Maine's Hottest Towns 2022

Maine’s Hottest Towns of 2022

Report by: Heather Compton and Rob Edgerley

It’s been no secret that Maine’s real estate market has been blazing hot and full of energy for the last few years. The majority of property listings remain on the market for just a few days, they’re receiving multiple offers, and are closing at above asking price. The real estate market continues to be electrified and this year’s Hottest Towns report reveals that more than ever.

Every year, we gather data from the multiple listing service (operated by Maine Real Estate Information Services, Inc.) and we find Maine's Hottest Towns winners by calculating which Maine municipalities had the largest increase in the number of homes sold compared to the previous year. However, this year, very few towns actually saw an increase in the number of homes sold and the majority actually saw a decrease. For instance, Portland, our state’s most populated municipality, was down by nearly 30% in unit sales for 2022. If unit sales are down across the board, surely this is a sign of the market cooling down, right?

Not so fast!

The real, deeper story here is the shortage of supply, not demand. The proof of this can be found by taking a look within sale prices. Not a single town within the report for this year saw a decrease in median sale price. Fewer homes are hitting the market resulting in competitive offers from demanding buyers. For this year’s report, we will take a look into the towns that saw the highest boost in median sales price, the places where people are putting down their money, and where people are willing to pay for their own piece of what Maine has to offer.

Let’s dive into Maine’s Hottest Towns of 2022….

#10 – Waterville

Waterville saw a 17.6% jump in the median home price between 2021 to 2022, increasing in value from $170,000 to $200,000. Waterville was also one of the few towns in the report that saw an increase in unit sales at a mild 2% increase. Nestled on the banks of the historic Kennebec River, Waterville is undergoing a downtown renaissance with new hotels, galleries and restaurants coming in. Waterville is home to Colby College and the Colby College Museum of Art, a major cultural destination for the residents of Maine and visitors to the state.

#9 – Lewiston

Last on the list in 2019, Lewiston saw an impressive 18% increase in its median sales price between 2021 and 2022! Lewiston bumped itself from a median price of $220,250 in 2021 to $260,000 in 2022. Once known for its textile mills and factories that are now being redeveloped on the scenic Androscoggin River, Lewiston’s downtown is reinventing itself with cafes, restaurants, bars and breweries. Led by one of the nation’s leading small liberal arts colleges, Bates, Lewiston is also blossoming as a place of arts and culture.

#8 – Waterboro

The local Abenakis originally called the area “Massabesic,” meaning "the place of much water," and Waterboro is indeed a place of many lakes and rivers. This is why in the 1960s it came to be home to the largest development in southern Maine, Lake Arrowhead Community. For this reason, Waterboro became part of Maine’s real estate history: It inspired the state legislation regarding subdivision regulation and planning boards. It placed in the top ten in 2017, 2019, and now returns as a 2022 winner. The median sale price in 2021 was $285,000 and saw an impressive rise to $338,450 in 2022 - an 18.7% increase!

#7 – Augusta

Placing ninth place in 2021, Augusta returns to our list this year seeing a substantial increase in its median sales price at a nearly 19% rise. In 2021, the median price was $200,000, jumping to $237,750 for 2022. Home to the Blaine House, the official residence of the Governor of Maine, Augusta is the third least populated capital city in the United States. The area was inhabited by indigenous tribes for thousands of years before the first recording of European settlers in the early 1600’s.

#6 – Kennebunk

Not making the list since 2019, Kennebunk shot up to place sixth for 2022! The beautiful, coastal town known for its sandy beaches and vibrant villages, Kennebunk had a 20% increase in its median sale price. The $570,000 price in 2022 was up from $474,950 in 2021. To the Abenaki peoples, Kennebunk means "the long cut bank," presumably the long bank behind Kennebunk Beach.

#5 – Westbrook

Another return from last year’s winners, Westbook’s median sale price jumped 20.5% from $340,000 in 2021 to $410,000 in 2022. The city of Westbrook was named after Colonel Thomas Westbrook, a Militia Officer during Father Rale's War. In addition to this senior militia role he was a scout, a colonial councilor, an innkeeper, a mill owner, a land speculator and a King's Mast Agent.

#4 – Gray

Rich with Civil War history, Gray is located in Cumberland County between Portland and Lewiston. Gray made its first appearance in the 2020 list and returned this year with a 22.1% increase in its median sale price. At $352,000 in 2021, Gray grew to a notable $430,000 median price for 2022. One of the few from this year with a positive increase, Gray saw an increase of 4% in its total homes sold in 2022. During the Civil War, the small town of Gray proportionately sent more soldiers to conflict more than any other town in Maine.

#3 – Old Orchard Beach

For its third year in a row, Old Orchard Beach is once again in the top ten! Taking the bronze this year, Old Orchard Beach continues to see growth. In 2021, the median sale price in Old Orchard Beach was $362,500 and in 2022, that saw an incredible 22.7% increase with the median being $445,000. This quintessential seaside town has been a popular tourist destination since the late 1800s and continues to attract visitors from all over. Old Orchard Beach was home to the first carousel in the United States.

#2 – Kittery

Kittery last made the list in 2020 and returns this year to place second! Kittery is the oldest town in Maine and sits just over the border from our neighbors in New Hampshire. Home to the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, Kittery is also known for its many outlet stores. In 2022, Kittery saw a striking 23% increase in its median sales price of $594,000 — up from a $482,000 median in 2021.

#1 – Rockland

Taking home the gold, our 2022 winner for Maine’s Hottest Town goes to Rockland! The beautiful, picturesque city of Rockland soared to 1st place for this year’s Hottest Towns with a whopping 40% increase in median sale price! Rockland is growing at lightning speed with the median price rising from $225,000 in 2021 to $317,000 in 2022. Rockland is the home of the Maine Lobster Festival which is in honor of the town’s primary export: lobster!  

For more additional details for other towns in Maine, click here .
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