Home sales remained strong in May, according to data released Tuesday by the Maine Association of Realtors.

Statewide, 1,613 single-family homes changed hands last month, a 28 percent increase from the 1,257 homes that sold in May 2020. The median sale price statewide was $305,000 last month, also a 28 percent increase over the same period last year.

“May 2020 was the low point for Maine’s residential real estate market due to the COVID shutdown,” said Aaron Bolster, broker/owner of Allied Realty in Skowhegan and president of the Maine Association of Realtors. “Since then, the numbers have rebounded and continue to show strength.”

Nationally, sales of single-family homes rose 39.2 percent in May 2021 compared to May 2020. The national median sale price of $356,600 represents a 24.4 percent increase from last year.

“We continue to see swift market conditions with most transactions navigating multiple offers,” Bolster said. “Statewide, the days on market for May 2021 was six days, compared to 17 days a year ago, and 20 days in 2019.”

For the three-month period from March through May, sales were up 27 percent from those months last year, when the pandemic put a damper on the real estate industry. Rural counties in Maine saw the biggest increase, led by a 72 percent increase in Washington County and a 68 percent increase in Aroostook County.

The median price on sales from March to May was $285,000, an increase from $235,000 during those three months last year. The median in Cumberland County was highest at $433,750; the lowest was in Aroostook County at $108,000.

Although the trends show demand for housing remains high, sales have decreased slightly month-over-month for the past four months.

“While homes continue to sell incredibly quickly and bidding wars persist in many markets, it’s becoming clear that record high price growth and an enduring shortage of available homes are beginning to hinder would-be homebuyers,” said Matthew Speakman, an economist with Zillow, an online real estate search site. “But there are some signs emerging that this sales slowdown may be passing. Inventory pressures have started to ease, suggesting that the worst of the shortage may be behind us.”

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