It has been about four years since the collapse of the local and national housing market. Many of the southern and western states where speculation was rampant, have suffered terribly and it may still be several years before normal activity returns. Measured on a percentage basis, Maine and New Hampshire's participation in the housing bubble was not as great as in other states. However, there were plenty of people who purchased homes who probably should not have and subsequently, have lost their properties. And the economic uncertainty led people to concentrate on maintaining their current homes, rather than investing in new ones.
The mix of foreclosures, the slow housing market and the poor economy has led to reduced prices. I have been waiting for the 'market' to realize that there are real bargains available. Sellers, if they are not underwater, should understand that they can take far less on their current home and more than make up for it when they purchase their next one. Banks, with a large backlog of foreclosed homes on their books, are beginning to show greater flexibility on short sales.
So, I am not suggesting that I know where the bottom of the housing market might be. But it appears from my observations that there is a sense that if we have not yet hit bottom, it can't be much lower. An article in yesterday's Wall Street Journal confirms that bargain hunting is going on now in many other cities. The story, Cash Buyers Lift Housing, can be read by clicking on the link.
Since most trends come to Maine a little slower than other places, I wouldn't be surprised if such Bargain Hunting picks up around here this spring and summer. If you are looking to see what bargains might be available in western Maine, feel free to visit Kezar Realty.com to search all available properties.