Despite rising interest rates, home sales across Maine continued to increase at a healthy pace in October, according to the Maine Association of Realtors.

The association reported 1,639 sales of existing single-family homes for the month, an increase of 5 percent compared with October 2015. Prices also increased slightly in October, it said. The median sale price reached $192,500, a rise of 2.7 percent. The median indicates that half of homes sold for more and half sold for less.

“Despite the recent upward movement in mortgage interest rates, the current rates are lower than at this time in 2015 and remain at historically low levels,” said Ed Gardner, president of the association and broker and owner of Ocean Gate Realty LLC in Portland. “Maine families continue to buy real estate to take advantage of the equity accumulation and tax benefits of property ownership.”

Regionally, sales in the Northeast were up 1.4 percent in October from the previous year, and the regional median sale price rose 2.9 percent to $255,500, according to the National Association of Realtors.

Nationally, home sales rose 6.6 percent from a year earlier, and the median price of $233,700 was up 5.9 percent, it said.

J. Craig Anderson can be contacted at 791-6390 or at:

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