Maine home prices are still rising and sales are still declining as high demand and low inventory continue to put a squeeze on prospective buyers. This isn’t new – it’s the same trend real estate professionals have been reporting for months.

But experts say there’s now a “glimmer of hope” for those who are trying to find a home in Maine.

Just over 1,130 homes changed hands in May, a 20% decline from the total in May 2022, but a 43% increase from the previous month, according to data from the Maine Association of Realtors. 

The statewide median sales price for homes sold last month was $373,000, a 6.57% increase over the price in May 2022 and only a slight increase from the $367,500 in April 2023. 

The median is the price at which half the homes sold for more money and half sold for less. 

Carmen McPhail, president of the Maine Association of Realtors, said the ongoing inventory shortage caused a slow start to 2023, with a 25% drop in sales for the first five months of the year compared to the same period a year before. 


“However, the month of May brought a glimmer of hope,” she said. 

McPhail, who is also a broker with United Country Lifestyle Properties of Maine, said that on average, over 100 households bought or sold homes in Maine each business day in May.

“Sellers and buyers have adjusted their strategies to accommodate the current conditions, with sellers waiting to list until their next move is secured and buyers reacting swiftly when suitable properties become available,” she said in a statement. 

Nationally, sales also dipped about 20% from May 2022. But unlike in Maine, prices for single-family homes across the U.S. dropped. In May, the median sales price dipped 3.4% from May 2022 to $401,100, according to the National Association of Realtors. However, that’s a 5.5% increase from the previous month. 

Regionally, the Northeast reported a 2.5% price increase to $439,000 compared to the median price a year ago, and a 25.4% decrease in sales from May 2022. 

According to mortgage buyer Freddie Mac, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 6.42% in May.


As in Maine, a national housing inventory shortage is putting a damper on home sales. 

Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the National Association of Realtors, said that the current supply is roughly half the level it was in 2019. 

Properties typically remained on the market for 18 days in May, down from 22 days in April, but up from 16 days in May 2022. 

In Maine, homes are selling much faster. Homes sat on the market for just one week in May, down from nine days in April and 16 days in March, according to Maine Listings. The speed is similar to May 2022, when homes sold in six days, on average. 

The Maine Association of Realtors looks at three-month data in county-by-county comparisons to get a larger sample size of sale transactions.

As in other months, Cumberland County remains the most expensive county, with homes selling for a median of $536,500 between March 1 and May 31. 

Knox County, though, had the highest price increase, with a 16.9% jump to $450,000 between March and May from $385,000 across the same period last year. 

Prices fell 3% in Lincoln County and 5% in Sagadahoc County. 

Waldo County experienced the largest sales decrease, from 110 homes in the three-month span last year to just 61 homes over that time this year – a 44.5% drop. 

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