Navigation
It Must be Maine; The Way Life Should Be.

Home Mortgage Rates in Maine

Portland Head Lighthouse.

Maine Real Estate Trend Compared to National Median Real Estate Prices

From 2008 to 2009 the national average home sold price was $177,900. Maine's median prices were:

  • York $201K in October 2009, down 13%.
  • Cumberland $220k in October 2009, down 9%.
  • Sagadahoc $162K in October 2009, down 16%.
  • Lincoln $185K in October 2009, down 21%.
  • Portland-South Portland-Biddeford area $203k in October 2009, down 13.1%.

The greatest percentage increase in the total number of residential foreclosures in Maine was in the prime mortgage loan sector. Overall residential foreclosures in the state of Maine increased 43% in 2009.

  • In Maine, 34% of homeowners don't have any mortgage, as compared with 32% nationally.
  • 52% of Maine homeowners have a prime mortgage, compared with 52% nationally. Number of prime loans serviced in Maine decreased 4%.
  • 7% of Maine homeowners used a subprime mortgage, compared with 7% nationally. Number of subprime loans serviced in Maine decreased 8%.
  • 7% of Maine homeowners have a VA or an FHA mortgage, as compared with 9% nationally. FHA servicing in Maine increased 48%, while VA servicing in Maine decreased 3%.

Maine's State Budget faced a shortfall in FY2009 of between 5.01 and 10 percent as Share of State General Fund. This budget gap, which appears to be ongoing into 2010, can only be closed by raising revenues, cutting spending, tapping into reserves, or securing federal stimulus funding. If revenues are raised by increasing property taxes or instituting or increasing other taxes which affect real estate transfers and mortgaging, this could lower property values.

Currently Maine has one of the highest local residential property tax burdens in the nation, with most households paying between $4,000 and $6,582 annually in property taxes. A further tax burden on Maine residents would further lower real property values, approximately $12-15K for every $1000 in property tax increase.

Home sales in 2009 were 4.9% higher than in 2008, mostly driven by the federal tax credit, which has been extended through April 2010. Sales are expected to rise again in 2010, but the job market is still a concern. Job creation in Maine is the key to a true and sustainable housing market recovery.

Distressed homes are still accounting for a significant percentage of sales, which downwardly distorts the median price of homes in all areas, since they generally sell at a discount relative to traditional homes in the same area.

Currently, in addition to the Federal Tax Credits, the state of Maine is offering its own incentive, called "The Gift Of Green", which gives buyers up to $2,500 in closing costs, plus a $500 credit for a 2 part home energy audit. Buyers who haven't owned their own home for the last three years are encouraged to apply. This incentive program is available to those who apply for MaineHousing's zero point mortgage. There are some other incentive programs available through the Maine State Housing Authority, ie the Midcoast Redevelopment Mortgage, to help those who were most affected by the closing of the Brunswick Naval Air Station, and the Indian Housing Mortgage Insurance Program for homes located on tribal lands.

Places to Live

Metropolitan Areas

ME Rank US Rank Metropolitan Area 2016 Pop 2010 Pop Change % △
1 104 Portland-South Portland 529,657 514,098 15,559 3.03%
2 273 Bangor 151,806 153,923 -2,117 -1.38%
3 336 Augusta-Waterville 120,569 122,151 -1,582 -1.30%
4 361 Lewiston-Auburn 107,319 107,702 -383 -0.36%

Popular Regions in Maine

Portland, Maine Skyline.

Since there has been some increase in commercial real estate activity in the Portland region, the job market there looks as if it will soon see some upswing. Also, the housing inventory was approximately 11% lower at the end of 2009 than it was at the end of 2008, a sign that the bottom has been reached in this region. There is much to attract people to the Portland area, with good amenities and shopping, an attractive housing stock with some historic properties as well as recent and new construction, and much natural beauty along the coast of Maine.

The coastal town of Ogunquit offers white sand beaches and natural dunes, which is a rarity on much of the Maine Coast. There's a one mile paved oceanside walkway, a playhouse, good seafood restaurants, and trolleys that run in season from one end of town to the other. Ogunquit is near enough to the Boston area for weekend car trips.

Mt. Desert Island, which encompasses Acadia National Park, as well as the towns of Bar Harbor, Bass Harbor, Southwest Harbor and others, has always been an area of vacation homes. The area is rich in history, with its rusticating trails from one end of the island to the other, its craggy coastline that's still home to some of Maine's fishing industry, and its historic villages. It's a very quiet place to live most times of the year, but summer is the season, and life can be exciting with the influx of seasonal visitors, many of whom have been making the trek to the Island over many generations.

Maine Census Data

According to the United States Census an estimated 1,331,479 people live in the state of Maine. The state has 30842.92 mi² of land area, which gave it a population density of 43.17 per mi². Here is a list of cities, towns, villages & Census Designated Places with more than 5,000 residents, with their estimated population as of June 2016 & the 2010 United States Census. For Census Designated Places (CDP) where there was no population estimate available for 2016 the 2011-2015 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates data was used.

All table columns are sortable. Click on the column headers to sort by that column. Click again to sort low to high. Cities with higher levels of population growth typically see the increased demand drive faster real estate price appreciation.

Rank Geography County 2016 Pop 2010 Pop Change % △ Land mi² Pop Den mi²
1 Portland Cumberland 66,937 66,194 743 1.12% 21.31 3,141.11
2 Lewiston Androscoggin 36,140 36,592 -452 -1.24% 34.15 1,058.27
3 Bangor Penobscot 31,985 33,039 -1,054 -3.19% 34.26 933.6
4 South Portland Cumberland 25,577 25,002 575 2.30% 11.99 2,133.19
5 Auburn Androscoggin 22,948 23,055 -107 -0.46% 59.33 386.79
6 Biddeford York 21,362 21,277 85 0.40% 30.09 709.94
7 Sanford York 20,938 20,798 140 0.67% 47.78 438.22
8 Brunswick Cumberland 20,645 20,278 367 1.81% 46.73 441.79
9 Scarborough Cumberland 20,023 18,919 1,104 5.84% 47.61 420.56
10 Saco York 19,213 18,482 731 3.96% 38.46 499.56
11 Augusta Kennebec 18,494 19,136 -642 -3.35% 55.13 335.46
12 Westbrook Cumberland 18,402 17,494 908 5.19% 17.12 1,074.88
13 Windham Cumberland 18,003 17,001 1,002 5.89% 46.56 386.66
14 Gorham Cumberland 17,381 16,381 1,000 6.10% 50.62 343.36
15 Waterville Kennebec 16,406 15,722 684 4.35% 13.58 1,208.10
Brunswick CDP Cumberland 15,453 15,175 278 1.83% 14.51 1,064.99
16 York York 12,947 12,529 418 3.34% 54.67 236.82
17 Falmouth Cumberland 12,102 11,185 917 8.20% 29.38 411.91
18 Kennebunk York 11,320 10,798 522 4.83% 35.05 322.97
19 Orono Penobscot 11,242 10,362 880 8.49% 18.19 618.03
20 Wells York 10,184 9,589 595 6.21% 57.55 176.96
21 Standish Cumberland 10,174 9,874 300 3.04% 59.03 172.35
Sanford CDP York 9,761 9,761 0 0.00% 5.11 1,910.18
22 Kittery York 9,644 9,490 154 1.62% 17.78 542.41
Orono CDP Penobscot 9,522 9,474 48 0.51% 7.05 1,350.64
23 Cape Elizabeth Cumberland 9,329 9,015 314 3.48% 14.7 634.63
24 Brewer Penobscot 9,107 9,482 -375 -3.95% 15.23 597.96
25 Presque Isle Aroostook 9,106 9,692 -586 -6.05% 75.76 120.2
26 Lisbon Androscoggin 8,846 9,009 -163 -1.81% 22.82 387.64
27 Old Orchard Beach York 8,809 8,624 185 2.15% 7.43 1,185.60
28 Topsham Sagadahoc 8,786 8,784 2 0.02% 32.2 272.86
Old Orchard Beach CDP York 8,697 8,624 73 0.85% 7.43 1,170.52
29 Yarmouth Cumberland 8,558 8,349 209 2.50% 13.35 641.05
30 Freeport Cumberland 8,425 7,879 546 6.93% 34.7 242.8
31 Bath Sagadahoc 8,303 8,514 -211 -2.48% 9.1 912.42
32 Skowhegan Somerset 8,302 8,589 -287 -3.34% 58.84 141.09
33 Buxton York 8,195 8,034 161 2.00% 40.52 202.25
34 Gray Cumberland 8,115 7,761 354 4.56% 43.27 187.54
35 Ellsworth Hancock 7,911 7,741 170 2.20% 79.28 99.79
36 Cumberland Cumberland 7,843 7,211 632 8.76% 22.88 342.79
37 Waterboro York 7,824 7,693 131 1.70% 55.33 141.41
38 Caribou Aroostook 7,736 8,189 -453 -5.53% 79.26 97.6
Winslow CDP Kennebec 7,661 7,794 -133 -1.71% 36.82 208.07
39 Farmington Franklin 7,576 7,760 -184 -2.37% 55.67 136.09
40 Berwick York 7,573 7,246 327 4.51% 37.52 201.84
41 Winslow Kennebec 7,569 7,794 -225 -2.89% 36.82 205.57
42 Old Town Penobscot 7,518 7,840 -322 -4.11% 38.85 193.51
43 South Berwick York 7,433 7,220 213 2.95% 32.13 231.34
44 Hampden Penobscot 7,384 7,257 127 1.75% 37.94 194.62
45 Rockland Knox 7,179 7,297 -118 -1.62% 12.84 559.11
46 Belfast Waldo 6,647 6,668 -21 -0.31% 34.04 195.27
47 Fairfield Somerset 6,585 6,735 -150 -2.23% 53.75 122.51
Topsham CDP Sagadahoc 6,483 5,931 552 9.31% 11.06 586.17
Gorham CDP Cumberland 6,445 6,882 -437 -6.35% 7.66 841.38
48 Eliot York 6,442 6,204 238 3.84% 19.78 325.68
Skowhegan CDP Somerset 6,260 6,297 -37 -0.59% 13.37 468.21
49 Lebanon York 6,174 6,031 143 2.37% 55 112.25
50 Oakland Kennebec 6,158 6,240 -82 -1.31% 25.67 239.89
51 Winthrop Kennebec 5,970 6,092 -122 -2.00% 31.22 191.22
52 Hermon Penobscot 5,865 5,416 449 8.29% 35.87 163.51
53 Houlton Aroostook 5,828 6,123 -295 -4.82% 36.71 158.76
54 Turner Androscoggin 5,765 5,734 31 0.54% 59.26 97.28
55 New Gloucester Cumberland 5,713 5,542 171 3.09% 47.12 121.24
56 Rumford Oxford 5,711 5,841 -130 -2.23% 68.55 83.31
Yarmouth CDP Cumberland 5,628 5,869 -241 -4.11% 5.23 1,076.10
Kennebunk CDP York 5,621 5,214 407 7.81% 6.75 832.74
57 Gardiner Kennebec 5,620 5,800 -180 -3.10% 15.65 359.11
58 Poland Androscoggin 5,544 5,376 168 3.13% 42.23 131.28
59 Bar Harbor Hancock 5,394 5,235 159 3.04% 42.24 127.7
60 Bridgton Cumberland 5,384 5,210 174 3.34% 56.79 94.81
61 Paris Oxford 5,127 5,183 -56 -1.08% 40.77 125.75
62 Waldoboro Lincoln 5,029 5,075 -46 -0.91% 71.5 70.34
63 Sabattus Androscoggin 5,015 4,876 139 2.85% 25.71 195.06

Annual Estimates of the Resident Population: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2016
Source: U.S. Census Bureau, Population Division
Release Date: May 2017.

Mortgage Types offered in Maine

Portland, Maine Harbor.

As of 2017 the conforming loan limit across the United States is set to $424,100, with a ceiling of 150% that amount in areas where median home values are higher. High local affordability makes the $424,100 ceiling apply statewide for single unit homes. Dual unit homes have a limit of $543,000, triple unit homes have a limit of $656,350 & quadruple unit homes have a limit of $815,650. Jumbo loans typically have a slightly higher rate of interest than conforming mortgages, though spreads vary based on credit market conditions.

The Maine State Housing Authority is an independent authority which helps low and moderate income homebuyers to interact with approved lenders, and offers incentives for homebuyers. The authority also sells MaineHousing Bonds, a great way to invest and keep the money in the state of Maine. The following data is true as of 2010:

  • Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac offer conventional financing in the state of Maine. Maximum loan amounts vary by location, with a maximum range from $271,050 to $337,500.
  • FHA loans are available up to $271,050 for all of Maine, with the exception of the two high cost areas: Hancock County allows up to $272,500, and Portland up to $337,500. Maine also has VA loans available.
  • USDA loans can help people with low incomes in rural parts of the state qualify for a subsidized low-interest loan.
  • Natural Disasters

    Flood Insurance

    Homeowner's insurance policies typically do not cover flooding. Most of the state of Maine is considered to have a very low flooding risk. Counties with relatively elevated risk profiles include:

    • Low flood risk: Kennebac, Oxford, Sagadahoc, Waldo
    • Moderate hurricane storm surge risk: Lincoln, Sagadahoc
    • Home buyers with mortgages in high-risk areas are required to buy flood insurance. Most flood insurance policies are sold by the United States federal government through The National Flood Insurance Program. Under-priced flood insurance in high-risk areas act as a subsidy to wealthy homeowners.

    The NFIP does not charge nearly enough to cover the expected costs of its liabilities. The assessments are not sufficient to build any buffer to cover an extraordinary year, such as what occurred with Hurricane Katrina in 2005 or Hurricane Sandy in 2012. Because homeowners don€™t incur the full cost of building in a flood zone we end up with more houses there than if homeowners incurred the full cost of the flood risk, which exacerbates the government€™s costs in the next disaster.

    Homeowners who live in lower risk areas & are not required to purchase flood insurance heavily cross-subsidize homeowners who are in areas where floods are more common.

    Earthquakes

    Most of the state has a very low eathquake risk, but Washington county - the eastmost portion of Maine & York county in the southern tip of the state have a low earthquake risk. Standard rental and homeowner insurance policies typically do not cover earthquake damage, though they usually cover losses caused by fires which resulted from an earthquake. You can supplement your homeowner's insurance with an earthquake policy.

    Other Natural Disasters

    Maine has a very low risk of wildfires, tornadoes, hail & earthquakes.

    Foreclosures

Legal Issues with Deeds and Mortgages in Maine

Maine lenders use judicial foreclosure, which begins with filing the complaint. The redemption period is 90 days. During the foreclosure period or during the redemption period, if the lender accepts money or any trade of value against payment in part or in full of the mortgage debt then that act of acceptance waives the foreclosure period. The borrower can remain in the residence during that period and try to pay off the mortgage. After foreclosure deficiency judgments are permitted.