The Star-Herald

Probus Club discusses real estate in County

PRESQUE ISLE, Maine — The Probus Club of Aroostook met June 16 at Northern Maine Community College.

President Dave Maxcy introduced the guest speaker, Leigh Smith, a broker for Re/Max, who reported the real estate market is on fire, even here in Aroostook County.

Most buyers receive their information through media channels, which has fueled sales of property in the area, he said. There have been buyers from the United Kingdom as well as South America.

The reason for the home sales surge has been the COVID-19 pandemic, unrest in large cities and the quest for a quieter pace of living, and the serious lack of water resources in Western states.

Aroostook County now has about 427 homes for sale, down from about 1,000 in 2017, according to Smith. As of May, sales totaled about $2 million. The average home price statewide is $190,000, and in Aroostook County it is $150,000. 

A home in The County now will sell in a little over a month, compared to a year or more in 2017. Homes may sell at 16 percent over the listed price but not much more than that, Smith said. Solar farms are purchasing County land at up to $1,200 per acre, compared to $600 per acre previously. 

The availability of internet service is important to those seeking homes in the area, Smith said. Campgrounds are busy as people travel in campers looking for the ideal spot to purchase a home.

Demand for apartments has increased for those not able to purchase a home, he said. Furthermore, because building costs are high and labor shortages persist, no new apartment dwellings are being built; thus, housing does not meet the current needs, Smith said.

Janet Snow gave a reading from a book by Donna Watson called “101 Ways to Simply Enjoy Living.”

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