Maine’s Homes Sales Down in July
According to the Maine Real Estate Information System Inc., Realtors statewide sold 213 fewer homes in July 2006 than in July of 2005, a decrease of 16 percent.
Though sales slowed, prices dipped only slightly. The median sales price for a single-family existing home was $190,000 in July, a decrease of 2.61 percent compared to a year ago. The median sales price indicates that half of the homes were sold for more and half sold for less.
Nationally, sales of single-family homes were down 11.4 percent in July. According to the National Association of Realtors, the national median sales price increased 1.5 percent to $231,200.
The Northeastern United States also witnessed a regional sales dip of 12.5 percent. NAR reported that the median sales price for those homes decreased 2.1 percent to $276,000.
Many buyers are wondering: Do the dips in statistics indicate a buyers’ market? According to Sheryl Gregory, broker of Homestead Realty in Winthrop, the market “has not turned the corner into a buyers’ market, but as inventory continues to increase, that may occur. Sellers are more thoughtful in their pricing strategies to capture their particular buyer.”
Gregory expects to see the market stay level in the upcoming year. “Rates are fairly stable; although they have climbed somewhat, [they are] still very reasonable historically. Buyers and sellers, as well as brokers, are choosing their relationships carefully to position themselves for a successful transaction,” she said.
Is real estate still a quick-turnaround investment opportunity? Gregory advises investors to “consult with a professional to help guide them with location hot-spots and buyer-needs trends so that their investment is more secure. There is still opportunity, but wise choices must be made to put the dollars to work in the right environment. We are cautioning people about the potential for overextending financially.”
A chart showing statistics for Maine and its 16 counties follows. The first chart lists statistics for the month of July only, statewide. The second chart compares the number of existing, single-family homes sold (units) and median sales price (sale price) in the rolling quarter of May, June and July of this year and last.