Knox County sees dip in home sales, prices

By Stephen Betts | Aug 21, 2019

Rockland — Both the median price and the number of single-family homes sold in Knox County during the past three months are down from a year ago.

The Maine Real Estate Information System issued a news release Aug. 21 with statistics on home sales throughout the state and by county.

In Knox County, 158 single-family homes sold from May 1 through July 31. This is down 13 percent from the 181 homes sold during the same three months in 2018.

This is also down from the 162 sold during that period in 2017, and 188 in 2016. In 2015, there were also 158 single-family home sales for the May-through-July stretch.

The median price of homes sold during the past three months in Knox County dipped nearly 8 percent, from a record high of $249,000 in 2018 to $230,000. The $230,000 median price is the same as for those three months in 2017, and up from $210,000 in 2016 and $193,500 in 2015.

Statewide, the median price of homes rose 4 percent to $234,450. The number of home sales fell by less than 1 percent.

The median prices of homes varied from a high of $343,950 in Cumberland County to a low of $97,000 in Aroostook County.

The median price in Lincoln County was $245,500, and in Waldo County it was $187,000.

Comments (12)
Posted by: Valli Genevieve Geiger | Aug 27, 2019 07:48

Steve, you are right, I did sign up for this. I know what needs doing, it's the getting it done that is the challenge. Cities all over Maine have been suffering over the loss of state revenue. The more successful we are, the more sales tax flow to the state, but have not come back in the form of Municipal Revenue Sharing. But the more maintenance the city needs to do. This year, it finally went up from 2% to 3%, but that took days of testimony by city officials and a room full of city managers, city councilors and Mayors, essentially begging for what is a legal statute, requiring 5% of our sales tax coming back to us.. As for being a state representative. We have a great one in Pinny Beebe-Center, but thanks for the thought.

Valli Geiger

Posted by: Stephen K Carroll | Aug 26, 2019 08:32

Vallie I understand how frustrating it is driving thru city traffic with numerous back seat drivers shouting directions.  However you choose to drive and now must find the best way despite all the noise.  I think you would make a good State Legislature and I would be the first to sign your paper when and if you decide to run.  We are all painfully aware that the majority of this years increase was caused by RSU 13.  However as of right now there is little you can do about school spending and a change in the funding formula.  What you can do is STOP spending taxpayers money on studies and land and a numerous amount of projects including a proposal for more bonding.  This city needs help finding more revenue sources, not spending sources.  As far as protecting long term residents and inviting young people with affordable rents....lower property taxes would achieve both of your goals.  and if there is an inventory problem with enough salable housing or affordable rents, keep raising taxes., that should solve both.

Posted by: Valli Genevieve Geiger | Aug 23, 2019 15:03

Mr. Carroll, as you know, City Council raised their budget 1.7%, resulting in $17 dollar increase. We do not have the legal authority to force the county or the RSU 13 to decrease their 6% and 13% increases. We do not have the authority to put a student cap. I am also incredibly frustrated that Rockland has a low average income, yet we are receiving millions less in state school support then the surrounding communities and other service centers. Rockland received $3.8 million, Belfast $9 million. Augusta very similar. We must convince the state to change the school formula, we are desperate for relief. But why such animus toward city council?  We are not the cause, we are not the solution. As citizens you can contact the state, you can start a petition to leave RSU 13, short of that, we are indeed in for a rough ride.  But I agree with Ria, sales are down in Rockland because inventory is down. Rockland remains a popular place for people from away. Our problem is how to protect the long term residents who want to stay and to welcome young people when there are no affordable rentals.

Valli Geiger

Posted by: Richard McKusic, Sr. | Aug 22, 2019 15:18

EVERY department budget needs to be cut and the time to start planning is NOW so input can be gained by supervisors from all of  employees effected.  It certainly is not a year for another bond issue.  Main Street, we need your help. It is time to pay your fair share.

Posted by: Ria Biley | Aug 22, 2019 13:15

Yes, Valerie, I do drive around Rockland daily. I have seen numerous seasons where there were For Sale signs on many, many more homes than this year. I am, sadly, one of those Seniors who is about to sell my home because I just can't afford to live here anymore.


Posted by: Francis Mazzeo, Jr. | Aug 22, 2019 07:54

Heaven forbid we end up like Camden.

Posted by: Stephen K Carroll | Aug 22, 2019 07:35

Members of the Rockland City council......are you listening ?  These are real people, residents talking about high taxes in Rockland.  Seniors on fixed income being forced to sell their homes.  Yes the schools play a big part in this increase, but you are the ringmasters.  You could put a cap on per student tuition.  Many towns do this.  I believe St. George is one.  Just received my  tax bill that included a several hundred dollar increase and you are talking about spending more money.  Lets also not forget the half billion dollars of NON-Taxable property which you also seem unconcerned about.  If you are at all worried about gentrification, buckle up cause here comes.

Posted by: Valerie Wass | Aug 22, 2019 06:53


Have you driven around Rockland lately?  There are so many For Sales signs on lawns, it is scary.

Posted by: Daniel E LaPanne | Aug 21, 2019 19:44

The way taxes are rising in Rockland it will be ghost town, The average family just afford to live here !!

Posted by: Ria Biley | Aug 21, 2019 17:31

I would say that there were fewer home sales in Knox County because there is a serious lack of inventory to sell.

Posted by: Mary A McKeever | Aug 21, 2019 16:40

The same thing happened years ago in Camden when taxes rose and the veterans went to the town fathers to protest and they were told, Pay or Move. So the WW2 vets moved. Same thing now. Where does it end? Pensioners will be pitching tents next....sadly!

Posted by: Valerie Wass | Aug 21, 2019 14:40

As property taxes continue to rise in Rockland, people are selling their homes because they can not afford to pay such high property taxes.

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