Delinquencies and foreclosures
The foreclosure crisis hit Maine later than most states. Prior to
fourth-quarter 2012, foreclosure actions (defaults, auctions and REOs)
had only topped 1,000 per quarter twice dating back to 2010, according to Attom Data Solutions. Then, from fourth-quarter 2012 through
third-quarter 2014, foreclosure actions averaged more than 1,600. These
numbers have dropped since that period, but still averaged almost 1,000
per quarter over the past three years.
As of this past November, Maine’s mortgage delinquency rate (loans
30 or more days past due) stood at 5. 6 percent, 50 basis points higher than the national average, according to CoreLogic. Some 2.8 percent
of all Maine mortgages were seriously delinquent (more than 90 days
past due) as of this past November, compared to a national average of
2 percent. Both delinquency percentages in Maine dropped 60 to 70 basis
points year over year, however.
Maine weathered the Great Recession and its aftermath well in terms
of unemployment numbers. Statewide unemployment just barely
topped 8 percent during the worst of the downturn, peaking at 8. 3
percent for one month in June 2009, according to data from the U.S.
Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). At that time, the national unemployment rate stood at 9. 5 percent, still on its way up to a high of 10 percent
in October 2009.
As of this past January, Maine’s unemployment rate had dropped to
3 percent, more than a percentage point below the national average of
4.1 percent. As of the same month, Maine had 623,000 nonfarm jobs,
according to BLS data. The state has added 30,000 jobs since the 2010
low of 593,000 and has now eclipsed the 2007 high of 617,700 jobs.
Sources: Attom Data Solutions, Bar Harbor Historical Society, barharborinfo.com,
CoreLogic, Forbes.com, livability.com, Maine Association of Realtors, Maine Center for
Economic Policy, Maine Development Foundation, National Park Service, Sperling’s Best
Places, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Census Bureau, visitportland.com
Will McDermott is editor of Scotsman Guide Residential Edition.
Reach him at (800) 297-6061 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Originally incorporated by Samuel Adams in 1796 as the Town of Eden,
this quaint island town was renamed Bar Harbor in 1918. The town
became a popular tourist spot in the mid-1800s after artists such as
Thomas Cole and Frederic Church earned acclaim for their painted
seascapes and mountain vistas. This drew the attention of notable
people of the time such as Joseph Pulitzer and Frederick Vanderbilt,
who built summer cottages on the island. Today, Bar Harbor is still a
popular destination. Nearby Acadia National Park draws more than
2 million visitors each year.
Home to horror writer Stephen King, Bangor is not as scary a place to
live as King’s books would have readers believe. The city has an incredibly low crime rate and three hospitals to serve its 32,000 residents and
outlying areas. A low sales tax ( 5. 5 percent) and low unemployment
( 3. 3 percent as of this past January) make Bangor a great place to live,
despite a median household income of less than $38,000 per year.
More than one in four residents of Bangor work in the tourism-related
sectors of retail and accommodation/food service. Health care accounts
for another 21 percent of the city’s employment.
Maine’s largest city and largest seaport was established by the British
on the Portland peninsula in 1632 as a trading and fishing settlement.
Prior to that, it had been called Machigonne, or Great Neck, by the
Native Americans who lived there. It grew into a major shipping
destination. Today, retail and accommodation/food services account
for more than 20 percent of Portland’s employment as Portland
embraces the many tourism opportunities of it coastal location. In fact,
Portland has more restaurants per capita than any other city in America.
3 Cities to Watch
Maine Foreclosure Filings
Source: Attom Data Solutions
Default Auction REO