A decrease in the availability of existing single-family homes in Maine caused an uptick in both home sales and sale prices in April.

According to a report issued Thursday by Maine Listings, 1,201 existing Maine homes were sold in April, an 8.6 percent increase compared with April 2017. Meanwhile, the statewide median home sale price increased by 8.1 percent from a year earlier to $200,000. The median price indicates that half of the homes were sold for more money and half sold for less.

“Our April statewide statistics show continued high volume and confidence in home ownership,” said Kim Gleason, president of the Maine Association of Realtors and broker/owner of McAllister Real Estate in Hallowell.

“With limited for-sale inventory and tight markets in many areas of Maine, we’re seeing increasing sales prices. As mortgage interest rates inch slightly upward, the best strategy is to stay informed.”

Gleason said buyers in Maine adjusted to market conditions with regard to home amenities and size, choosing different commuting distances and including larger down payments to keep their mortgages affordable and provide housing expense stability over the long term.

For the three months ending April 30, home sales in Maine increased by 3.5 percent from the same period a year earlier to 3,179 units sold, the report said. The median price for the three months increased by 10 percent to $203,500, it said.

The biggest increase in home sales for the period was in Piscataquis County, where sales increased by 35 percent from a year earlier. The biggest decrease was in Lincoln County, where sales decreased by 17.9 percent.

The biggest jump in median price occurred in Aroostook County, where the median increased by 34.7 percent from a year earlier to $91,600. The biggest decrease was in Hancock County, where the median price dipped by 3.1 percent to $191,250.

Nationwide, home sales for April decreased by 1.6 percent compared with April 2017, while the median sale price increased by 5.5 percent to $259,900, according to the National Association of Realtors. The Northeast region experienced an 11 percent dip in sales, while the regional median price rose by 2.8 percent to $275,200, it said.

Portland Press Herald file photo

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