Rick BissonOver the past 12 months, home values in Maine increased while overall sales slipped slightly. This according to recently released results from Maine Listing Services and Maine Real Estate Information System.

The numbers for June 2017 compared to June 2016 reveal a 3.54 percent overall gain in the median sales price, to $205,000. Meanwhile, sales volume for single-family existing homes cooled 3.62 percent in June 2017. Despite this dip in sales, the number of homes sold in June 2017 is nearly 8 percent higher than the most recent three-year June average.

The National Association of Realtors reported a 0.07 percent increase in June 2017 sales nationwide compared to 2016. June’s national median home sale price of $266,200 reflects a 6.6 percent increase over June 2016. Regional sales in the Northeast are 1.3 percent higher than one year ago, and the regional median sales price of $296,300 reflects a 4.1 percent increase.

Lawrence Yun, chief economist at the National Association of Realtors, says “Closings were down in most of the country last month because interested buyers are being tripped up by supply that remains stuck at a meager level and price growth that’s straining their budget.”

“The demand for buying a home is as strong as it has been since before the Great Recession. Listings in the affordable price range continue to be scooped up rapidly, but the severe housing shortages inflicting many markets are keeping a large segment of would-be buyers on the sidelines,” he said, adding, “The good news is that sales are still running slightly above last year’s pace despite these persistent market challenges.”

Last month’s national median sales price surpassed May as the new peak and is the 64th straight month of year-over-year gains. Total housing inventory at the end of June declined 0.5 percent to 1.96 million existing homes available for sale, and is now 7.1 percent lower than a year ago and has fallen year-over-year for 25 consecutive months. Unsold inventory is at a 4.3-month supply at the current sales pace, which is down from 4.6 months a year ago.

Looking at our Midcoast region, for the second quarter of 2017, the median home sales price was up 13.93 percent to $219,250. Total unit sales in Sagadahoc County were down 5.41 percent. Of the 263 total single-family, residential listings 204 are currently available for sale and 160 are under contract, for a 22.43 percent pending ratio. The year-to-date average days to sell a house in Sagadahoc County is 54 with less than a five-month supply of inventory.

In Lincoln County, second quarter sales were down 5.73 percent and the median home sales price was down 4.50 percent to $191,000. The pending ratio is 8.14 percent with 50 under contract, 564 currently for sale and 614 total residential listings. Houses in Lincoln County sell on average in 114 days with a little more than a 13-month supply of inventory.

In Cumberland County, the median home sales price was up 10.21 percent to $295,025 and sales were down 18.17 percent in the second quarter. There are 1,877 total listings, 1,461 currently for sale, 461 under contract for a pending ratio of 24.56 percent. With a little more than a 13.5-month supply of inventory, the average days to sell a house in Cumberland County is 28.

On July 27, Maine had 13,938 total listings with 12,048 currently available for sale and 1,891 under contract, resulting in a pending ratio of 13.57 percent. With a 13.5 month-supply of inventory, the statewide average number of days to sell a house is 60.

What can be derived from these statistics as we head into the remainder of the summer selling season? Certainly an increase in the average sales price, healthy pending ratios and shortened average days on market across the region are signals to sellers that now is a good time to sell.

Buyers on the other hand, should be aware that interest rates remain at historic lows, making affordability a key reason why now is a good time to buy. Whether you’re thinking about buying or selling, talk with your trusted Realtor. They are the experts.

This column is produced by Rick Bisson and his family, who own Bisson Real Estate with Keller Williams Realty of Midcoast and Sugarloaf.