Probus Club discusses real estate in the county

The Probus Club of Aroostook met on June 16 at Northern Maine Community College.

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

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

Most buyers get their information through the media, which has fueled property sales in the area, he said. There were buyers from the UK as well as South America.

The reason for the surge in home sales has been the COVID-19 pandemic, unrest in major cities and the quest for a calmer pace of life, as well as the severe lack of water resources in western states.

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

A home in the county will now sell in just over a month, up from a year or more in 2017. Homes can sell for 16% above listed price, but not much more than that, Smith said. . Solar farms are buying county land for up to $1,200 per acre, up from $600 per acre previously.

Internet service availability is important for those looking for homes in the area, Smith said. Campgrounds are busy as people travel in campers looking for the perfect place to buy a home.

Demand for apartments has increased for those unable to afford a home, he said. Also, as construction costs are high and labor shortages persist, no new apartments are being built; thus, housing does not meet current needs, Smith said.

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

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