10 Most Expensive Places To Live In Maine For 2019


We used science and data to determine which cities in Maine that will put a big dent in your wallet.

Editor’s Note: We updated this article for 2019. This is our fourth time ranking the most expensive places to live in Maine.

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Everyone wants a home that mixes affordability with comfort and Maine does this very well. Families love the Pine Tree State’s beaches, midlands, and mountains as tourists before moving here and calling it home.

But before you decide to relocate, you have to do some research into the exact cost of living around the state — and that’s how we’re going to help you.

These are the places in Maine that cost a pretty penny — the most expensive cities in the state.

After we saved up for months and could finally afford it, we landed on this list of the ten most expensive cities in Maine for 2019.

So where is the most expensive place to live in Maine? That would be Portland.

So hopefully Caribou (the cheapest place to live in Maine) can show these guys how to live on a budget in the coming years. Read on for how these places had costs rise faster than inflation.

And if you already knew these places were expensive, check out some more reading about Maine and the most expensive cities in the country:

The 10 Most Expensive Places To Live In Maine For 2019

Portland, ME

Overall SnackAbility

7.5
/10

Population: 66,715
Rank Last Year: 1 (No Change)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 5.1x (1st most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 50.5x (2nd most expensive)
More on Portland: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Portland is the most populous city in the U.S. state of Maine, with a population of 66,937 as of 2016. This makes it the fourth least populous city in the U.S. to be the most populous in its state. The Greater Portland metropolitan area is home to over half a million people, more than one-third of Maine’s total population. The Old Port district is frequented by tourists, while Portland Head Light is also a destination. The city seal depicts a phoenix rising from ashes, which is a reference to the recoveries from four devastating fires. Portland was named after the English Isle of Portland, and the city of Portland, Oregon, was in turn named after Portland, Maine.

The median income in Portland comes in at $51,430 and the median home value is $261,100 for 2019.

South Portland, ME

Overall SnackAbility

8.5
/10

Population: 25,431
Rank Last Year: 2 (No Change)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 4.0x (6th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 53.2x (7th most expensive)
More on South Portland: Real Estate | Data | Photos

South Portland is a city in Cumberland County, Maine, United States, and is the fourth-largest city in the state, incorporated in 1898. As of the 2010 census, the city population was 25,002. Known for its working waterfront, South Portland is situated on Portland Harbor and overlooks the skyline of Portland and the islands of Casco Bay. Due to South Portland’s close proximity to air, marine, rail, and highway transportation options, the city has become a center for retail and industry in the region.

The median income in South Portland comes in at $59,515 and the median home value is $235,700 for 2019.

Biddeford, ME

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 21,413
Rank Last Year: 4 (Up 2)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 4.3x (2nd most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 54.5x (8th most expensive)
More on Biddeford: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Biddeford is a city in York County, Maine, United States. It is the principal commercial center of York County. The population was 21,277 at the 2010 census. Twin city of Saco, Biddeford includes the resort community of Biddeford Pool, Fortunes Rocks and Granite Point. The town is the site of the University of New England and the annual La Kermesse Franco-Americaine Festival. First visited by Europeans in 1616, it is the site of one of the earliest European settlements in the United States.

The median income in Biddeford comes in at $49,812 and the median home value is $211,800 for 2019.

Westbrook, ME

Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 18,156
Rank Last Year: 5 (Up 1)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 4.2x (3rd most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 56.8x (12th most expensive)
More on Westbrook: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Westbrook is a city in Cumberland County, Maine, United States and a suburb of Portland. The population was 17,494 at the 2010 census. It is part of the Portland-South Portland-Biddeford, Maine metropolitan statistical area.

The median income in Westbrook comes in at $51,062 and the median home value is $216,400 for 2019.

Bath, ME

Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 8,314
Rank Last Year: 7 (Up 3)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 4.1x (4th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 53.1x (6th most expensive)
More on Bath: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Bath is a city in Sagadahoc County, Maine, in the United States. The population was 8,514 at the 2010 census, and 8,357 as of 2013, the population has had a change of -10.2% since 2000. It is the county seat of Sagadahoc County, which includes one city and 10 towns. The city is popular with tourists, many drawn by its 19th-century architecture. It is home to the Bath Iron Works and Heritage Days Festival, held annually on the Fourth of July weekend. It is commonly known as “The City of Ships.” Bath is part of the metropolitan statistical area of Greater Portland.

The median income in Bath comes in at $40,868 and the median home value is $166,900 for 2019.

Rockland, ME

Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 7,204
Rank Last Year: 10 (Up 4)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 4.1x (5th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 55.2x (9th most expensive)
More on Rockland: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Rockland is a city in Knox County, Maine, in the United States. As of the 2010 census, the city population was 7,297. It is the county seat of Knox County. The city is a popular tourist destination. It is a departure point for the Maine State Ferry Service to the islands of Penobscot Bay: Vinalhaven, North Haven and Matinicus.

The median income in Rockland comes in at $40,486 and the median home value is $164,200 for 2019.

Bangor, ME

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 32,237
Rank Last Year: 6 (No Change)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 3.7x (8th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 51.0x (3rd most expensive)
More on Bangor: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Bangor is a city along the Penobscot River in the U.S. state of Maine. The city proper has a population of 33,039, while the Bangor metropolitan area has a population of 153,746. Bangor is known as the “Queen City” of Maine.

The median income in Bangor comes in at $40,071 and the median home value is $150,100 for 2019.

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 1,399
Rank Last Year: 13 (Up 5)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 3.8x (7th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 44.5x (1st most expensive)
More on Eastport: Real Estate | Data

The median income in Eastport comes in at $29,375 and the median home value is $110,800 for 2019.

Saco, ME

Overall SnackAbility

8.5
/10

Population: 19,127
Rank Last Year: 8 (Down 1)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 3.6x (11th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 63.1x (16th most expensive)
More on Saco: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Saco is a city in York County, Maine, United States. The population was 18,482 at the 2010 census. It is home to Ferry Beach State Park, Funtown Splashtown USA, Thornton Academy, as well as General Dynamics Armament Systems, a subsidiary of the defense contractor General Dynamics. Saco sees much tourism during summer months, due to its amusement parks, Ferry Beach State Park, and proximity to Old Orchard Beach.

The median income in Saco comes in at $63,750 and the median home value is $228,700 for 2019.

Hallowell, ME

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

8.5
/10

Population: 2,453
Rank Last Year: 14 (Up 4)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 3.6x (10th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 64.1x (17th most expensive)
More on Hallowell: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The median income in Hallowell comes in at $54,464 and the median home value is $197,900 for 2019.

How We Determined The Most Expensive Places To Live In The Pine Tree State For 2019

Map Of The Cheapest Places To Live In Maine
The two most important things to think about when it comes to being able to afford if you can live comes down to:

  1. How much do money do I make?
  2. How much do I have spend to live there?

You need to understand your costs in the context of how much money you make.

For example, if the median household earns $100,000 and spends $40,000 on housing it’s actually cheaper to live there than a place with a median income of $50,000 and housing costs of $21,000. You might spend more on housing, but you have more money overall to play with.

With that example in mind, we derived several statistics from the latest Census American Community Survey 2013-2017 around incomes and costs. They are:

  • Median Home Price / Median Income (lower is better)
  • Median Income / Median Rent (Higher is better)
  • Median Home Price

We added simply median home price because high home prices generally correlate with higher expenses for all costs related to homes (heating, electricity, etc).

You can then compare these metrics in each of the places in Maine to figure out which is the most expensive.

What you are left with is a “Cost of Living Index” by taking the average rank of each of these metrics for each city.

So we used that cost of living index in order to rank all of the 22 places in Maine that have more than 1,000 people.

The place with the highest cost of living in Maine according to the data is Portland.

Taking A Chunk Out Of Your Paycheck In Maine For 2019

Well there you have it, the places in Maine that have the highest cost of living, with Portland ranking as the most expensive city in the Pine Tree State.

Here’s a look at the most affordable cities in Maine according to the data:

  1. Caribou
  2. Gardiner
  3. Brewer

For more Maine reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Most Expensive Cities In Maine

Rank City ExpensiveScore Population Home/Income Ratio Income/Rent Ratio
1 Portland 1.33 66,715 5.1x 50.5x
2 South Portland 5.0 25,431 4.0x 53.2x
3 Biddeford 5.0 21,413 4.3x 54.5x
4 Westbrook 6.33 18,156 4.2x 56.8x
5 Bath 6.33 8,314 4.1x 53.1x
6 Rockland 8.0 7,204 4.1x 55.2x
7 Bangor 8.0 32,237 3.7x 51.0x
8 Eastport 9.0 1,399 3.8x 44.5x
9 Saco 10.0 19,127 3.6x 63.1x
10 Hallowell 11.33 2,453 3.6x 64.1x
11 Ellsworth 12.33 7,916 3.6x 65.9x
12 Old Town 12.67 7,594 3.3x 52.7x
13 Augusta 13.33 18,626 3.5x 57.8x
14 Waterville 13.67 16,374 3.5x 55.5x
15 Lewiston 13.67 36,211 3.5x 57.3x
16 Belfast 14.33 6,680 3.4x 74.3x
17 Auburn 15.67 22,941 3.2x 64.8x
18 Calais 15.67 3,018 2.6x 53.0x
19 Presque Isle 16.33 9,246 2.9x 56.5x
20 Brewer 16.67 9,167 2.8x 65.3x
21 Gardiner 18.67 5,672 2.9x 70.6x
22 Caribou 19.67 7,827 2.2x 61.3x

About Chris Kolmar

Chris Kolmar has been in the real estate business for almost ten years now. He originally worked for Movoto Real Estate as the director of marketing before founding HomeSnacks.

He believes the key to finding the right place to live comes down to looking at the data, reading about things to do, and, most importantly, checking it out yourself before you move.

If you've been looking for a place to live in the past several years, you've probably stumbled upon his writing already.

You can find out more about him on LinkedIn or his website.