A man walks past a 'for rent' sign posted in the window of an empty storefront in downtown Bar Harbor on Thursday, Sept. 10, 2020. Credit: Bill Trotter / BDN

It’s no secret that the housing market is crunched right now. That includes a spike in rent that is shutting many out of the housing market.

The market has become so competitive that the state has seen its first apartment bidding wars in southern Maine, and a renovated historic building turned into apartments located at 2 Hammond St. in Bangor saw renters claiming spaces almost before the paint dried.

Here’s a breakdown of how much monthly rent rates have increased in your county between the first fiscal quarter of 2020 and the first quarter of 2022, as reported by the Washington Post. Price estimates are based on multi-family units in counties with at least 1,000 rentals, with Piscataquis and Washington counties excluded from Washington Post data.

Most expensive counties

The average monthly rent in Cumberland County was $1,596, the highest in Maine. That was followed closely by York County at $1,383 and Penobscot County at $1,378.

Androscoggin County

Rent has increased 5.5 percent to a median price of $847 per month for a multi-family rental, up from an average of $802 in the first quarter of 2020.

Aroostook County

Rent has increased 1.5 percent since 2020, to a median price of $995 for a multi-family rental. That’s up from an average of $980.

Cumberland County

Rent has increased to an average of $1,596, a 10.1 percent increase since 2020, when average monthly rent was $1,450.

Franklin County

Rent increased in Franklin County by 2.4 percent since 2020 to an average of $1,043 per month, up from $1,020.  

Hancock County

Rent has increased 3.3 percent from an average of $790 per month in 2020 to an average of $817 in 2022.

Kennebec County

Rent went up by about 11.3 percent from a 2020 average of $865 per month to an average of $963 in 2022.

Knox County

Rent increased 3.1 percent from an average of $880 per month in 2020 to $907 in 2022.

Lincoln County

Rent increased approximately 1.9 percent over the two year period from an average of $682 to $695.

Oxford County

Rent jumped by about 2.6 percent between 2020 and 2022, from a monthly average of $763 to $783.

Penobscot County

Penobscot County’s rent increased by 5.9 percent between 2020 and 2022, climbing from a monthly average of $1,301 to $1,378.

Sagadahoc County

Rent increased by 14.3 percent from 2020 to 2022, increasing to a monthly average of $1,074 from $939.

Somerset County

Rent increased by 2.1 percent over the past two years, from an average monthly rate of $826 to $844.

Waldo County

Since 2020, rents have increased by an average of 3.3 percent to $717, up from $694.

York County

Rent increased by 7 percent from 2020 to 2022, from an average of $1,292 to $1,383.

Leela Stockley

Leela Stockley is an alumna of the University of Maine. She was raised in northern Maine, and loves her cat Wesley, her puppy Percy and staying active in the Maine outdoors.