17/06/2024

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These Maine towns are still hotspots for vacation homes

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These Maine towns are still hotspots for vacation homes

Maine’s top vacation areas, including Bethel and Rangeley, are seeing strong demand for second homes, bucking a national trend showing a dramatic drop in purchases.

The real estate website Redfin found more than a 50 percent drop in those wanting to buy second homes across the country compared with pre-pandemic levels, pushed down by higher interest rates.

But that isn’t the case in Maine’s vacation destinations, which are seeing more demand than supply of second homes and continued high prices. The state became a safe haven for out-of-state buyers during the COVID-19 pandemic. Demand for second homes has not abated, real estate agents said, with more Mainers also buying property in childhood vacation spots.

Rangeley, a bucolic western Maine town of 1,200 in Franklin County, saw a “coronavirus boom” along with the 2020 sale of the Saddleback Mountain ski resort to Boston investors who upgraded it. Sales continue at a brisk pace, said Jamie Eastlack, co-owner of Morton & Furbish Real Estate in Rangeley.

“In the past 12 months, we’ve seen more new people come here,” he said. “The pandemic and Saddleback put Rangeley back on the map.”

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