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March 22, 2024

Home prices continue to increase in Maine, but now sales volume is also up

big white house COURTESY / WAVE5PRODUCTIONS In 2022, buyers of a single-family home in Yarmouth avoided a bidding war by offering $300,000 over the list price.

Reversing a trend of nearly three years, the number of homes sold in Maine last month increased over the February 2023 total. Prices continued to increase.

According to Maine Listings, home sales jumped 11.44% in February, year-over-year, across Maine’s 16 counties. 

The median sales price for homes sold reached $354,000 in February, an increase of 7.52% over February 2023. 

“After 31 consecutive months of year-over-year declines for the number of sales, February 2024 showed an increase over the sales volume from a year ago — for the first time since June 2021,” said Paul McKee, president of the Maine Association of Realtors and a broker with Keller Williams Realty in Portland.

“The recent uptick in listing activity has led to a higher sales volume in February,” he continued. “Buyer demand remains steady and strong, outpacing supply in many local markets, which maintains pressure on pricing.

Despite the volume uptick, inventory remains tight. Current supply sits at 3.2 months, which is a strong sellers’ market, said McKee, and added that a balanced supply would be six months.

“Realtors are working with state and local governments across Maine advocating for increased housing supply through new development and adaptive reuse to bring a better balance to our housing markets,” he said.

The market remains highly competitive, said Tom Landry of Benchmark Real Estate in Portland.

"Many buyers were looking forward to a cooling of the market with higher [interest] rates,” Landry said. 

That was the case from November to February. Landry said the springtime market is showing promise of lots of inventory. But he said he also expects the return of bidding wars that in recent years saw buyers pitching offers well over asking prices, as well as same-day and cash offers.

Nation, region

Prices continued to increase nationally and regionally, while the volume of sales continues to slide.

Nationwide sales of single-family existing homes dipped 2.7% in February 2024 compared to February 2023. 

The National Association of Realtors reported a national MSP of $388,700, up 5.6%. Regionally, sales in the Northeast eased 7.7%, while the regional MSP reached $420,600 — an increase of 11.5% since last February.

“If you have equity in your current home, it’s an opportune time to sell,” said McKee.  

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