A "For Sale" sign is posted outside a single family home, Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2023, in Derry, N.H. Credit: Charles Krupa / AP

Home sales were lower in January as the number of for-sales homes remained low across the state last month, existing home sales released Tuesday by the Maine Association of Realtors showed.

While the number of homes sold this past January dropped nearly 35 percent from last year, the average price of a single-family home reached $325,000, an 11.2 percent price increase from January 2022 home prices. 

January 2023 sales were down about 34.9 percent compared with a year ago due to tight inventory and rising mortgage interest rates. Overall, home sales declined across all 16 counties last month. 

“In most communities across Maine, buyers need more for-sale housing inventory,” Carmen McPhail, president of the association, said.

Nationally, sales fell nearly 36.1 percent compared with last January. The median sales price was up about 0.7 percent to $363,100, according to the National Association of Realtors.

Lincoln and Washington counties in Maine each saw a more than 42 percent decline in home sales through November 2021 through January 2022 when compared with November 2022 through January 2023. 

Sales decreased the least in Piscatiquis County, where 74 homes were sold in January 2023 compared with 96 homes sold in January 2022.

Median prices increased the most in Washington County, where an average single-family home increased in price from $180,000 in January 2022 to $220,000 in January 2023. 

However, anticipated price breaks could offer the opportunity for buyers to break into the market in 2023. 

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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.