25 Aug 2010

Maine Home Sales Decline in July

Posted by Michael Sosnowski

July home sales in Maine followed a national pattern – a significant drop in year over year results that was somewhat anticipated, yet stunning in its absolute number.

After months of increases, sales of single family homes in Maine dropped 30% compared to July 2009.  For the month a total of 807 homes were sold versus 1,154 the year before.

This decrease follows an encouraging first six months of 2010, which reflected a 27% increase over 2009.

Most observers of the national real estate market expected a decline in sales in July and August as the things settled down following the expiration of the tax credit, which in many ways created an artificial surge in demand earlier in the year. The real question is whether we are experiencing a “pause” in market activity, or entering a period of continued declines in sales.

Interpretation of Price Improvement

The median sales price for homes in Maine increased by 4% to $172,500 in July 2010 compared to July 2009, continuing a positive trend for the year that may reflect a slight improvement in the sales of higher priced homes and an overall stabilization of home prices in many areas of the state.

In Cumberland County the median price in July 2010 was $247,500 compared to $234,900 in 2009.  A three month rolling average of May, June and July, which reflects the most recent sales activity, yielded 3.8% increase statewide and a 3.3% increase in Cumberland County. During the last three months York County has recorded a 6.9% increase in median prices over 2009.

It is important, yet extremely difficult, to separate the market affects of the change in the mix of homes sales versus actual improvement in prices, especially on a macro level, whether it be statewide or by county.  Each town and each local community include considerable variation.

National Perspective

According to NAR, the sales pace of all homes – single-family homes, townhomes and condos is at its lowest rate since NAR began tracking the figure in 1999. Sales of single-family homes, which account for a vast majority of all transactions, are at the lowest level since May 1995.

Existing home sales sank 27% in July, nearly twice as much as analysts had anticipated, to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 3.83 million units.

Inventory has also continued to increase, rising 2.5% to 3.98 million existing homes for sale. That represents a 12.5-month supply at the current sales pace, the highest since October 1982 when it stood at 13.8 months.

A six-month of supply is considered normal.

Locally and nationally the next several months will be critical, as the housing market and the broader economy prove to be closely intertwined and is a poor sales month in July a harbinger of things to come over the balance of the year.

Maine sales statistics are based on MREIS reporting data.

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Buying Your Home Heart and Mind Buyer Agency
Exclusive Services Agency Relationships Title Insurance
Home Buying Process Advice and Strategy
Affect of the Economy Determining A Price First Time Buyers Viewing Homes Second Homes Home Search Strategy Waterfront Real Estate
Common Forms
Selling Your Home CMA Request Marketing Programs
Search Engine Marketing Promotion Showing Results Internet Marketing Advertising Keller Williams Advantage Opt-In Marketing Staging Transaction Reporting Web Statistics
Pricing Factors Advice and Strategy
Counteroffers Establishing a Price Listing Agreements Feng Shui Principles Considering Repairs Value of Improvement Choosing A Realtor Common Mistakes
Home Selling Process
Maine Maine History Maine Geography Maine Economy Maine Demographics Maine Education Maine Climate Maine Beaches
Maine Real Estate Blog
Search for Properties
Maine Communities Portland South Portland Scarborough Falmouth Cape Elizabeth Cumberland Yarmouth Old Orchard Beach
Search For Homes
Lifestyle Map Search
Daily Property Updates
Waterfront Real Estate Coastal Maine
Maine Coastal Guide
Maine Lakes
Maine Lake Guide
Maine Rivers Casco Bay Islands
Peaks Island Chebeague Island Great Diamond Island Long Island Cliff Island Cushing Island
Waterfront - FAQ's
Relocation Services Relocation Package Area Digital E-Guide Maine Counties Quality of Life Education and Schools Art and Culture Property Tax Rates Common Relocation FAQs Moving Long Distance
Mortgage Center Mortgage Types Credit Scoring Fee & Closing Costs Mortgage FAQs Tax Credit
Retirement in Maine Retirement Planning Retirement Communities Changing Demographics
Real Estate Investing Vacation Homes 1031 Tax Exchanges Condos and Townhomes Remodeling: Cost vs Value
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