PORTLAND, Maine — A recent trend toward double-digit increases in home sales slowed in October, likely a result of colder weather signaling an end to the traditional home-buying season.

In October, Maine Realtors sold 1,246 single-family existing homes, a nearly 5.9 percent increase over the number of homes sold in October 2012, according to data released Wednesday by the Maine Association of Realtors.

That is a much smaller percent increase than those seen the past several months. In September, home sales were up 25 percent over the same month the year before, while August saw a 20 percent increase.

The median sales price of the homes sold in October rose nearly 3.4 percent to $176,250.

“Inventory continues to climb, and prices are appreciating; many sellers are now more comfortable entering the market,” Bart Stevens, president of the Maine Association of Realtors, said in a statement. “A majority of the distressed properties have left the market, and things appear to be moving back toward a more normal real estate environment.”

The association provides data by county in rolling quarters, the most recent being August through October. During that period, most counties saw an increase in home sales between this three-month period and the same one last year.

Penobscot County saw a 12.1 percent increase in home sales during the rolling quarter (from 339 to 380) and an 8 percent increase in median sales price (from $125,000 to $135,000).

Aroostook, Piscataquis and Sagadahoc counties all saw a slight decrease in homes sold during the rolling quarter.

Nationally, sales of single-family, existing homes increased 5.2 percent in October, and the national median sales price increased 12.7 percent to $199,500, according to the National Association of Realtors.

Whit Richardson

Whit Richardson is Business Editor at the Bangor Daily News. He blogs about Maine business, entrepreneurs and the economy.