On October 24, 2007, the Maine Association of Realtors released statistics pointing out that home sales across the State of Maine had dropped 16% in September over last years September sales after two months of positive figures. However, remember the saying, "Real Estate is Local".
Well yes, while the news media ran with stories like "Home Sales Plummet", my audit background led me to dig deeper into the report and the figures that followed. They are correct that in fact statewide home sales were down 197 units sold or 16.08% for the time period comparison of September 1-30, 2006 versus September 1-30, 2007. Isn't it very common for the media to present bits and pieces of the facts and not paint the entire picture?!
As always, the Maine Association of Realtors press release to the media outlets shows additional statistics. Upon further review, you will see from the Rolling Quarter Chart for the 3rd Quarter that Cumberland County saw a 7.88% INCREASE in units sold (July 1 - September 30, 2007 versus July 1 - September 30, 2006) and NO CHANGE in the Median Sales Price (MSP) $255,000 for the same time period year over year. Interesting, where was that in the news stories?!
Yes, one can slice and dice the statistics a number of different ways. How about the fact that sales in Cumberland County for January 1 - September 30, 2007 are only down 165 units from 3,112 in 2006, to 2,947 in 2007, which is only a decrease in sales of 5.3%. That seems reasonable for someone in the business observing a slight slowdown. Yet, I would be willing to bet that prices have remained somewhat stable for that time period as well.
As I said, the media will print what they feel readers will read and please keep in mind once again that "Real Estate is Local". What happens with sales in Millinocket, Madawaska, or Bangor, has very little impact at all on real estate sales in Portland, Yarmouth, or Westbrook, unless you allow the media to impact your consumer confidence. Remember you have buying power. Be proactive while others may be fearful.
- Jeff Mateja
Jeff Mateja is the CEO/REALTOR at Universal Properties at Keller Williams Realty in Portland, Maine, and founder of ILovePortlandMaine.com, a blog about everything Portland, Maine, and beyond. Jeff also offers two premier home search tools for Buyers via FindPortlandHomesNow.com and FindMaineHomesNow.com. If you would like further information on any blog topics, please e-mail Jeff Mateja.
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