April 20, 2019
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Maine home sales rise in October, reversing September dropoff

David Zalubowski | AP
David Zalubowski | AP
Maine continues to see home sales and values rise in October. Nationally home sales were down, though sales prices were up.

Sales of existing single-family homes in Maine were up in October compared with last year in both sales price and units sold, according to figures released Wednesday by the Maine Association of Realtors.

That’s a turnaround in unit sales from September 2018, when 5.15 percent fewer homes were sold compared with September 2017. However, October continues September’s trend of higher sales prices. In September, homes sold for 3.75 percent more than the previous year.

And while single-family home unit sales dipped nationally and in the Northeast, both of those areas saw prices rise, according to the National Association of Realtors.

In Maine, 3.44 percent more existing single-family homes were sold in October 2018 compared with October 2017. Some 1,832 units were sold this October compared with 1,771 last October.

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And the median sales price for homes sold in October reached $215,000, a 4.88 percent increase compared with $205,000 in October 2017. The median sales price indicates that half of the homes were sold for more and half sold for less.

“The statewide sold statistics through October 2018 are 2.7 percent ahead of this same time period from 2017, the real estate industry’s strongest year ever,” said Kim Gleason, president of the Maine Association of Realtors and broker/owner of McAllister Real Estate in Hallowell.

“We expect a strong 2018 finish. Traditionally, the holiday season continues to be an active time to transact real estate because buyers and sellers are motivated for decision-making before year’s end,” she said

The number of existing single-family homes sold from Aug. 1, 2018, compared with Aug. 1, 2017, rose the most in Piscataquis County, where sales were up 30.48 percent. The largest drop in unit sales was the 10.04 percent in Hancock County. Cumberland County was down 1.5 percent, and Penobscot County was up 1.88 percent.

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By sales price, Lincoln County rose the most over the three month comparison period. The median sales price was up 19.24 percent to $249,500. Hancock County was the only county with a sales price drop, by 2.79 percent to $223,590.

The median sales price in Cumberland County over the time period was up 5.26 percent to $300,000, while Penobscot County was up 9.29 percent to $153,000.

Nationally, single family sales were down 5.3 percent from October 2017 to October 2018, according to the National Association of Realtors. But the median sales price was up 4.3 percent to $257,900.

Regionally, October sales in the Northeast dipped 6.8 percent compared with a year ago, while the median sales price was up 3 percent to $280,900.

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