PORTLAND, Maine — Single-family homes sales for the busiest months in Maine surged past the total for July, August and September of last year as sale prices also continued to rise statewide.

Data released by the Maine Realtors Association for September closed out the third quarter with the highest volume of home sales since the recession, with 5,042 homes sold during those three months.

That was up 14.5 percent from the third quarter of 2014, when 4,404 homes changed hands.

The quarterly performance comes after a 17.1 percent rise in home sales in September.

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“An increased interest in purchasing second homes has helped markets beyond the city limits,” Marie Flaherty, president of the Maine Realtors Association, said in a news release. “Stable market conditions and the discussion of increasing interest rates are part of some decisions as well.”

Speculation has swirled throughout this year about whether the country’s major economic indicators would give the Federal Reserve Board confidence to raise interest rates that have been held low since the recession.

In some areas of the state, Flaherty said, housing inventories are at five-year lows.

With that activity, prices remained near a seven-year high hit in July.

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Median home prices continued to climb from one year ago in September, up 6 percent to $185,450, compared with the same month last year.

The third quarter of the year has topped the year for home sales volume in every year since 2011.

Darren Fishell

Darren is a Portland-based reporter for the Bangor Daily News writing about the Maine economy and business. He's interested in putting economic data in context and finding the stories behind the numbers.