A for sale sign is pictured on West Broadway in Bangor in this file photo. Credit: Nick Sambides Jr. / BDN

Maine home sales decreased for the fourth consecutive month in October, following a downward trend that has been driven by a continued increase in costs throughout the state.

The 2,085 homes sold showed a decline of 10.9 percent last month compared with October 2020, while the median sales price for an existing single-family home reached $308,000 last month, a 10 percent increase compared with the same time last year, according to the Maine Association of Realtors.

However, demand for housing throughout the state has remained high, according to Aaron Bolster, president of the Maine Association of Realtors. But the number of houses available on the market doesn’t match buyer demand.

“Available for-sale inventory is significantly low — 56 percent below the pre-COVID levels of October 2019. In October of 2019, the market had a 4.5-month supply of for-sale inventory,” Bolster said. “In October 2021, we experienced a 1.8-month supply. Buyers are quickly purchasing homes that are new to the market.”

Piscataquis County saw the largest drop in home sales, with a 24.8 percent drop from July through September of 2021 compared with those same months in 2020.

Aroostook County saw the largest increase, with 11.9 percent to 300 units over the three-month period.

In terms of median sales price across the state, prices increased in all 16 of Maine’s counties.

The largest increase was in Piscataquis County, with median sales price jumping to $182,500, or a 34.1 percent increase during the three-month comparison period.

The county with the least amount of increase compared with the same period last year was Lincoln County, where the median price was $360,000, a 3.6 percent increase.

Nationally, existing single-family home sales edged down 5.8  percent compared with October 2020, but prices rose almost 13.5 percent to a national median sales price of $360,800.

Leela Stockley is an alumna of the University of Maine. She was raised in northern Maine, and loves her cat Wesley, her puppy Percy and staying active in the Maine outdoors.