Housing Affordability


Maine’s better-than-average housing affordability has declined

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


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.

As of publication, the housing affordability index usually presented in this report was unavailable due to pandemic-related data collection issues. However, data on homeownership affordability show a troubling development. The pandemic sparked a surge in homebuying that pushed up sale prices. As a result, the estimated percentage of Maine households that cannot afford the median-priced home jumped to 62% in 2021. This number may be inflated due to the large number of sales of high-priced homes during the pandemic. Nevertheless, the need for affordable housing is a recurring theme across the state. In 2021, homeownership costs met or exceeded the affordability threshold in just two of Maine’s 16 counties (Aroostook and Washington).


Fig. A

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Maine Households Unable to Afford Median-Priced Home