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Business and Economy

Maine's Housing Market Continues to Show Signs of Recovery

PORTLAND, Maine - Maine home sales grew at a robust pace in January, compared with January of 2015.  The Maine Association of Realtors says sales were up over the period by nearly 14 percent.

The trade group says 889 single-family existing homes were sold this January, compared with 783 homes sold last January.  The median sales price for those homes also rose, by nearly 10 percent, to $175,500.  The median sales price indicates that half the homes sold for more and half for less.

Maine Association of Realtors President Ed Gardner says low interest rates and Maine's tight rental market are driving up home sales. "Rents continue to increase in our city centers, and even in the peripherals, and they can find that they can buy a home for a lot less than they can pay for rent. And they're doing it, with these low interest rates."

Home sales in Maine, though, did not keep pace with the Northeast region's average increase over the year of nearly 21 percent.  But the median sales price in the region rose only slightly - just under 1 percent - to $247,500.

Nationally, home sales grew slightly more than 11 percent, and the median sales price increased by a little mroe than 8 percent, to $215,000.