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After dipping in March and climbing in April, sales of existing single-family homes in Maine rose both in the number of houses sold and their price in May, Maine Listings reported on Friday.
Realtors reported selling 6.32 percent more homes in May 2019 compared to May 2018. The median sales price for the state also increased 4.59 percent to $230,000. The median sales price indicates that half of the homes sold for more and half sold for less.
“May was a strong month for residential real estate sales in Maine and, after a slow start to 2019, we’re pulling even to 2018 levels,” Peter Harrington, president of the Maine Association of Realtors, said in a statement.
He said job security and low unemployment rates, healthy consumer finances and lower mortgage interest rates fueled real estate markets across the state.
The National Association of Realtors said sales dipped 0.8 percent across the country, while the national median sales price increased 4.6 percent to $280,200 in May.
“For-sale inventory continues to be at historically low levels with pent-up buyer demand in the marketplace,” Harrington said.
Statewide, the average time a house was on the market for the first five months of 2019 was 47 days, down 8 percent from the same time period in 2018.
“Activity has certainly bumped up over the past quarter,” he said.
Waldo County saw the biggest increase in units sold, up 50 percent to 72 percent to 104, although the median sales price fell 6.11 percent to $169,000.
Hancock and Piscataquis counties saw unit sales rise about 20 percent, with Hancock at 196 units and Piscataquis at 75. Hancock saw the largest price rise, some 25.5 percent to $235,320. However, Piscataquis saw the largest price drop at 13.87 percent to $104,000.
Those numbers compare the quarter from March 1 – May 31, 2018, to the quarter from March 1 – May 31, 2019.
Penobscot County saw strong unit and price rises. Unit sales were up 11.94 percent to 422, while the median sales price rose 7.18 percent to $149,950.
Cumberland County experienced modest gains, with units up 0.34 percent to 891 and prices up 3.19 percent to $319,900.