Home News Droves of people are moving out of Boston. Their top destination? Portland, Maine.

Droves of people are moving out of Boston. Their top destination? Portland, Maine.

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I was told this by a real estate agent.

On Tuesday morning, joggers run to Buglight and lobster boats set sail from Portland Harbor in calm conditions. June 7, 2022, Portland, Maine. AP Photo/Robert F. Bucati

People are leaving Boston and settling in Portland, Maine, according to a new survey.

Real estate agency data redfin Boston is the fifth largest metropolitan area where people are leaving Boston, with 19% of local users searching elsewhere. Portland, Maine is the most popular destination for Boston residents looking to move, based on Redfin search data.

Broker/Owner Lynn Hallett Town and Coast Real Estate In Portland, she says, this is nothing new — she has seen many Boston residents try to move north. I moved.

“At the time, my friends and family didn’t know what was north of Boston,” she said. “Now the same people have come or want to come.”

why Portland?

Hallett says that a mix of local cultures and changes in life has brought people to Portland.

The real estate agent said the town’s historic buildings and extensive restaurant scene are cultural factors. She also said coastal towns provide access to the sea, nature and offer a “slower pace of life” for those looking to move out of the city.

“Everything is accessible. Instead of knocking on Boston, here in Portland you won’t have to wait in long lines for restaurants, symphonies or theaters.”

Portland is less than two hours’ drive from Boston and is adjacent to a state park. Hallett attributes at least 60% of her business to people who moved to Maine. She has seen buyers from New England states like Massachusetts, and as far as California and Texas.

Redfin points out that the pandemic has caused people to reassess their housing choices. According to the study, an increase in remote work over the past two years has resulted in one third Percentage of American employers who can work from home full-time. This allows users to relocate at lower housing prices.

Hallett said her business has increased since the lockdown began, with remote workers making up the bulk of her clientele.

“If you can work anywhere, why not work from Portland, Maine?”

inflation and pricing

Nearly a quarter (24.2%) of homebuyers nationwide likely moved to another metropolitan area in the third quarter, according to a Redfin report. The study attributed the departure largely to finance, citing data showing that a typical Portland home costs about $200,000 less than that in Boston.

“With a looming recession and soaring household costs, many people cannot afford a home in an expensive neighborhood and want to save money for emergencies. is an attractive option,” Chen Zhao, lead researcher at Redfin Economics, said in the study.

But Hallett says his experience selling homes means that low prices in Portland aren’t always what they seem.

“One of the things I have to do with new buyers is educate them. but it really isn’t.”

Hallett said he’s seen prices rise significantly around Maine since 2020. In the Portland area, she said, prices have increased by at least 20% over the past few years.according to Zillow datathe average home price in Portland has risen 10% in the last year alone.

“When you look at new downtown condos that are similar to Boston, the prices are pretty similar,” she said. “It’s huge demand and declining inventory. Simple economics.”

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