Maine home sales post double-digit growth in 2012

Posted Jan. 24, 2013, at 7:27 p.m.
Last modified Jan. 24, 2013, at 8:55 p.m.

Maine home sales rebounded in 2012, with Realtors selling 11,521 existing, single-family homes, a 17.12 percent increase over the number sold in 2011, according to the Maine Real Estate Information System.

The median sales price for homes sold in 2012 also increased by 3 percent, from $165,000 in 2011 to $170,000 in 2012.

“Many buyers have been sitting on the sidelines waiting for just the right time to begin the home buying process, and 2012 seemed to offer the right alignments,” Bart Stevens, current president of the Maine Association of Realtors and owner of Century 21 Nason Realty in Winslow, said in a statement. “Declining inventory coupled with historically low interest rates and reasonable home prices made for an attractive time to jump into the market.”

Stevens said Maine Realtors saw a “steady return” of first-time homebuyers in 2012, a trend he expects to continue into 2013 buoyed by low interest rates.

In December, Maine Realtors sold 888 existing, single-family homes, an 11.84 percent increase from the 794 sold in December 2011.

All but three counties experienced growth in home sales in 2012, with Piscataquis County experiencing the largest percent increase with 8.11 percent.

The three counties that saw home sales fall in 2012 were Franklin (-7.20 percent), Knox (-3.11 percent), and Kennebec (-2.62 percent).

“As the market continues to pick up speed, sellers are quickly recognizing that they are headed back towards a more level playing field in the coming year,” Stevens said.

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