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January 22, 2020 at 11:37 am · · Comments Off on Insider Notebook: Affordable housing initiative gets Mills boost

Insider Notebook: Affordable housing initiative gets Mills boost

One of the louder and longer periods of sustained applause at Gov. Janet Mills’ state of the state address Tuesday night was when she called for more affordable housing support.

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January 17, 2020 at 11:28 am · · Comments Off on MEREDA 2020 forecasters see another strong real estate year for Maine

MEREDA 2020 forecasters see another strong real estate year for Maine

Despite snow across the state, more than 900 real estate brokers, developers and others in the industry attended Thursday’s Maine Real Estate and Development Association 2020 Forecast and Conference. That number is out of 985 who had registered, according to Shelly Clark, MEREDA’s vice president of operations.

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January 16, 2020 at 11:32 am · · Comments Off on Maine real estate experts meet for annual conference

Maine real estate experts meet for annual conference

Thursday, real estate experts and business leaders from around Maine gathered for the annual forecast conference put on by the Maine Real Estate and Development Association.

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January 16, 2020 at 11:15 am · · Comments Off on Booming real estate market challenges businesses, home buyers

Booming real estate market challenges businesses, home buyers

Southern Maine’s superheated real estate market is presenting challenges to first-time home buyers and businesses that are trying to expand, and it shows no signs of cooling off.

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January 15, 2020 at 11:10 am · · Comments Off on Workforce Shortage Among Factors Affecting Maine’s Real Estate Market, Says Trade Group Head

Workforce Shortage Among Factors Affecting Maine’s Real Estate Market, Says Trade Group Head

Maine, like the nation, has now seen economic growth that’s gone on unbroken for over a decade. That growth has been reflected in real estate development around the state. Will it continue? The question will be explored Thursday at an annual conference of the Maine Real Estate and Development Association, known as MEREDA.

Maine Public’s Morning Edition host Irwin Gratz talked with MEREDA President Gary Vogel, who said last year that Maine real estate might have been on a “precipice.”

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December 1, 2019 at 1:52 pm · · Comments Off on MEREDA Celebrates 35 Years of Supporting Responsible Development in Maine!

MEREDA Celebrates 35 Years of Supporting Responsible Development in Maine!

Yes, it’s true, 2020 is MEREDA’s 35th Anniversary and we are proud to celebrate 35 years of service to our industry and our state!

To mark this occasion, we are holding a celebratory gala event on March 26, 2020 at Ocean Gateway in Portland with drinks and hors d’oeuvres as well as some brief remarks, a video presentation, and a program recognizing our 2019 Notable Project recipients. We invite you to be part of the celebration!

Click Here to Learn More! 

May 10, 2019 at 2:30 pm · · Comments Off on Maine’s real estate market: low inventory, high demand

Maine’s real estate market: low inventory, high demand

In the latest report from the Maine Real Estate and Development Association, analysts say commercial real estate activity is cooling off, but residential is holding strong.

May 9, 2019 at 1:54 pm · · Comments Off on Spring 2019 MEREDA Index Commentary – THE CONSTRUCTION COMPONENT – Richard Brescia, Cianbro

Spring 2019 MEREDA Index Commentary – THE CONSTRUCTION COMPONENT – Richard Brescia, Cianbro

Richard Brescia, Vice President of Cianbro recently provided insight for the Spring 2019 Edition of the MEREDA Index by sharing his perspective on the Construction Sector over the last 6 months. 

In late 2018 and early 2019, Cianbro continued to see strong construction demand, including increased interest and investment from sources outside of Maine. What’s more, the demand wasn’t concentrated in our largest metropolitan markets, but stretched statewide, putting added pressure on construction resources and – subsequently – costs.

The building market was extremely active, especially in corporate office, senior living, and institutional markets, including healthcare, higher education, government, and life sciences. While we feel these markets will continue their momentum in the coming months and years, private development may be tempered by rising costs, particularly for labor and materials.

The driving forces behind increased construction costs can be attributed to a number of factors:

• Supply & Demand – Contractors and subcontractors are extremely busy. That means there are fewer bidders for any given project, which in turn means pricing is likely to be less competitive. Construction materials are also in high demand, affecting both pricing and availability.

• Skilled Labor Shortage – As older craft workers retire, there are far fewer young people entering the trades to replace them. To help remedy the situation for us and our clients, we
created the Cianbro Institute where we educate our employees in a variety of trades, from rigging and welding, to carpentry and electrical. Hopefully we’ve started a trend.

• World Economy Uncertainty – Tenuous international trade agreements and commodity tariffs have led to some significant cost spikes in widely used construction materials such as steel and aluminum. That means items including I-beams, rebar, window casings, ductwork and exterior metal panels are now more expensive.

Considering that budgets for today’s construction projects may have been developed a year or two years ago, the cost increases are sobering for owners. Looking ahead, Cianbro believes contractors can mitigate this by employing creative solutions such as lean construction principles and a collaborative construction management (CM) delivery approach.

The CM model is based on the owner and design and construction firms working together as a team from the conceptual stage through project completion. Most notably, it involves an iterative design and budgeting process that enables the project team to monitor real-time pricing at each design stage and, when necessary, make changes to materials, program or scope to attain the desired guaranteed maximum price (GMP) quoted by the constructor.

Add to that lean construction principles utilized by the CM and subcontractors, such as just-in-time material deliveries, modular components, advanced technology, smart construction practices and proper sequencing, and you have a recipe for optimal efficiency that will keep projects on schedule and within budget. In today’s robust construction market, these will likely be the keys to success for savvy owners and astute contractors in Maine.

Click here to download the full report. For more information and a video on the MEREDA Index, please click here.

May 9, 2019 at 8:33 am · · Comments Off on Spring 2019 MEREDA Index Commentary – THE RESIDENTIAL COMPONENT – Elise Kiely, Esq., Legacy Properties Sotheby’s International Realty

Spring 2019 MEREDA Index Commentary – THE RESIDENTIAL COMPONENT – Elise Kiely, Esq., Legacy Properties Sotheby’s International Realty

Elise Kiely, Senior Vice President , Legacy Properties Sotheby’s International Realty recently provided insight for the Spring 2019 Edition of the MEREDA Index by sharing her perspective on the Residential Sector over the last 6 months. 

We are continuing to see robust sales activity in Maine’s residential market. 2019 has started off with relatively
low inventory and strong demand across most price points. Volume of units sold may be lower in some sectors
due to lack of inventory, but we are seeing some increases in sale prices. Properties in good condition and
appropriately priced are seeing multiple offers with sale prices at or above list price. The pattern is similar to
what we experienced last year at this time. Our spring selling window continues to start earlier in the year,
encouraging some homeowners to list their homes in January and February, as opposed to April and May in
years past, in the hopes of taking advantage of less competition.

One key driver of the healthy demand in our residential market is the hiring activities at a number of Maine
based companies. For example, many of our buyers are coming from new hires at WEX, Covetrus, Idexx, Tilson
and Tyler Technologies, along with the traditional hiring from Maine Medical Center. These organizations
are attracting talent from both within and outside the state and the region. Part of our job is showing these
potential new Maine residents the advantages of living in Maine. Essentially, we are serving as ambassadors
for the state, a role we are proud to embrace. Maine has a strong lifestyle brand and reputation appealing to a
wide variety of different demographic groups.

I meet with people every day who are looking to move to Maine. When I ask what is bringing them to this area,
the response I most often hear is…lifestyle. The traditional draws are the iconic Maine trails, mountains, rivers,
and coastline; but over the past few years, the food and beverage scene has become a strong economic driver
for southern Maine and cities up and down the coast.

The biggest challenge that I see going forward is affordability – both with new construction development and
work force housing. Certainly, Maine offers more affordable and manageable opportunities than our larger
feeder markets in Boston and New York. However, the significant increase in construction costs (from both
a severe skilled labor shortage and a rising cost in materials) is starting to impact new construction options.
It is also impacting the effort to preserve, let alone, meet the increasing demand for affordable work force
housing. In order to sustain the golden goose of the food and craft brewery economic drivers for the area, we
need to ensure affordable housing for the people serving in these fields. The real challenge in addressing the
affordable housing need is doing it in a strategic and effective way that encourages the private sector to have
a voice in the solution.”

Click here to download the full report.  For more information and a video on the MEREDA Index, please click here.