Maine's Hottest Towns 2019
February 10, 2020
Maine’s Hottest Towns of 2019: Real Estate Matters
Maine’s real estate market continues to stay hot! With prices still rising, and demand strong, many towns in Maine saw growth in their markets. 2019 provided new trends and surprises in Maine’s real estate market. Of the winners for “Maine’s Hottest Towns of 2019,” none of them made the Top Ten in 2018.
Gathering data from the multiple listing service (operated by Maine Real Estate Information Services, Inc.), we found our Maine’s Hottest Towns of 2019 winners by calculating which Maine municipalities had the largest increase in the number of home and condo sales in 2019. We then compared these numbers to 2018.
Let’s take a look at Maine’s Top Ten Hottest Towns of 2019…
#10 - Cumberland
Cumberland, which will be celebrating its bicentennial next year, sits on the southern coast of Maine in Cumberland County. Home to the Cumberland County Fair, this town is rich in farming and agricultural history. As an affluent suburb of Portland, Cumberland saw growth across the board this last year, with a 7.84% increase in the number of homes sold versus 2018. Of the top ten for this year, Cumberland saw the largest increase in median sale price: $460,000 in 2019 compared to $396,300 in 2018. That’s a whopping 16% increase!
#9 - Cape Elizabeth
The beautiful, scenic town of Cape Elizabeth, home to the famous Portland Head Light, had an 8% increase in its sales between 2018 and 2019. The median sale price also saw some increase: In 2018, the median sale price in Cape Elizabeth was $489,500, and in 2019, that saw a 6.12% increase with the median being $519,495. Cape Elizabeth is known locally as the “beacon” in the popular Beach to Beacon 10K road race that starts at Crescent Beach State Park.
#8 - Kittery
The oldest town in Maine, Kittery sits just over the border from New Hampshire. Home to the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, Kittery is also known for its many outlet stores. Last year, Kittery saw a nearly 11% increase in its home sales, with a median sale price of $422,000 — up 9.12% from a $386,700 median in 2018.
#7 - Waterboro
The Abenaki called the area Massabesic, meaning "the place of much water," a reference to the region's lakes. Landing itself as #8 in 2017, only to drop off the list in 2018, Waterboro climbed its way back onto this year’s list with some steady growth! Waterboro saw a 12.25% increase in its home sales between 2018 and 2019! The median sale price also saw an increase, though mellower than some of the other towns. In 2018, the median price was $229,000; 2019 saw a median price of $230,266.
#6 - Lewiston
Lewiston saw an impressive 14.46% increase in home sales between 2018 and 2019! Lewiston is reinventing its downtown with booming cafes, restaurants, bars and breweries. Led by one of the nation’s leading small liberal arts colleges, Bates, Lewiston is also blossoming as a place of arts and culture. All of this is lending a steady increase in Lewiston’s median sale price. Up from $149,450 in 2018, 2019 had a 3.71% increase to $155,000.
#5 - Bridgton
“Small Town. Big Love.” is the motto in Bridgton. Our #2 in 2017, Bridgton dropped off in 2018, and made its way back to #5 in 2019! Picturesque and situated in the western area of Cumberland County, Bridgton is home to the Bridgton Academy, Pondicherry Park and Shawnee Peak Ski Area. The town of 5,000 inhabitants saw a 14.48% increase in the number of homes sold from 2018 to 2019. Along with this increase, the average sale price rose from $205,600 to $216,000 — many of these being secondary or vacation homes.
#4 - Scarborough
Scarborough has a lot going on right now! With the new “The Downs” development taking place, Scarborough saw a nearly 15% increase in home sales in 2019 — going from 404 to 464! Ninety of the 464 homes sold in Scarborough were built in 2019, showing a trend in new construction. Of those 90 new homes, 68 of them were in the Downs subdivision. Though it saw an impressive increase in sales, Scarborough saw the largest decrease in median sale price, down just over 5% from $395,000 in 2018 to $375,000 in 2019.
#3 - Kennebunk
The beautiful, coastal town known for its sandy beaches and vibrant villages, Kennebunk impressed us this year! Not appearing on the top ten since 2016 when it placed #10, Kennebunk shot itself all the way to #3 for 2019! Kennebunk had a nearly 15.5% increase in the number of homes sold in 2019 versus 2018. With 16% of the sold homes being built in 2018 and 2019, Kennebunk had a lot of new construction that offered it steady growth. The median in Kennebunk decreased, though only slightly. In 2018, the median home price was $350,750, down to $348,750 in 2019.
#2 - Augusta
While not appearing on our 2016, 2017, or 2018 lists, Augusta jumped to the #2 spot in 2019, demonstrating tremendous growth with an impressive 17% increase in the amount of home sales. With a nearly 1% increase in the median sale price, Augusta saw an increase from $139,950 in 2018 to $141,250 in 2019. As the state’s capital, Augusta is the home of Maine’s governor, Janet Mills. Augusta also sits on the Kennebec River.
#1 - Hampden
Coming out at #3 in 2017, then dropping off in 2018, Hampden made a huge comeback and soared all the way to claim the title of Maine’s Hottest Town of 2019. Hampden witnessed a 17.26% jump in the number of homes sold in 2019. The 163 homes sold for a median price of $221,900, giving Hampden an impressive increase of 11.5% over 2018’s median of $199,000. Located on a handsome and strategically located point of the Penobscot River, Hampden has been home to some historic moments, including a battle of the War of 1812 which resulted in the scuttling and burning of the USS Adams, a 750 man frigate. Hampden was also the hometown of Hannibal Hamlin, Vice President under Abraham Lincoln.
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