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Maine real estate market continues trend of slower sales – Press Herald

July marked another month of declining home sales in Maine and real estate agents say the market has continued to cool down through the summer.

Home sales in Maine declined by more than 15 percent last month compared to July 2021, according to figures released by the Maine Association of Realtors on Thursday.

The statewide median sales price for homes sold last month was $354,000, a 12 percent increase from July 2021, but a slight decrease from June’s median of $360,825, according to the association’s figures. The median indicates that half of the homes sold for more money and half sold for less.

It’s still a seller’s market, but real estate professionals are beginning to see sales level off, with more days on market and more price adjustments, said Madeleine Hill, a broker with Roxanne York Real Estate in Harpswell and president of the state real estate association. 

“Sellers and buyers are also adjusting to higher mortgage interest rates. Rate-sensitive buyers are more discerning, and we are beginning to see sellers respond,” she said. 

According to Freddie Mac, the average rate included in buyer contracts for a 30-year, conventional fixed-rate mortgage was 5.4 percent in July, down from 5.52 percent in June. The average rate across 2021 was 2.96 percent, the organization said. 

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Nearly 1,700 homes in Maine changed hands in July.

Summer sales activity in the state has been strong, but Hill said low inventory continues to have an effect: last month there were 30 percent fewer homes for sale than in July 2021, and 66 percent fewer than in July 2019, before the pandemic.

Nationally, sales fell a whopping 20.2 percent last month from July 2021 and prices rose 10.8 percent to a median of $403,800, according to the National Association of Realtors. It is the third consecutive month that the median price for existing homes has surpassed $400,000. 

Regionally, sales fell 16.2 percent last month from last year, while the median price in the Northeast rose 8.1 percent to $444,000.

Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the national association, expects home sales to stabilize as the rates start to creep down, giving buyers a little more purchasing power. 

“We’re witnessing a housing recession in terms of declining home sales and home building,” he said. “However, it’s not a recession in home prices. Inventory remains tight and prices continue to rise nationally.” 


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