Tyler Hadyniak

I read a fascinating article in the July 21 issue of the Bangor Daily News, by staff writer Christopher Burns, about how Bangor and South Portland were recently named by The Wall Street Journal as two of the top 10 nationwide “emerging housing markets.” The ranking was based on “rising housing prices, high demand and supply scores, and other economic indicators, such as real estate taxes.”

The article stated that “rural towns have seen an unprecedented demand for homes, which is largely driven by out-of-staters fleeing from cities where they lived under strict COVID-19 guidelines . . . .” Finally, Burns noted that “the hot market has left many prospective home buyers shut out, prompting some to scoop up tracts of land instead.”

While Waldo County is closer to the Bangor area, for all intents and purposes we are in the middle of these two housing markets. I have mixed feelings about this boom in Maine. Most prevalently, I feel bad for local Mainers priced out of buying homes by wealthier out-of-staters. I cannot imagine the stress of having to make such a quick, monumental decision as buying a home before someone else gobbles it up in a cash deal far above asking price.

Second, I find it’s “ruralness” one of the biggest draws of this part of the state; I hope we don’t get too crowded. Third, I think this underscores the necessity of getting better quality, high-speed internet access. If people want to move here and work from home, we need to make sure they have the ability to do that. The alternative is their fleeing the state and giving us a different kind of acute crisis.

I don’t pretend to have the answers to any of these concerns; I’m hoping those who are far smarter than I and in a position to make policy take note.

Best wishes to those putting offers on the market!