PORTLAND, Maine — Maine’s housing market activity hit a post-recession peak in 2016, with sales, new construction and prices all hitting new highs.

The Maine Realtors Association reported that 17,507 existing homes changed hands last year, the highest level reached in the 18 years since the association started tracking that metric.

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The sales benchmark came as prices continued to rise, too, demonstrating rising demand among buyers who saw the Federal Reserve raise interest rate targets in December 2015 and again at the end of 2016, for the first time in years.

Federal data also shows that new construction rose in most months of the year, up 37 percent from January to November. That’s the largest jump since 2009, in the pit of the Great Recession.

The median price for 2016 hit $189,400, which was a nearly 5 percent increase over prices in 2015.

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.