TOPSHAM — The housing market continues to boom in the Brunswick and Topsham area, where realtors say there’s still not enough new construction taking place to keep up with demand.

Tom Cole, a Brunswick-based realtor and president of the Maine Association of Realtors, said 2019 was a record year, and he expects 2020 will be strong as well.

The Midcoast has followed statewide trends with the housing crunch that has moved up the coast from the Portland area. Sales of single-family homes in Maine jumped 23% when comparing December 2019 to December 2018, and by 1.55% for the entire year.

Lisbon also continues to see a higher level of home sales. Cheryl Haggerty of Haggerty Realty in Lisbon said the town’s downtown revitalization efforts in recent years has helped the housing market.

“We’re selling lots and people are building,” she said. “We’ve had more closings in January than we’ve ever had (in past Januarys), and that’s a good sign.”

While sales dropped 5% in Sagadahoc County in 2019, the median sales price grew 7% to $245,000. Sales crept up slightly in Cumberland County where the median sale price rose 5.8% to $325,000.


Cole said Topsham has grown because of its easy access from Interstate 295 and proximity to Portland and Augusta.

Most active is the Highland Green retirement community, which recently was approved for 64 condos and 48 cottage units.

Topsham Town Planner Rod Melanson said his office has been increasingly busy reviewing housing project proposals in town, including a 10-lot subdivision along Route 196 and adjacent to Blueberry Lane. The Mallett Woods housing project near the Topsham Fair Mall is still being developed along with the Oak Hill condominium project off Winter Street where 20 units have been permitted by the town since 2018. The town also approved a 14-unit single-family house development off Foreside Road a few years ago.

Homes in Brunswick and Topsham are selling for an average of around $300,000 Cole said. The biggest need is for homes costing less than $250,000.

One of the factors in the lack of affordable housing in the area is high construction costs, according to John Hodge, executive director of both Brunswick and Topsham housing authorities. However, Topsham could be getting another 38-unit project near the Topsham Crossing neighborhood off Tedford Road.

The Topsham Housing Authority voted last week to sign an option to purchase 12 acres at 25 Hackmatack Road for $450,000. Hodge said funding for the project hasn’t been lined up yet but could come from a low-income housing tax credit program. The project could break ground as early as the spring of 2021 but that timeframe is dependent on funding.

“It’s definitely needed through the region and while 38-units seems like a lot, it’s still just a drop in the bucket for what’s needed,” he said.

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