June 01, 2020
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Maine home sales dip in March, following national trend

LM Otero | AP
LM Otero | AP
In this Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2019, photo a price reduced for sale sign sit in front of a home in north Dallas.

Reflecting national trends, sales of Maine’s existing single-family homes decreased in March.

The number of units sold declined 3.11 percent last month with 1,120 homes changing hands across the state, according to the Maine Association of Realtors, which released the data Monday. That’s 36 fewer homes than in March 2018.

The median sale price for homes sold in March 2019 decreased 0.94 percent to $210,000 statewide, down slightly from $212,000 in March 2018. The median sale price indicates that half of the homes sold for more and half sold for less than that amount.

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“For the fourth consecutive month, residential sales volume has shown decreases compared to figures from a year ago, but are the third highest March sales volume during the 17 years we’ve been collecting data,” Peter Harrington, president of the association, said in a statement.

“Typically, with a decline in the number of sales, we’d see an increase in the for-sale inventory, but that’s not the case this month with sales down 3 percent and for-sale inventory down 5.5 percent,” he said. “Buyers are in the marketplace, but may not be finding the home that meets their needs due to the tight supply.”

Unit sales were down in 10 of Maine’s 16 counties from January to March compared to the same three months in 2018. Prices were up in half of the counties and down in the other half.

Piscataquis County experienced the biggest gain in unit sales, up 30 percent to 56. But the median sale price dropped 10 percent to $106,000.

Knox County had the biggest unit sales drop, down 22.45 percent to 76. However, the median sales price rose close to 16 percent to $231,000.

Penobscot was one of the counties in which unit sales rose 2.49 percent to 288. However, the median sale price was down almost 5 percent to $135,000.

Cumberland County saw a decline in units sold of 3.62 percent to 639, while the median sale price also declined 1.5 percent to $292,000 in the three-month period.

The National Association of Realtors said Monday that nationally, unit sales declined 4.7 percent, though the median sales price rose 3.8 percent to $261,100 in March 2019 compared to March 2018.

Home sales in the Northeast declined 1.5 percent, but the regional median sale price rose 2.5 percent to $277,500 over that same time period.

“Economic conditions remain favorable with attractive mortgage rates, plus high consumer confidence and job security,” Harrington said.

Realtors are entering one of their busiest sales periods in the spring.

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