Maine’s red-hot residential real estate market shows no signs of cooling, thanks in part to increased interest from out-of-state buyers.

Through the first nine months of 2020, sales of existing single-family homes are running 2.6 percent ahead of last year’s record pace, according to a report released Thursday by Maine Listings, a subsidiary of the Maine Association of Realtors.

The median price of a Maine home sold in September was $273,500 – a whopping 19.56 percent higher than during the same month a year earlier. Sales volume went up by 425 homes, an increase of 22.8 percent from September 2019. The median price means that half of the homes sold for more money and half sold for less.

“Demand is being powered by historically low mortgage interest rates combined with the allure of Maine’s quality of life and response to COVID-19 from across the country, while the supply of for-sale properties also remains historically low,” said Tom Cole, president of the Maine Association of Realtors and managing broker of Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate/The Masiello Group in Brunswick. “With more buyers than sellers in most markets, we are seeing strong competition, faster sales and increasing pricing.”

The September sales data closed out a third-quarter rebound following a pandemic-induced pause this spring that saw sales in April, May and June drop below the levels set in 2019, which turned out to be Maine’s highest year ever in terms of both sales volume and median price.

Cole said out-of-state buyers typically account for about one in four home purchases in Maine, but that ratio is rising to roughly one in three. Last month, 735 homes went to buyers from out of state, compared with 445 in September 2019.

Across the Northeast, sales rose by similar levels, up 22.9 percent over September of 2019 to go along with a 17.8 percent price increase to a median of $354,600. Nationally, sales in September rose 21.8 percent compared with the same month a year earlier, and the median price of $316,200 reflected an uptick of 15.2 percent.

This story will be updated.

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