First settled in 1630, the coastal city of South Portland, Maine, has a rich history and a bustling economy. Despite having a population of only 25,000, this city is an industrial hub with air, rail, and interstate access to one of the biggest seaports in New England. It also has the largest retail center in Maine. With an average home price in the high $200,000s, South Portland has some of the most expensive real estate in Maine, although it is lower than the national average. Most homes are single-family residences that range from historical properties to those less than a decade old. Multi-family home sales are on the rise.
South Portland has six neighborhoods; four of them are waterfront properties. These four neighborhoods are South Portland Gardens, Fort Preble, City Center, and the Knightville/Pleasantdale area. Each of these neighborhoods contains a mix of single-family homes, multi-family homes, historic residences, and apartment buildings. Like many coastal communities, these neighborhoods are somewhat densely populated, especially near the water. Because of this, they are pedestrian-friendly communities and are full of amenities such as restaurants, art galleries, and places of historical interest that attract tourists and locals alike. Knightville/Pleasantdale, while having many single-family and owner-occupied homes, is also home to many college students, which makes it a particularly great walking neighborhood. The easternmost neighborhood of Fort Preble has, by far, the most coastline of all of South Portland’s neighborhoods, but because much of it is industrial, you can also find some of the most affordable oceanfront housing here.
The two inland neighborhoods (although they are still very close to the coast) are Broadview Park and Stanwood Park. Both are a mix of older established homes, apartments, newer homes, and some historically significant properties. Of particular interest is the population of Stanwood Park, which has a high percentage of "urban sophisticates." Urban sophisticates tend to be educated executives and managers. They enjoy the arts, theatre, high-end boutique shopping, good wine, and the good life in general. It is estimated that Stanwood Park has more urban sophisticates than 97 percent of American neighborhoods! It also has one of the lowest poverty rates in the nation, with less than 0.1 percent of children living in poverty (the national average is one in four children). Despite this high culture and educated populace, Stanwood Park’s average housing cost is around $200,000, which is lower than the average cost in South Portland. Overall, the neighborhoods of South Portland have well-kept, owner-occupied homes and low vacancy rates. It is a beautiful community where people tend to settle, raise their families, and enjoy the good economy and beautiful coastal environment.