York County is generally unaffordable to working-class families, a new report published Thursday found.
The report, which was conducted by the Southern Maine Planning and Development Commission, used home ownership and rental affordability data to provide a comparison over the years between wages and housing costs.
Among the key findings were:
— From 2015 to 2019, median incomes increased by roughly 14 percent, while house prices increased by about 35 percent.
— The county, as a whole, is unaffordable to working-class families.
— The affordable housing issue is more “extreme” and appears to be getting worse at a faster rate than the state overall.
— The affordability of inland towns fluctuates with time, but they are generally more affordable than coastal towns.
Officials in the county raised concerns about the issue, which led to the report being conducted, the Portland Press Herald reported. The data used was from before the pandemic, though prices of homes have skyrocketed since then.
“We hold regular meetings with municipal staff, town managers, planners,” Raegan Young, community planner and outreach specialist at the development commission, told the newspaper. “We were hearing over and over again that there were concerns about affordable housing in the region, and they were looking to us to try and clarify the issue a little bit.”
Houses in York County have been selling rapidly, according to Greg Gosselin, who owns Gosselin Realty Group.
“When you’re out there and you’re working especially in what we would consider the affordable market in York County — which would be something under $500,000 these days, anything under that price range — you could have anywhere from 10 to 20, 30 people literally in line at an open house when the home hits the market,” Gosselin told the newspaper.