‘We’re seeing unprecedented demand’: Maine sees surge in out-of-state home buyers

The coronavirus pandemic is fueling an increase of people from out-of-state purchasing homes in Maine.”We’re seeing unprecedented demand,” Benchmark Realty owner Tom Landry said.Landry said he put a renovated three-bedroom, three-bathroom home in Portland on the market Tuesday and expects to receive interest from buyers from Boston, New York and Washington, D.C.”Where people can have their own home, and they’re probably not in that shared environment,” Landry said.Landry said be recently sold a West End home to someone from New York City. He said he sold another home sight unseen to another out-of-state buyer.Usually, 10% of Maine home buyers are from out of state. This summer that number nearly tripled to 29%.Coronavirus and the ability to work from home is driving the demand. Data showed 7% of buyers were from Massachusetts, 4% were from New Hampshire and 2% were from New York.”I think they’re fleeing some of what they experienced in New York and Boston and places where they’ve had to shelter in place in a big building,” Landry said.With more Mainers staying put, fewer homes have been for sale this year. Lower supply and greater demand is causing home prices in the Greater Portland area to increase 9%.The median sale price of a single-family home was $324,500 last year, and is up to $352,000 this year.”So there is this level of being priced of out Portland, right, and it’s a real concern, you know, we have to increase the amount of inventory that happens here, or it becomes this elitist enclave,” Landry said.Landry said buyers from high-priced cities are seeing the reverse of sticker shock in Maine by getting more square footage for their money.

The coronavirus pandemic is fueling an increase of people from out-of-state purchasing homes in Maine.

“We’re seeing unprecedented demand,” Benchmark Realty owner Tom Landry said.

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Landry said he put a renovated three-bedroom, three-bathroom home in Portland on the market Tuesday and expects to receive interest from buyers from Boston, New York and Washington, D.C.

“Where people can have their own home, and they’re probably not in that shared environment,” Landry said.

Landry said be recently sold a West End home to someone from New York City. He said he sold another home sight unseen to another out-of-state buyer.

Usually, 10% of Maine home buyers are from out of state. This summer that number nearly tripled to 29%.

Coronavirus and the ability to work from home is driving the demand. Data showed 7% of buyers were from Massachusetts, 4% were from New Hampshire and 2% were from New York.

“I think they’re fleeing some of what they experienced in New York and Boston and places where they’ve had to shelter in place in a big building,” Landry said.

With more Mainers staying put, fewer homes have been for sale this year. Lower supply and greater demand is causing home prices in the Greater Portland area to increase 9%.

The median sale price of a single-family home was $324,500 last year, and is up to $352,000 this year.

“So there is this level of being priced of out Portland, right, and it’s a real concern, you know, we have to increase the amount of inventory that happens here, or it becomes this elitist enclave,” Landry said.

Landry said buyers from high-priced cities are seeing the reverse of sticker shock in Maine by getting more square footage for their money.