As bad as the primary housing market has been over the past four years, the second home market has been been far worse. If people are worried about their job and their incomes, and they have been, the last thing that they will do is invest in a second or vacation home. All levels of the local second home market have suffered, even the upper-end waterfront homes. The traditional wisdom was that recessions may come and go but the upper-income households were not impacted and there would always be a market for waterfront homes. Well, we now know how false that assumption was!
Is the market returning? In western Maine there is plenty of inventory, buyers continue to be in the “driver’s seat” and prices are soft. All of which may encourage buyers to return. However, it can no longer be seen as a short-term investment! If it makes sense in terms of personal usage and/or rental purposes, now may be the time to buy. A July 23rd article in the Wall Street Journal suggests that many vacation markets are beginning to see a rebound. The article, Vacation Homes: Why It May Be Time to Buy, states that in many resort towns where prices were once sky-high, activity has picked-up as the prices have come down. We may soon see that in this region.
Much has also been said about the tougher underwriting standards in today’s mortgage market (some of it accurate), but if you are qualified, a second home can still be purchased with just 5% down. I confirmed that yesterday with one of our local lenders, Norway Savings.
If you are interested in seeing the wide variety of homes currently on the market, please visit KezarRealty.com. From there, you may also visit all Maine properties.