Maine’s real estate market showed more signs of cooling in May as home sales continued their downward slide.
There were 1,420 home sales across the state from May 1-31, a nearly 12 percent fall from the same time last year, according to the Maine Association of Realtors. Overall, home sales were down nearly 18 percent for the three-month period ending May 31.
“While still historically low, during March, April, and May of 2022 we have experienced small gains in the number of homes for sale across Maine,” Madeleine Hill, the president of the Maine Association of Realtors and designated broker at Roxanne York Real Estate in Harpswell, said Tuesday.
“Some of that gain is our typical spring home selling seasonal increase, but we’re also seeing home buying demand impacted by rising mortgage interest rates and home price appreciation,” Hill said.
That mirrors a broader national decline in home sales, with home sales down 7.7 percent nationally for the month of May, compared with the same time last year. Meanwhile, May’s sales fell 9.7 percent across the Northeast, compared with May 2021.
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The state’s home market may cool even more heading into the summer months as the Federal Reserve embarks upon an aggressive rate-hike strategy to tamp down on inflation.
Despite sales easing across Maine, home values have continued to rise at a steady clip, reaching a median price of $350,000 in May, a 14.7 percent surge over May 2021, according to the Maine Association of Realtors. For the three-month period ending May 31, the median price for a home in Maine was up more than 19 percent.
On the county level, the most significant increase in median home prices was in Aroostook County, where the median price has risen 43.5 percent for the three-month period ending May 31, compared with the same time last year. Aroostook still has claim to the lowest median home price overall at $155,000. The highest median home price for the period was in Cumberland County, where it reached $510,000. The median home price rose most slowly in Waldo County, where it jumped 4.8 percent to $275,267. The median home price rose in every county.
On the sales front, sales were down across the board in between March and May, compared with the same time last year. But sales fell most sharply in Hancock County, where they are down 42.5 percent.