Maine single-family home sales buck national decline, up 10 percent in first quarter

The number of single-family home sales in Maine rose more than 10 percent in the first quarter of 2014 compared with the same period last year, capped by strong growth in March, when sales dropped in the Northeast and across the country.

Maine Listings, a service run by the Maine Association of Realtors, reported 892 single-family homes changed hands in March, up from 792 in March 2013. Year-over-year for March, the National Association of Realtors reported sales volume dropped 7.5 percent nationwide and 4.8 percent in the Northeast.

Take a look at the numbers, broken down by quarter, below. The second tab shows year-over-year percentage growth in sales volume for the first quarter from 2010 to 2014:

Looking at the third tab in the chart above — bear with me here — Maine’s home sales stand to be on pace or exceed last year, which showed regular double-digit percentage increases for sales through the summer.

Averaged over the past five years, first-quarter home sales have made up about 16 percent of the year’s total home sales. If that number holds, the year would close with roughly 14,118 homes changing hands, an increase of nearly 8 percent for the year. If the strong first quarter instead made up 17 percent of this year’s total sales, the increase over last year would be around 1.5 percent.

Since 2010, the first quarter has been making up a smaller and smaller percentage of the year’s total sales. In 2013, the first quarter made up about 15.7 percent of the state’s annual single-family home sales.

With the numbers just out today, it’s hard to reconcile the national trends with what’s going on in Maine. Send me your thoughts on why Maine’s outpacing national and regional averages in the comments, by email or at @darrenfishell.

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Darren Fishell

About Darren Fishell

Darren is a Portland-based reporter for the Bangor Daily News writing about the Maine economy and business. He's interested in putting economic data in context and finding the stories behind the numbers.