ELLSWORTH — The median sales price of a single-family home in Ellsworth has risen over $20,000 since 2016, according to data provided to The Ellsworth American by the Maine Association of Realtors.
The median price of a home in Bar Harbor, by contrast, has fallen nearly $40,000 since 2016 (although, at $320,000, it is still 50 percent higher than in Ellsworth).
The median price of a single-family home in Ellsworth was $185,000 as of Aug. 29, up from $162,000 in 2016. In Bar Harbor, it was $320,000, down from $358,900 in 2016.
Home prices are often measured by looking at the median sales price, or MSP.
The median is the middle number of a list of numbers arranged in order (high to low or low to high). If the MSP of a list of homes is $200,000, this means half of the homes on the list sold for more than $200,000 and half sold for less.
Median price is sometimes used to describe the housing market because it’s considered a more reliable indicator than an average, which could be skewed by outliers, such as the sale of a very expensive (or inexpensive) house.
Home prices have risen faster in Ellsworth than in Hancock County as a whole.
The housing market has been tight both in Maine and nationally for several years, with few homes for sale.
“For-sale inventory is coming onto the market,” said Kim Gleason, president of the Maine Association of Realtors, in a statement last week. “But statewide we’re seeing 12 percent fewer homes for sale than a year ago.”
Higher home prices are good for homeowners looking to build equity, said Gleason, but in many areas, incomes are not rising to match home prices.
“In some Maine markets, price gains are outpacing income growth because of consistently low for-sale inventory levels.”
Home prices are up nationwide over last year. The percentage increase of a home in Maine has been higher than the Northeast and more than double that of the country as a whole.
Several Maine counties — Washington, Piscataquis, Penobscot and Somerset — did experience a decrease in the price of a single-family home over this period last year.