Dec. 22—Maine real estate sales in November followed the pattern set for nearly every month of the year — higher prices amid falling sales due to tight inventory.
Sales statewide fell to 1,808 units last month from 1,965 in November 2020, a decrease of nearly 8 percent, while the median sales price rose to $300,000, up 11 percent from $270,000 during the same month a year ago, Maine Listings reported Wednesday. The median sales price indicates that half the homes sold for more than that figure and half sold for less.
The primary reason for the decrease in sales was a lack of homes on the market, said Aaron Bolster of Allied Realty in Skowhegan and president of the Maine Association of Realtors.
Bolster said the number of homes on the market in November was 33 percent below the number for sale a year ago and 59 percent below the number on the market in November 2019.
"With a six-month supply of for-sale inventory as the benchmark for a balanced real estate market, our current numbers indicate a 1.7-month supply," Bolster said in a statement.
But Bolster said stronger sales in the first few months of the year, when there were more homes on the market, means that real estate transactions from January through November were up 4.1 percent over the same period in 2020. Sales for January through November 2021 were 12.3 percent higher than during the same period in 2019, prior to the coronavirus pandemic roiling the market.
Changes in home sales volume and median price varied widely throughout the state during the three-month period from Sept. 1 through Nov. 30, according to Maine Listings.
Hancock County saw the biggest decrease in sales at nearly 30 percent, while sales increased in two Maine counties: Kennebec (11 percent) and Aroostook (8 percent).
Piscataquis County had the biggest increase in median sales price during the three-month period at 43 percent, while Washington County had the lowest increase of only 0.3 percent.
Nationally, home sales declined by just over 2 percent in November compared with the same month a year ago, and prices rose nearly 15 percent to a median sale price of $362,600, the National Association of Realtors said. Regionally, sales in the Northeast fell by nearly 12 percent, and the median sales price rose nearly 5 percent to $372,500.