Higher prices and limited inventory made 2022 another tough year for Mainers trying to find an affordable place to live.
Prices for single family homes rose by about 12 percent from 2021 to 2022, despite declining sales throughout most of last year.
“Overall, the numbers reflect the impact of mortgage rate increases, the typical fourth-quarter seasonal slowdown and a continued shortage of for-sale housing inventory,” Maine Association of Realtors president Carmen McPhail said.
In December, the median sales prices for existing single family homes reached $330,000, an 8.9 percent increase from the median price in December of 2021, according to the Maine Realtors Association. However, with low inventory and high demand, sales were down by about 36.6 percent compared with December of 2022.
“We’re seeing a bit of a pause as buyers and sellers are adjusting their expectations due to today’s less-favorable financing terms compared to mid-2022,” McPhail said, while also noting that the housing market has the potential to stabilize over the course of 2023.
Nationally, sales were down for the 11th-straight month, falling approximately 33.5 percent compared with December 2021. The median sales price was up about 2 percent to $372,700 , according to the National Association of Realtors.
Hancock County saw a more than 27 percent decline in home sales when comparing October through December of 2022 and the same period in 2021. Washington County saw the highest rise in median sales price, up 31.5 percent to $215,000.
Maine’s housing market is expected to continue to cool from a pandemic-driven rush that drove up prices and drove down inventory throughout 2021 and the beginning of 2022. Prices are expected to continue to rise, but will likely climb at slower rates than in early 2022.