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October 23, 2017

'Pent-up demand' drives Maine home prices up 10%

Courtesy / Paris Cape Realty
Courtesy / Paris Cape Realty
September home prices are up 10.26% compared to last September, continuing a five-year trend, according to the Maine Association of Realtors' latest quarterly report.

September home prices are up 10.26% compared to last September, continuing a five-year trend, the Maine Association of Realtors said. The number of existing single-family homes sold is 2.3% higher than September 2016.

Nationally, home sales are down and the price increase is half of Maine's.

"Maine has been riding the wave of the real estate recovery for the past five years, and 2017 is shaping up to be one of the best years of the recovery," said Greg Gosselin, broker/owner of Gosselin Realty Group in York and 2017 president of the association. He said year-to-date statistics are 1.5% behind 2016's all-time high.

The number of homes sold in September statewide was 1,772 this year, compared to 1,732 last September. The median price difference is $207,225 this year, compared to $188,038 last September.

The difference for the third quarter 5.64% — $206,000 in 2017, compared to $190,000 in 2016. The number of homes sold for the quarter was 5,479, a 2.78% increase over last year's 5,282.

Nationally, sales are down 1.2% for September compared to a year ago. The national MSP rose 4.2% to $246,800. In the Northeast, sales were down 1.4% for September and the median sales price was up 4.8%, to $274,100.

Gosselin said that for-sale inventory levels are well below 2016, but the number is improving.

"Our statistics indicate that additional for-sale homes are coming on the market, which is addressing some of the pent-up demand and fueled this strong third quarter," he said. "Properties that are well-staged and priced appropriately based on their location and condition are selling quickly."

How Maine counties fared

Median sales price for the quarter increased in 13 of the state's 16 counties, from 29.50% in Washington County to 0.67% in Androscoggin County. Three of the state's counties showed drops in median sales prices compared to last year's third quarter: Aroostook, Lincoln and Sagadahoc.

Washington County's 29.50% increase represents a median price of $129,500 compared to last year's $100,000.

The biggest drop in median sales price was Lincoln County, at 6.67%, $210,000 this year's third quarter compared to $225,000 last year.

The highest median price in the state is in Cumberland County, at $295,000. That's a 7.27% increase over 2016 third quarter, which was $275,000.

The county showing the biggest gain in sales for the third quarter, was Androscoggin, with 16.18% rise in sales, and a median price increase of 0.67%, from $150,000 to $151,000.

The county showing the biggest drop in sales for the quarter was Knox, with a 16.58% decrease. The median price in Knox rose 10.62%, at $211,000 from last year's $197,500.

Seven of the state's 16 counties showed drops in sales of existing homes: Aroostook, Lincoln, Knox, Oxford, Sagadahoc, Washington and York.

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