SOUTH PORTLAND (AP) – Sales of existing homes in Maine plunged for a second straight month in October.

Existing home sales fell 12.2 percent following a 16 percent drop in September, according to the Maine Association of Realtors. The statewide median sales price fell nearly 2 percent to $188,500, following a 1 percent drop the month before.

The two-month decline in Maine followed two months of increases in home sales and prices in July and August.

Tobin Malone of WaterMark in Rockport said it’s a good time to buy real estate because of lower prices. People seem prepared to embrace a “new spirit of realistic, controlled and sustainable growth,” he said.

“These buying opportunities don’t come around every day, but when they do you can’t hem and haw and drag your feet,” he said.

Many sellers can’t understand why they can’t command what their neighbors sold their properties for two years ago, said Jeff Wooster of Lynam Real Estate Agency in Bar Harbor.

“It’s market shock,” he said. “We show them what their competition is, suggest pricing in the lower strata and advise them to be ready to negotiate if they want to sell.”

For the three-month period from August through October, existing home sales in Maine fell about 6.7 percent.

Home sales for the period fell in each of the top four counties – they were down 7 percent in Cumberland County, 6 percent in York County, 4 percent in Kennebec County and 16 percent in Kennebec County.

Median sales prices were essentially flat for Cumberland and York counties while falling 2 percent in Penobscot County. Prices rose 7 percent in Kennebec County.

The highest-priced homes were in Cumberland County, where the median sales price was $254,943 for the August-October period.

The median price in Aroostook County was $80,000.

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