Real Estate Predictions for 2021

Snowy house in winter

With 2020 happily in our rear view mirror, now is the perfect time to take a minute to reflect.  In a year of unexpected challenges, there were also some surprising trends that emerged in the real estate market as a result.

Seasonal Changes

The real estate market grinded almost to a full stop as businesses shut down in mid-March and people were under stay-at-home orders.  Spring brought a welcome relief of longer days, warmer temperatures and the ability to enjoy the outdoors. Second home buyers started to see real benefits to having a place to escape to. By early summer, inquiries and property showing requests were steadily increasing, as were offers.  Multiple offers and offers above asking price started to be more common. Average days on the market decreased, too, and so did inventory. Many buyers started looking on the outskirts of the hubs of our area, further away from both Sunday River and Bethel Village.

2020 vs. 2019

Let’s compare the statistics from 2019 to 2020. It is worth noting that the median sale price for area condominiums increased a whopping 20.6%, from $170,000 in 2019 to $205,000 in 2020.  Nowhere was that more evident than in the slopeside condominium market: sale price percentage increase exceeded 20%!  The median sale price of homes also increased by 10.4% compared to 2019.

With fewer homes and condominiums for sale, buyers started looking at land options in hopes of building their vacation retreat. 66 lots sold in 2020, compared to the 47 lots that sold in 2019.

What’s next?

With all of the changes that we saw in 2020, what can we expect for 2021?  It seems that many employers have seen a lot of benefits with having employees working remotely. Many will likely allow, and even encourage, employees to work from home at least part-time. This provides an opportunity for buyers to enjoy a vacation home even more frequently.  Incredibly low interest rates are also fueling the current real estate market, as buyers look at how best to invest their money.  The pandemic prompted many people to slow down and rethink how they wanted to live their life, and many are putting a premium on creating lifelong family memories as a high priority. This generates another driving force for purchasing a second home, and I expect that trend will continue.

Working as a real estate agent in a second home market can sometimes have its challenges. It can be tricky to show newly listed, hot properties quickly when people live hours away. And coordinating closings and walk-throughs during the pandemic takes some planning. COVID-19 brought some changes that I think will likely stick: buyers initially viewing properties virtually, as well as remote closings and virtual walk-throughs.  I have found that the key is flexibility and creativity.

If you are thinking about making the Sunday River area your home away from home in 2021, give our office a call and speak with one of our experienced agents.  We will help you navigate the current market and find your Happy Place!

Statistical information provided by Maine Real Estate Information Systems.

About the Author
Margie Camden

After college, I lived out of state for a few years, knowing that I wanted to make my way back to Maine. I was drawn to Bethel not only because of the beautiful surroundings, but also the welcoming nature of the people who live here, the quaintness of Bethel Village and the great energy that goes along with having Sunday River Ski Resort in the midst of it all. 

I having been working in the area as a real estate agent for over 20 years, having previously co-owned a local real estate agency, later happily settling in to work at Sunday River Real Estate over 10 years ago. I am a dedicated professional, always striving to hold myself to the highest possible standards to ensure that my clients trust that I will work hard to find them that special property and that the buying and selling process goes smoothly. I value the relationships that I have developed in my real estate career and in my book, there is nothing more rewarding than a happy client. I am also a member of the National and State of Maine Board of Realtors and I hold a professional certification as a Resort and Second Home Property Specialist. 

The ski industry and Sunday River Ski Resort move at a fast pace. Working with Sunday River Real Estate affords our clients the most up to date information about the resort. For expert knowledge of resort changes and real estate developments, please join our newsletter. I look forward to working with you.