Julie Dawson Williams, chief operating officer of Bangor real estate agency ERA Dawson Bradford, said that since March her agents have seen an increase in people from out of state looking for primary residence in Maine. Credit: Linda Coan O'Kresik / BDN

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Single-family home sales declined 21 percent in May compared to the previous year — pressured by coronavirus restrictions and little inventory — but prices remained strong, according to industry data released Monday.

Unit sales were 1,257, down from 1,598 in May 2019. The median sales price rose 3.4 percent to nearly $238,000. That price indicates that half of the homes were sold for more and half sold for less.

The number of homes for sale has tightened and was 28 percent below a year ago, Tom Cole, president of the Maine Association of Realtors, said. The average number of days a house is on the market was 17. Multiple offers are common for move-in ready homes, which increases prices, Cole said.

The number of homes sold declined the most in Lincoln County, down 35.5 percent. Sales in Cumberland and Penobscot counties were each down more than 17 percent. Prices rose the most in Franklin County, at close to 41 percent. Cumberland prices rose 6.3 percent and in Penobscot they were up 3.4 percent.

Maine’s decrease in the number of homes sold mirrors that of the United States, which as a whole was down 24.8 percent, according to the National Association of Realtors. As in Maine, the median sales price rose 2.4 percent to $287,700 nationally.

Regionally, sales in the Northeast fell 29.9 percent compared to last May and the median sales price rose 7.8 percent to $327,900.