Maine's real estate market continues to cool, following national trends. Credit: Linda Coan O'Kresik / BDN

Home prices in Maine appeared to be stabilizing in September after sharp rises the past two years, according to data released Thursday by the Maine Association of Realtors.

Fewer homes sold compared to last year. Prices were up slightly compared to a year ago, though at a lesser pace than recent months, and they fell compared to August. Some 1,890 existing single-family homes sold in September, down 8.6 percent from September 2021.

The median sales price was $330,000, up 3.1 percent from last September but down almost 3 percent from last month. The median sales price — at which half the homes sold for more and half for less — also was down 9.9 percent in August compared with July, and has been on a monthly decline trend since March of this year.

Moving into the last three months of this year, rising mortgage interest rates and inflation may stabilize home sales prices, Madeleine Hill, president of the association, said.

“Overall, realtors across Maine are feeling a leveling in the marketplace,” she said. “After 25 consecutive months of double-digit pricing increases, both August and September 2022 came in with single digit price appreciation.” She was referring to year-on-year comparisons.

The softening home prices may give prospective homebuyers entry into a real estate market in which they have been stymied by high prices and stiff competition.

In the hot Portland and South Portland real estate market, the median sales profit on a single-family home or condo declined 3.9 percent from the second to the third quarters of this year, according to data released Thursday by real estate data company ATTOM Data Solutions. That means sellers made an average profit of $137,120 instead of $142,623 the previous quarter. However, the profit still was up 15.5 percent compared with a year ago.

Knox County saw the largest decrease in units sold, falling 30.6 percent to 161 homes sold from July through September of this year compared with those three months in 2021.

Cumberland County was down 13 percent to 1,118 sold, while Penobscot was down 2.5 percent to 586 sold.

In terms of pricing, Washington County saw the highest increase of 37.5 percent to $220,000 over the three months. Cumberland was up 11 percent to $500,000 and Penobscot was up 12.8 percent to $236,800.

The National Association of Realtors reported a 23 percent decline in sales in September compared with the previous year, with an 8.1 percent rise in the median sales price to $391,000.

“The housing sector continues to undergo an adjustment due to the continuous rise in interest rates, which eclipsed 6 percent for 30-year fixed mortgages in September and are now approaching 7 percent,” Lawrence Yun, chief economist at the national association, said.