Values of existing single-family homes in Maine were up in November, and the state’s on track for another record year of median sales price increase, while limited inventory is driving down sales, according to the Maine Association of Realtors.
According to the Maine Listing Service, 123 fewer homes were sold in November than in November 2018 — a 7.59% decline. The statewide median sales price hit $225,000, up 2.74% from last November. The median price means half the homes were sold for more and half sold for less.
“Statistics from November continue to reflect the up-and-down pattern for 2019,” said Peter Harrington, 2019 president of the Maine Association of Realtors, and a broker/partner with Malone Commercial Brokers in Portland.
“The reality is, even with November’s sales decline and the very tight supply of for-sale inventory, the number of homes sold during 2019 is at a statistical dead heat with 2018 — Maine’s best year ever for residential real estate sales. The number of Maine homes for sale is 13% lower than a year ago, which impacts sales volume.”
Nationally. the National Association of Realtors reported a sales jump of 3.5% this November, compared to November 2018; the national median sales price rose 5.4%, to $274,000, over that same time period. Sales in the Northeast decreased 1.4%, while the regional MSP increased 3.9%, to $301,700, when comparing November 2019 to November 2018.
“We’re expecting a strong winter market,” Harrington said. “Serious buyers are searching and life transitions prompt the need to sell and buy homes year-round.”
Some of the most extreme changes over the three-month rolling quarter this year as opposed to 2018 were in the state’s least populous counties.
The biggest jump in median sales price for the three-month rolling quarter was in Piscataquis County, with an increase of 19.72%, $129,900 up from $108,500 last year. But the number of homes sold in the county of 16,700 residents dropped 15.83% for the three-month period, 101 this year down from last year’s 120, the biggest percentage drop in sales among the state’s 16 counties.
The biggest sales gain was in Franklin County, where 162 houses were sold in the three-month period this year, as opposed to 131 last year, for a 23.66% increase. That’s the biggest percentage increase in sales of any county. Median sales price in the county of 30,000 was only slightly up — 0.83% — from $150,000 to $151,250.
The state’s most populous counties, with the most volume of sales, were closer to the overall trend. In Cumberland County, the state’s most populous at about 282,000 residents, median sales price rose 8.55%, from $304,000 to $330,000. Sales were down 4.80%, from 1,147 in 2018 to 1,092 in 2019.
In York County, with 206,000 residents, MSP rose 6.38%, from $282,000 to $300,000 and sales were down 1.84%, from 868 to 852.
See the chart below for three-month rolling quarter statistics on all 16 counties.