Hard to Value Maine Real Estate


News archive

Unless otherwise specified, all Maine real estate statistics were compiled using Maine Listings data.  There is no guarantee of the accuracy and completeness of the data.