Maine home values continued to rise in most counties in May but continued to lag behind the regional and national medians, according to a Maine Listings report issued Monday.

The median sale price for detached, single-family homes in Maine reached $185,000 – a rise of 8.9 percent, the report said. The median indicates that half of the homes were sold for more and half sold for less.

According to Maine Listings, 1,335 single-family existing homes changed hands in May, a 2.5 percent increase compared with a year earlier.

Nationally, sales were up 9.7 percent compared with May 2014, according to the National Association of Realtors. The national median sale price increased 7.9 percent in May to $228,700, about $1,700 shy of the July 2006 peak. Sales in the regional Northeast jumped 11.3 percent, while the regional median rose 4.8 percent to $269,000.

Summer is typically a strong season for home sales in Maine, with buyers hoping to move and settle in before school begins in the fall, according to the Maine Association of Realtors.

For the three months ending in May, the median home sale price increased in all but four of Maine’s 16 counties. It was a refreshing change of pace in areas where the housing market has been slow to recover, said Ed Gardner of Ocean Gate Realty LLC in Portland.

“It’s the counties like Hancock who have really suffered,” said Gardner, who is president-elect of the Maine Association of Realtors. The median home price in Hancock County increased 8.8 percent to $179,500 during the three-month period.

The biggest median price gain was 15.4 percent in Knox County, followed by 14.1 percent in Washington County. Lincoln County fared the worst with a median price drop of 8.1 percent, followed by Kennebec County with a decrease of 7.7 percent.

The median price in Cumberland County rose slightly – 1.7 percent – to $239,000, according to Maine Listings. Gardner said the issue in and around Portland has been a lack of homes available for sale. Investors are holding onto many homes for use as rentals, and there is very little development of new single-family homes underway, he said.

“We still have about a third of what we had (for sale) in the Portland area, which is very low,” Gardner said.

Gardner said he expects more aspiring homeowners in the Portland area will resort to purchasing smaller homes and then upgrade and expand them.

Statewide, homes in the low and high price ranges have been selling quickly, he said, while those in the middle range between $200,000 and $300,000 have been more difficult to sell. The high end is dominated by vacation-home buyers.

Still, a growing number of Mainers have decided that it’s OK to buy a home again, Gardner said.

“People understand that the issues we had a couple of years ago are history now,” he said.