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September 21, 2018

Maine single family home sales — and prices — continue to rise

Maine Association of Realtors
Maine Association of Realtors
According to listings of existing home sales, 2,072 homes were sold in August, a 5.9% sales increase compared to August last year. The median sales price for those homes increased 6.8%, to $220,000.
Photo / Maureen Milliken

Single-family home sales and the sales price continued to rise in the month of August in most of Maine, according to the Maine Association of Realtors. The increase is sales is despite a statewide lack of inventory.

Single-family home sales and the sales price continued to rise in the month of August in most of Maine, according to the Maine Association of Realtors. The rise in sales bucks a national trend that shows a dip in sales over the past year, though prices nationwide are up.

The increase is sales is despite a lack of inventory statewide, said Kim Gleason, 2018 president of the Maine Association of Realtors, and broker-owner of McAllister Real Estate in Hallowell.

According to listings of existing home sales, 2,072 homes were sold in August, a 5.9% sales increase compared to August last year. The median sales price for those homes increased 6.8%, to $220,000.

The highest price and sales increase in the June to August period since last year is in Piscatquis County, where sales were up 64.1% and prices increased 27%. In the same period last year, 78 homes were sold in the county, which is in central northern Maine and has a population of about 17,500 and the county seat is Dover-Foxcroft.

Coastal Knox and Lincoln counties also showed hikes in sales and median sales price.

In Knox County, which includes Rockland, and has a population of 39,855, median sales price was up 18.4%, from $217,400 last year to $257,350 this year. Sales increased 17%, with 171 homes sold last year and 200 this year.

In Lincoln County, sales price was up 18.8%, from $207,500 to $246,500; sales were up 13.8%, from 159 to 181 homes sold. Lincoln County has a population of 33,969, and the county seat is Wiscasset.

The state's most populous county, Cumberland, which includes Portland, showed a 5.7% increase in median sales price, from $298,000 to $215,000, and a 3.67% increase in sales, from 1,307 to 1,355.

Counties showing declines included Somerset, in central Maine, and Hancock and Washington Downeast.

"The fourth quarter is traditionally a strong time for real estate transactions," Gleason said in a news release.

"Currently, there are more than 10,000 active for-sale residential listings statewide, with more coming onto the market every day," she said in a news release. "Buyers and sellers want to be settled before the holidays and take advantage of any tax benefits prior to year's end."

Nationally, sales dipped 1.0 percent over the past year, while the median sales price increased 4.9% to $267,300. The Northeast experienced a 2.7% sales decrease and the sales price rose 2.6% to $292,800.

"Realtors across Maine report that the availability of for-sale inventory continues to slow prospective buyers, yet sales through the first eight months of 2018 are nearly four percent ahead of the same time period in 2017." said Gleason, "To date, 2018 has been a banner year for real estate."

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