Market update: Is all of Cumberland County turning into the new South Portland?

Dated: June 14 2021

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    Last year, many people were talking about South Portland as the home sales were booming and was ranked as the 5th hottest market in the Country. Fast forward a year and all of Cumberland County is following suit. Looking at the statistics, year over year, the market is booming from a sales price perspective; but there aren't enough houses for sale. 

   For compartive sake, we will look at May of 2020 versus May of 2021 for both South Portland and Cumberland County for single family homes. 

   Cumberland County had 561 single family homes for sale in May of 2020 and just 355 in May of 2021, exactly a one month supply if no more homes were to hit the market. South Portland had 19 single family homes for sale in May of 2020 and just 13 in May of 2021, resulting in just a half months supply if no more homes came on the market.

   We had 206 less homes to sell in all of Cumberalnd County versus the prior year, but as the prices in South Portland become too steep for much of the buyer's pool, they are looking elsewhere as can be seen by the number of showings for properties. Cumberland County had an average of 7.1 showings per single family home in May of 2020, that number increased to 11.5 in May of 2021. South Portland saw a small increase up to 15.8 showings per listing versus 14.5 last May. 

Disclaimer: Total number of showings is pulled from the online platform most brokers use but doesn't capture them all. 

   The lack of inventory is driving up prices considerbly as the most noticable statistic is in the price per square foot. On average,in Cumberland County, a $300,000, 1,500 square foot home in may of 2020 cost you $388,500 just one year later. That same home in South Portland that cost you $322,000 in May of 2020, was going for $444,000 last month. The price per square foot has risen from $200 to $259 in Cumberland County and South Portland coming in at whopping $296 per square foot versus $215 the year prior. 

   Have your heard all the crazy stories of 30k, 40k, 100k over asking price? They are true! Cumberland County homes sold for 106.4 % of asking price last month and South Portland saw 109.4%. 

    One more stat, just because it's fun!! The median sales price in Cumberaland County last month was $438,119 up from $342,000 the year prior. South Portland coming in at $444,450, up from $317,250. 

    South Portland is not going to slow down anytime soon and seems to be just as true for Cumberland County. We will need to see a surplus of inventory hit the market before anything settles down. I'm not so sure we are going to see that in the near future. We have many first time home buyers that have been at a major disadvantage over the past 6 months to a year. There are a lot of cash buyers, large down payments utilizing conventional mortgates that put a lot of our first time home buyers in a tough spot.  

*statistics pulled from Maine Listings.

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Matt Whitten

A long-time resident of South Portland, Matt studied at the University of Southern Maine and later, earned his undergraduate degree in Business Administration at the University of Phoenix. He has over....

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