Maine home sales dipped in May, but median price shot up 10%

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Sales of existing single-family homes in Maine decreased slightly in May from a year earlier as a result of limited housing inventory, but prices continued to rise, according to a Maine Listings report issued Wednesday.

Home sales volume decreased by 1.4% compared with May 2017, it said, but the statewide median sale price increased by 10% to $219,900. The median sale price indicates that half of the homes were sold for more money and half sold for less.

“Statewide, we have 14% fewer homes for sale than a year ago, and 32% fewer than 2016,” said Kim Gleason, president of the Maine Association of Realtors and broker/owner of McAllister Real Estate in Hallowell. “We’re seeing upward pressure on pricing in those markets due to the limited supply.”

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Even though sales figures for May show a slight dip, existing-home sales for January through May are running 1.6% above the 2017 pace, which was the strongest year ever for Maine real estate sales, Gleason said.

For the three-month period ending May 31, home sales in Maine were up 1.1% from a year earlier, and the median sale price increased by 8.8% to $210,000. The biggest year-over-year increase in sales for the three-month period was in Aroostook County, where sales were up 37.2%, to 151 sales. The biggest sales decrease for the period was in Sagadahoc County, where sales were down 17.2% from a year earlier, to 106 sales.

The biggest median price increase for the three-month period also was in Aroostook County, where the median price increased by 27% from a year earlier to $92,000. The biggest median price decrease for the period was in Hancock County, falling 4.8% from the same three-month period in 2017.

Nationally, home sales dipped by 3% in May compared with a year earlier, and the national median sale price increased by 5.2% to $267,500, according to the National Association of Realtors.

Regionally, sales in the Northeast decreased by 11.7% from May 2017, and the median sale price dipped by 1.8% to $275,900, it said.

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