Maine real estate sales ended 2021 on a familiar note: falling sales and rising prices.

The number of Maine homes sold in December fell from 1,969 in 2020 to 1,720 last month, a decrease of 12.65 percent, while the median price rose from $270,000 in December 2020 to $303,000 last month, an increase of 12.2 percent. Median means half the homes sold for less than that amount and half sold for more.

For the year, sales increased 2.41 percent to 20,401 units, while the median price rose to $299,000, an increase of 16.8 percent, according to Maine Listings, a subsidiary of the Maine Association of Realtors.

Sales and median prices both set records in 2021, according to Madeleine Hill, a broker at Roxanne York Real Estate on Bailey Island and 2022 president of the association.

Hill said demand for homes in Maine remained high throughout 2021 and is expected to continue to be strong this year, but sales have been constrained by a lack of inventory since mid-2021. The combination of high demand and low inventory drove prices up to record levels, she said.

Nationally, sales fell 6.8 percent in December and prices rose 16 percent to a median of $363,400. Regionally, sales fell 15.7 percent last month, while the median price in the Northeast rose just over 6 percent to $384,600.

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