Housing Affordability


Housing affordability appears to have dropped in 2022, but precise data are not currently available.

No significant movement since the last available data

Benchmark: Maine’s housing affordability index will reach and maintain a level around 1.0 through 2030.

Overview Fig. A


The housing affordability index usually published in this report (which includes both renters and homeowners) is currently unavailable due to data collection issues. However, data on homeownership affordability shows a troubling trend. The COVID-19 pandemic sparked a surge in homebuying that pushed up sale prices (in Maine and nationwide). As a result, the estimated percentage of Maine households that cannot afford the median-priced home rose to 62% in 2021, then 72% in 2022. This number may be inflated due to an increase in sales of high-priced homes. Nevertheless, the need for affordable housing is a recurring theme across the state. In 2022, homeownership costs exceeded the affordability threshold in every Maine county, a first since MaineHousing began calculating this measure.

Housing is a significant portion of household budgets, and housing costs reflect everything from the supply of housing stock, to public policies regarding planning and new construction, to lending practices and interest rates. Regions with affordable housing are better able to attract and retain workers. Affordable housing also has broad positive impacts on health and childhood development, which benefit individuals and communities alike.


Fig. A

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Maine Households Unable to Afford Median-Priced Home