Across the country, sales of existing homes in May were at their highest rate in almost a decade. While the increase in demand was influenced by the normal spring market coupled with tight inventory levels, the median sales price nationwide approached an all-time high.  According to statistics prepared by NAR, all regions of the country, except for the Midwest, experienced strong sales increases last month.

Total sales grew in May 1.8% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.53 million from a downwardly revised 5.43 million in April. With last month’s gain, sales are now up 4.5% from May 2015 (5.29 million) and are at their highest annual pace since February 2007 (5.79 million).

Our Backyard

Maine real estate reflects, and in some cases exceeds, what is happening nationally.  Statewide sales of single family homes are up an impressive 20.1 % year-to-date while the median selling price of $180,000 represents an increase of 4.3%.  The monthly price of $190,250 was the highest since August 2007.

In Cumberland County YTD sales are up 15.9% while the median price of $251,000 represents an increase of 7.3%.  The monthly median price of $267,000 was an all-time record – and one that seemed almost impossible to attain several years ago.

Like always, the graph below highlights results for many local communities.   The city of Portland still continues to be on pace to set a record for annual sales.  Unit volume is up 43% YTD while pricing is up 5.8%.   Only a few communities are reporting lower sales and price levels in 2016 versus 2015.

Inventory & Pending Properties

Nationally, total housing inventory at the end of May rose 1.4% to 2.15 million existing homes available for sale, but is still 5.7% lower than a year ago (2.28 million). Unsold inventory is at a 4.7 month supply at the current sales pace, which is unchanged from April.

Interestingly, pending properties (homes under contract) actually declined in May for the first time in two years.  The decrease, while marginal, was not anticipated.

In Maine, inventory increased slightly in May.  In Cumberland County, unlike the national results, pending homes increased from 60.7% to 61.8% of available inventory.  Not surprisingly there is a vast difference in the strength of the market in southern Maine versus the entire state.  In May, only 29% of all available inventory was pending statewide. is updated each month with the latest sales statistics.  You can access this information by town at Local Communities, or try our Interactive Sales Chart. If you don’t see what you are looking for, we can prepare a custom report for you.

Moving to Maine?

About the Author: Michael

Michael, along with his wife Laura, is co-owner of Maine Home Connection, an independent real estate company located in Portland. Maine. Together they started the brokerage from scratch with a new vision of what a company could look like if it focused completely on the needs of our clients and our agents.

Understanding the Local Market

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