Below you will see current listing, pending and October home sales data for the City of Bath and Towns of Brunswick and Topsham, which are the major towns in Maine Home Realty’s Market Area.
In the aftermath of the 2-week federal government shut-down, which ended on October 17th, we saw mortgage rates improving after having moved a bit higher during the shut-down. It is expected that rates will remain volatile until the economy stabilizes. Uncertainty remains on the horizon as the government is funded only until mid-January and the debt limit is suspended until February 7th. Given the timing of this period of uncertainty, it may be difficult to separate its impact from the generally slower real estate sales season that surrounds the upcoming holidays.
Locally, we saw more mixed messages depending on where you looked. We know, from personal experience, that there were closings scheduled for October that got delayed until November because of the shut-down (Rural Development loans and/or Buyers who were Federal employees on furlough), so perhaps October numbers were dragged down and November numbers will see a boost.
The number of Current Listings remained fairly steady across all towns. The big moves off last month’s figures were in the number of Pending Sales in Brunswick (down from 43 in September to only 29 in October) and in Sales in Topsham (down from 15 to 5) and Bath (down from 12 to 6). The closed sales of October were put under contract, for the most part, in August and September which was prior to concerns about the shut-down. This tells us the market was slowing even before the shut-down had impact – it looks like this could be a very slow holiday season for real estate sales.
Not reflected in this data, and only anecdotally, it does appear that land sales have picked up as we head into year-end.
If you are considering a land purchase, now is a great time to view these properties – we’ve had a good hard freeze now, so underbrush has died off – Just be sure to wear your hunter’s orange if you are out walking land! We have a number of excellent land listings you may want to check out, including a new one in Phippsburg!