Welcome to 2020! We ring in the new year and decade with energy and enthusiasm, grateful to live and work in one of the most beautiful regions in the Northeast, if not the country.
LandVest had a very successful decade in the 2010s with ongoing expansion in our divisions: residential brokerage, timberland brokerage & management, and appraisal & land consulting. Our top management shifted to a younger cohort who are executing forward-looking plans aimed at continuing our growth through the 2020s. It is exciting to be part of an employee-owned company that is focused on providing top-level service and a supportive working environment.
While the last decade was a bit choppy for high-end residential sales in the Midcoast region, overall sales in the state were very strong, as you can see in the following table summarizing sales above $1,000,000.
The sales numbers tell the story of two markets, proving once again that demand for location drives value. Over the past ten years, greater Portland and southern Maine have become integrated into the historic megalopolis stretching from Boston to Washington DC. The main drivers for this ongoing trend are ease of access, great restaurants, a thriving art scene, a vibrant and young city with a strong job market, and attractive real estate values.
With increased sales activity and a corresponding increase in valuation in the Portland and southern Maine market, we are finally beginning to see a ‘spillover’ effect into the Midcoast area. Our last two showings the week before Christmas illustrate several ways this is evolving.
We showed a waterfront home to a couple who are based south of Boston and longtime summer residents of Kittery. They say that it has now become too congested; a ten-minute drive to the golf course can now take thirty, so they are looking for Maine “the way it used to be.”
We also showed a lovely farm near the coast to a buyer from New York City. He has been looking in the Hudson River Valley for a farm but cannot find what he is looking for; a combination of low inventory and high valuations. He would prefer to be in southern Maine as his family summers on the coast near Portland, but there are very few farms for sale in the area and prices are correspondingly high.
The recent sale of Greenlaw Farm located in Northport was one of the highlights of our year. The new owner worked with Maine Farmland Trust and placed an agricultural easement on the property to ensure that it remains farmland forever. The 546± acre farm with its lovely open fields sits on high ground bisected by Route 52 and Prescott Hill Road, and the easement ensures that this beautiful property will be preserved for all who travel these scenic back roads.
We greatly appreciate all that the very active conservation organizations in Maine do to protect our common resources for future generations. Over the years, we have worked closely with Maine Coast Heritage Trust, Maine Farmland Trust, Coastal Mountains Land Trust, Georges River Land Trust as well as the Islesboro Island Trust, North Haven Conservation Partners and the Vinalhaven Land Trust. These organizations work continuously through economic expansions and recessions, preserving places of significance to local communities through the exceptional generosity of the many who contribute to their efforts.
All these efforts help to preserve the hope and sentiment behind the sign at the New Hampshire border:
Welcome to Maine
“The Way Life Should Be”
As always, we look forward to hearing from you if we can be of assistance.
Best wishes for a peaceful and prosperous 2020.
Header image: Poorhouse Farm, South Bristol, ME