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Updated: April 19, 2024

Real estate rebound in the making? Maine home sales increased again last month

Photo / Zillow This three-bedroom house in Hallowell was on the market Friday morning for $375,000, according to the Zillow real estate website.

After nearly three years in which a lack of inventory had steadily hammered sales of Maine homes downward, the number changing hands increased slightly for a second month in March. Prices for Maine homes continued to race higher.

Sales volume across the state was up 3.5% in March compared to a year ago, with 888 existing single-family homes sold, according to data released Thursday by the Maine Association of Realtors.

The median sales price for homes sold reached $380,000, an increase of 12.6% over the level in March 2023. The median sales price is the amount at which half the homes sold for less and half for more.

A comparison of home sales data for the first quarter of 2024 shows a similar trend. Statewide, the number of units sold from January through March was 2,420, compared to 2,324 for that period last year — a 4.1% increase.

Ten of Maine's 16 counties recorded sales increases in that comparison, with the highest increase in Androscoggin County. There, sales soared 39.7%, from 141 homes in the first quarter of 2023 to 197 over the past three months.

“The seasonal spring market arrived early with more homes coming onto the market and continued strong buyer demand in March,” said Paul McKee, 2024 president of the Maine Association of Realtors and a broker with Keller Williams Realty in Portland, in a news release.

“After 31 months of year-over-year sales declines, volume has increased for two consecutive months — more listings, more sales."

However, the March increase in sales paled in comparison to the jump in February, when sales volume increased 11.4%. And the two-month turnaround may be of little solace to hopeful homebuyers.

“Due to pent-up demand across Maine, markets remain brisk and multiple offers remain a common occurrence for properly priced and presentable properties," said McKee.

The association's data shows that the most expensive home purchases during March were in Cumberland County, where the median sales price increased 13.5% to $533,500. York County homes were the second-most expensive, rising 13.7% to an MSP of $499,250.

National, regional data

The uptick in sales of Maine properties bucked the national trend, in which single-family home sales during March decreased 2.8% from the total a year ago, the National Association of Realtors said.

Across the U.S., the median sales price for homes sold reached $397,200 — up 4.7%.

Sales in the Northeast during March dipped 3.8% and the regional MSP rose 9.9% compared to March 2023, to $434,600.

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