Home sales continued decline in August as prices steadily rose

By Leela Stockley, Bangor Daily News Staff

Home sales were down again in August as the median price of a single-family home increased nearly 10 percent since the same time last year. 

There were 1,859 home sales across the state over the month of Augusta, a 9.9 percent fall from the same time last year, according to the Maine Association of Realtors. Overall, home sales decreased by 11.7 percent for the three-month period ending Aug. 31.

“While still historically low, active for-sale listings have been on an upward trajectory for the past six months, up almost 25 percent from July 2022 to August 2022,” Madeleine Hill, the president of the Maine Association of Realtors and designated broker at Roxanne York Real Estate in Harpswell, said Wednesday. 

“With additional for-sale inventory, we’re seeing a leveling in some areas of Maine. Buyers are approaching these market trends in a more strategic fashion, with contract contingencies and seller concessions becoming more common.”

People across the nation are easing up on buying homes as the market starts to recalibrate, with sales down 19.2 percent across the U.S., and down 13.7 percent in the north east compared with August 2021. Prices have continued to rise across the country, with the median sales price reaching $396,300 nationally, and reaching $413,200 in the northeast region in August. 

Despite sales easing across Maine, home values are still holding strong, reaching a median price of $340,000 in August, a 9.7 percent increase over August 2021, according to the Maine Association of Realtors. For the three-month period ending Aug. 31, the median price for a home in Maine was up 12.81 percent.

On the county level, the most significant increase in median home prices was in Washington County, where the median price has risen 48.4 percent for the three-month period ending Aug. 31, compared with the same time last year. The highest median home price for the period was in Cumberland County, where it reached $503,500.

The median home price rose most slowly in Oxford County, where it jumped 3 percent to $275,400. Aroostook had the lowest median home price overall at $149,700. The median home price rose in every county.

On the sales front, sales were down across the board in between June and August, compared with the same time last year, except in Piscataquis County where sales held steady and Sagadahoc County where they increased by 11.1 percent. Sales fell most sharply in Washington County, where they are down 26.3 percent.

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