The Schaefer Report: Tremont leads MDI’s hot home-sale market

TREMONT, Dec. 4, 2020 – The waterfront house at 25 Nutter Point Drive, see photo, was on the market for two years with an asking price exceeding $2 million. Then came the pandemic. It sold this week for $2.1 million. This quiet village on the southern tip of MDI was a bedlam of home sales activity this summer and fall.

Tremont almost tripled its single-family home sales from $3,746,850 to $9,088,964, for the first nine months of 2020 compared to last year, according to the data compiled for QSJ by Realtor Carol Schaefer of the Davis Agency.

Southwest Harbor’s total volume went from $11,356,871 to $21,290,105, an increase of 87 percent from 2020 over 2019.

These were two extreme examples of a market unparalleled in decades as the pandemic changed home ownership preference away from cities to rural towns. There were plenty of other nose-bleeding stats: the average sales in the town of Mount Desert topped $1 million for the first time in history; Bar Harbor’s pending sales were up 71 percent and Tremont’s were up 77 percent. Most of those have closed except the ones still pending in November. The data for the following chart was for the year-over-year period ending Nov. 30.

86 Clark Point Rd, Southwest Harbor, ME 04679

86 Clark Point Road, Southwest Harbor, left photo, was listed for $925,000 and sold for $1,055,000. It closed Nov. 19. On Aug. 28, 76 Clark Point Road, sold for $1,775,000 after being listed for $1,575,000, photo below.

76 Clark Point Rd, Southwest Harbor, ME 04679

The November 2020 versus November of 2019 numbers, chart below, showed no abatement from the boom. Mount Desert had 13 sales versus one a year ago, for an average price of $1,269,340. That translated into a 4,300 percent increase in total price from $375,000 to $16,501,425.

But the sales boom has left an inventory problem in all towns except Bar Harbor. Mount Desert’s active listings is 25, down 53 percent; Southwest Harbor at 19, down 34 percent; and Tremont has 15, down 25 percent. Bar Harbor has 44 units, up 15 percent. For the entire island, there were 103 units on the market for November, a decline of 26 percent.

MDI had 32 sales in November, up 128 percent from last November, with 21 more homes pending, up 133 percent.

Land sales were also up, but more tempered than the single-family rage. The sales volume was up 10 percent for all of MDI year over year.

MDI performed better than the rest of Maine, which also enjoyed increase sales.
“The residential real estate recovery since the COVID-impacted second quarter has been robust,” said Tom Cole, 2020 President of the Maine Association of Realtors. “January through October 2020 sales are 5.6 percent ahead of the comparable time period for 2019—Maine’s best year ever.

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