Rick BissonInformation released last week from the Maine Association of Realtors shows the prices of Maine homes sold in September increased 10.20 percent over those sold in 2016. The state’s median sales price for homes sold reached $207,225. September’s double digit increase preserves a five-year steady rise in home prices. In total, 1,772 homes were sold across Maine’s 16 counties during September 2017 – an increase of 2.31 percent over September 2016.

According to the National Association of Realtors, total existing-home sales across the United States rose 0.7 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.39 million in September 2017 from 5.35 million in August 2017. Last month’s sales pace is 1.5 percent below a year ago and is the second slowest over the past year.

The national median existing-home price for September was $245,100, up 4.2 percent from September 2016. September’s price increase marks the 67th straight month of year-over-year gains.

Total housing inventory at the end of September rose 1.6 percent to 1.90 million existing homes available for sale. Inventory remains 6.4 percent lower than a year ago and has fallen year-over-year for 28 consecutive months. Unsold inventory is at a 4.2-month supply at the current sales pace, which is down from 4.5 months a year ago.

Properties typically stayed on the market for 34 days in September, which is up from 30 days in August but down from 39 days a year ago. Forty-eight percent of homes sold in September were on the market for less than a month.

Regionally, September existing-home sales in the Northeast were at an annual rate of 720,000 (unchanged from August), and are now 1.4 percent below a year ago. The median price in the Northeast was $274,100 – 4.8 percent above September 2016.

Looking at our Midcoast region for the third quarter of 2017 compared to the third quarter of 2016, unit sales in Sagadahoc County were 152 – down 1.30 percent. The median home sales price was down 1.15 percent to $215,000. Of the 449 total residential listings, 324 are currently available for sale and 100 are under contract for a 30.86 percent pending ratio. The average days on market was 27 days.

In Lincoln County, third quarter sales decreased 5.65 percent with 167 homes sold and the median home sales price was down 6.67 percent to $210,000. In all, Lincoln County has 597 total homes actively for sale. The pending ratio is 19.26 percent with 115 under contract and 758 total residential listings. The average days on market was 74.

Knox County’s first-quarter unit sales were up 16.58 percent with 161 homes sold. The median home sales price increased 10.62 percent to $211,000. Of the 620 total homes for sale, 120 are under contract and 500 are currently available for sale resulting in a pending ratio of 19.35 percent. The average days on market was 62 days.

Unit sales of 1,301 in Cumberland County were up 4.16 percent and the median home sales price was up 7.27 percent to $295,000 in the third quarter. There are 2,199 total listings, 1,381 are available for sale and 818 are under contract for a pending ratio of 59.23 percent. The average days on market was 15.

On Oct. 27, Maine had 14,771 active listings available for sale and 3,584 under contract, resulting in a pending ratio of 24.26 percent. The average days on the market was 31.

If evidence is persuasive, the increase in home prices and shortened supply of homes for sale are a strong case for now possibly being the best time to sell your home for top dollar. And if you’re planning to buy, now may be the best time to lock-in on a low interest rate.

Whether you’re thinking about buying, selling or investing in real estate, talk with your trusted, expert Realtor for the best advice.

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