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Business and Economy

Maine's Housing Market 'As Robust As We've Seen,' Says Trade Group

The Maine Association of Realtors says sales of single-family existing homes increased 11.5 percent in November 2017 compared to a year earlier. 

According to an association report, 1,576 homes were sold in Maine in November. The median home sales price also increased in Maine over the past year by 4.2 percent, to $200,000.

In Bangor, Jon Dawson, designated broker for ERA Dawson-Bradford Company Realtors, says the numbers are pointing to a banner year for Maine home sales. 

"I'd say compared to recent years, it's as robust as we've seen," Dawson says. "All of the numbers are very favorable to the state of Maine, the unemployment rate is the lowest it's been in 10 years, interest rates are at a record low, the benefits of home ownership are being preserved by Congress. We expect a very robust 2018."

Dawson says advances in home heating technology are another factor, bringing the state's older housing stock within reach of more buyers.

"With this new technology, especially heat pumps and other devices that save energy, folks are willing to tackle some of the older homes that had very high heating costs," Dawson says. "Besides that, our government has provided tax credits for energy efficiency and that seems to create an excellent incentive."

Nationally, sales of existing single-family homes rose 3.2 percent, according to the National Association of Realtors. The median price nationwide was up 5.4 percent to $248,800. Sales in the Northeast were particularly strong, up 6.7 percent in November, with the median price up 4 percent to $273,600.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.