Maine Real Estate Sales Prices Up 10%
Maine’s real estate sales dipped in April, but home prices are on the rise. According to the Maine Real Estate Information System, home sales prices recorded in April increased 10.1 percent in one year.
Realtors sold a total of 1,051 homes statewide in April 2005, down from last April’s total of 1,194. The median sales price for those homes reached $187,000. The median sales price indicates that half of the homes were sold for more and half sold for less.
According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), single-family, existing home sales were up 5 percent nationwide in April. Sales prices soared 15.1 percent to a national median sales price of $203,800.
Regionally, the Northeast witnessed a 15.2 percent increase in prices, hitting the $243,000 mark. NAR reported a 7.1 percent regional jump in sales during April.
Sharon Millett of Coldwell Banker Millett Realty in Auburn said the real estate market in her sales area “remains strong because of a number of factors. A strong local economy is fueled by continuing low interest rates. Our [sales] prices, although showing strong growth in recent years, are still remarkably lower than neighboring communities in Southern Maine. Our median sales price remains almost half of what it costs to buy a home in the Portland area. Buyers are looking at our 25-30 minute commute as an easy tradeoff for affordable housing.”
Juanita Bean Smith of Bean & Smith Real Estate in Farmington reported, “The two main factors driving our market are the steady influx of ‘boomer’ retirees who appreciate the natural scenery, recreational and cultural opportunities affordably available in this area. [Additionally], the cost of new construction has made existing homes appear very attractively priced.
“Financing remains readily available at historically low rates. I have noticed the retiree market comprising an increasingly larger segment of the market for over 20 years, and expect it will remain an important sector of our market for many years to come.”
A chart showing statistics for Maine and its 16 counties follows. The first chart lists statistics for the month of April only, statewide. The second chart compares the number of existing, single-family homes sold (units) and volume (sale price) in the rolling quarter of February, March and April during the years 2004 and 2005.