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June 21, 2018

Home prices surge by 10% in May, driven by tight inventory

The median sales price for a home shot up by 9.95% last month, to $219,900.

Maine Listings reported Thursday that the gain came despite an overall decline of 1.38% in sales of single-family homes.

"Even though the May sold numbers show a slight dip, existing home sales for January through May 2018 are running 1.6% above the 2017 pace, which was the strongest year ever for Maine real estate sales," says Kim Gleason, 2018 President of the Maine Association of Realtors and broker-owner McAllister Real Estate in Hallowell.

Lack of inventory meant many markets are seeing multiple offers on listings, Gleason said in a news release.

Tight inventory

Statewide, inventory of homes on the market is down 14% from last year and 32% from 2016.

"We're seeing upward pressure on pricing in those markets due to the limited supply," Gleason said.

Aroostook County saw the biggest jump of Maine's 16 counties, with sales up 37.27% and the median sales price up 27%, to $92,000. By contrast, Hancock County was the only county to report a decline in both the number of sales and the median sales price, with declines of 14.66% in sales and 4.82% in MSP.

Nationwide, sales declined 3% in the past year, while the median sales price increased 5.2%, to $267,500, according to the National Association of Realtors.

In the Northeast, sales and prices both declined, with sales down 11.7% and the median sales price off 1.8%, to $275,900.

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