Maine home sales fell again in May, even as prices edged up

Maine’s housing market showed more signs of slowing in May as home sales continued to slide.

There were 1,420 home sales statewide from May 1 to May 31, down nearly 12% from the same time last year, according to the Maine Association of Realtors. Overall, home sales were down nearly 18% for the three-month period ending May 31.

“While still at historic lows, in March, April and May of 2022 we saw small gains in the number of homes for sale in Maine,” Madeleine Hill, president of the Maine Association of Realtors and designated broker at Roxanne York Real Estate in Harpswell said Tuesday.

“Part of this gain is our typical seasonal increase in home sales in the spring, but we’re also seeing demand for home purchases being affected by rising mortgage interest rates and appreciating home prices.” , Hill said.

This reflects a broader national decline in home sales, with home sales down 7.7% nationwide for the month of May, compared to the same period last year. Meanwhile, May sales fell 9.7% in the North East, compared to May 2021.

The state’s domestic market could cool even further heading into the summer months as the Federal Reserve embarks on an aggressive rate-hike strategy to rein in inflation.

Despite declining sales in Maine, home values ​​continued to rise at a healthy pace, reaching a median price of $350,000 in May, a 14.7% increase from May 2021, according to the Maine Association of Realtors. For the three-month period ending May 31, the median price of a home in Maine rose more than 19%.

At the county level, the largest increase in median home prices was recorded in Aroostook County, where the median price rose 43.5% for the three-month period ending May 31, per compared to the same period last year. Aroostook still claims the lowest median home price at $155,000. The highest median home price for the period was in Cumberland County, where it reached $510,000. The median home price rose the slowest in Waldo County, where it jumped 4.8% to $275,267. The median home price rose in every county.

On the sales front, sales were down across the board between March and May, compared to the same period last year. But sales fell most sharply in Hancock County, where they fell 42.5%.

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