Department of Numbers

Penobscot County Maine Residential Rent and Rental Statistics

The median monthly gross residential rent in Penobscot County ME was $836 in 2017 according to the Census ACS survey.1 Average gross rent in Penobscot County was $748 in 2017. The median rent more accurately depicts rental rates in the middle of the distribution of rents and is thus preferred in the analysis below. 2018 Penobscot County median and average rent data will be released in September of 2019.

Data is also available below for Penobscot County rental vacancy rates, Penobscot County rent as a percent of median income and the fraction of renters in Penobscot County.

Show dollars as: Nominal Real

Real Gross Rent in Penobscot County Maine (2017 dollars)2

2017 1 Year Change 3 Year Change
US Median Gross Rent $1,012 +1.61% +5.86%
Maine Median Gross Rent $806 -0.37% +1.38%
Penobscot County ME Median Gross Rent $836 +9.71% +15.63%

Penobscot County ME Real Gross Rent Trends

At $836, real median gross rent in Penobscot County was at its highest level in 2017 since the series began in 2005. Average gross rent for Penobscot County peaked in real terms in 2016 at $764 and is now $16 (2.09%) lower.

Real Gross Rent: Penobscot County ME Median, Penobscot County ME Average, Maine Median, US Median

Lower quartile, median and upper quartile real gross rent

Real Gross Rent History for Penobscot County

Date US
Median
Maine
Median
Penobscot County ME
Median
Penobscot County ME
Average
2017 $1,012 $806 $836 $748
2016 $996 $809 $762 $764
2015 $987 $815 $759 $714
2014 $956 $795 $723 $701
2013 $924 $776 $754 $723
2012 $912 $768 $739 $725
2011 $912 $782 $712 $710
2010 $927 $766 $717 $687
2009 $931 $798 $739 $685
2008 $947 $806 $785 $713
2007 $899 $741 $708 $690
2006 $909 $757 $731 $722

Penobscot County Rental Vacancy Rate

The rental vacancy rate is the fraction of homes for rent that are not occupied.3 In 2017 the rental vacancy rate for Penobscot County Maine was 9.12% according to Census ACS data.

Rental Vacancy Rate in Penobscot County Maine

2017 1 Year Change 3 Year Change
US 6.18% +0.29% -0.14%
Maine 8.41% +1.67% +1.34%
Penobscot County ME 9.12% +4.72% +3.04%

Trends in Penobscot County ME Rental Vacancy Rate

At 9.12%, Penobscot County residential rental vacancy rate in 2017 is at the highest point since 2005, the beginning of our reporting for this series.

Rental Vacancy Rate: Penobscot County ME, Maine, US

Rental vacancy rate in Maine

Historical Rental Vacancy Rate data for Penobscot County

Date US Maine Penobscot County ME
2017 6.18% 8.41% 9.12%
2016 5.89% 6.74% 4.40%
2015 5.85% 5.29% 6.05%
2014 6.32% 7.07% 6.08%
2013 6.49% 7.17% 7.92%
2012 6.77% 6.25% 3.17%
2011 7.40% 7.67% 5.42%
2010 8.17% 8.75% 6.15%
2009 8.43% 7.36% 3.50%
2008 7.86% 7.13% 7.48%
2007 7.87% 8.13% 7.89%
2006 7.70% 5.85% 4.24%

Rent as a Fraction of Income

Using median household income data for Penobscot County, we can calculate the fraction of income the median household would use to pay rent at the median monthly gross rent rate. For Penobscot County, median monthly gross rent as a fraction of median household income was 19.92% in 2017 according to the ACS.

Penobscot County Maine Median Annual Rent as a Fraction of Median Household Income

2017 1 Year Change 3 Year Change
US 20.13% -0.30% -0.76%
Maine 17.19% -0.83% -1.64%
Penobscot County ME 19.92% +0.91% -0.13%

Trends in Penobscot County ME Rent as a Fraction of Income

The fraction of median Penobscot County household income required to pay median monthly gross rent peaked in 2012 (relative to the 2005 series origin) at 20.63%. Since then it has fallen by 0.70% to 19.92%.

Fraction of Income towards Rent: Penobscot County ME, Maine, US

Percent of median household income going towards median monthly gross rent in Penobscot County Maine

Historical Data for Annual Rent as a Fraction of Income in Penobscot County Maine

Date US Maine Penobscot County ME
2017 20.13% 17.19% 19.92%
2016 20.43% 18.02% 19.02%
2015 20.63% 18.46% 20.05%
2014 20.89% 18.83% 20.06%
2013 20.78% 19.41% 20.31%
2012 20.65% 19.11% 20.63%
2011 20.70% 19.47% 20.06%
2010 20.50% 18.52% 18.49%
2009 20.12% 18.94% 20.12%
2008 19.00% 18.08% 19.09%
2007 18.66% 17.00% 18.03%
2006 18.90% 17.57% 18.77%

Renter Fraction in Penobscot County Maine

You can calculate the renter fraction in Penobscot County in at least two ways: by housing units or by population. I've gone with the housing units measure here. This measure looks at the number of renting households in Penobscot County as a fraction of total Penobscot County households. In 2017 28.33% of households were renters according to Census ACS data.

Penobscot County Fraction of Renters by Household Units

2017 1 Year Change 3 Year Change
US 36.13% -0.75% -0.77%
Maine 26.83% -1.30% -1.85%
Penobscot County ME 28.33% -0.24% -3.16%

Trends in the Penobscot County ME Renter Fraction

The Penobscot County household renter fraction peaked in in 2012 at 34.89% and is now 6.56% below that level. The origin year for the series is 2005.

Fraction of Renting Households: Penobscot County ME, Maine, US

Fraction of renters in Penobscot County

History of Penobscot County Renter Fraction

Date US Maine Penobscot County ME
2017 36.13% 26.83% 28.33%
2016 36.88% 28.13% 28.57%
2015 36.97% 29.00% 31.40%
2014 36.90% 28.68% 31.49%
2013 36.50% 29.84% 34.57%
2012 36.09% 28.59% 34.89%
2011 35.42% 29.05% 34.06%
2010 34.65% 27.32% 30.73%
2009 34.13% 27.26% 31.10%
2008 33.36% 27.86% 32.37%
2007 32.80% 26.05% 26.74%
2006 32.73% 27.21% 28.01%

1. Gross rent is defined as contract rent plus the estimated average monthly cost of utilities (electricity, gas, water, and sewer) and fuel (oil, coal, kerosene, wood, etc.). Because some rentals include utilities and others don't, gross rent is a way of normalizing the variability.

2. Real dollars are calculated using the CPI-U less shelter series.

3. The rental vacancy rate is computed by dividing the number of vacant units for rent by the sum of the renter-occupied units, vacant units that are for rent, and vacant units that have been rented but not yet occupied.