A sale pending sign is pictured in front of a home on Norway Road in Bangor in this 2011 file photo. Credit: John Clarke Russ / BDN

The price of single family homes in Maine rose over the past year, along with the number of homes sold throughout the state.

The median cost of a house in Maine hit $299,000 in 2021, a 21-year-high since the Maine Association of Realtors started compiling data in 2001. The number of sales in Maine also rose by 2.14 percent, with 20,401 homes sold in 2021, compared with 19,921 units sold in 2020, according to a report released on Thursday.

Overall, demand has been strong for houses throughout the state, according to Madeline Hill, the president of the Maine Association of Realtors. However, sales were constrained by tight for-sale available inventory.

Aroostook County saw the biggest increase in home sales, reporting a 19.09 percent increase in sales since 2020, with 998 units sold in 2021 compared with the 838 units sold throughout 2020.

Sales declined the most in Piscataquis County, which saw a 7.06 percent decrease, with 421 units sold in 2021, compared with the 453 homes sold in 2020.

The median sales price of a single-family unit increased the most in Knox County, with a 28.24 percent increase since 2020. During 2021, the average sale price for a unit in Knox County rose to $344,000, compared with $268,250 in 2020.

Washington County saw the smallest median sales price increase, with prices rising just 9.07 percent since 2020. The price of an average single-family home rose to $163,500 in 2021, compared with a median price of $149,900 in 2020.

Despite year-long growth in the housing market, December home sales in 2021 dipped by 12.65 percent when compared with the same period from 2020,  according to the report.

In December of 2021, 1,720 units were sold in Maine, compared with a December 2020 figure of 1,969. The median price of a single-family home rose from $270,000 in December 2020, compared with a median price of $303,000 in December of 2021 — a 12.2 percent increase from that same period last year.

Maine home prices are expected to continue to rise in 2022, despite higher mortgage rates aimed at curbing inflation. Nationwide, home prices soared 18 percent, while overall inflation has gone up around 6 to 7 percent in most markets. Wages have only risen an average of 4 percent across the country.

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Leela Stockley

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.