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Home sales grow in Maine

SOUTH PORTLAND, Maine (AP) -- The Maine Association of Realtors says existing home sales jumped 17 percent in May over a year earlier.

The association says agents sold 1,214 single-family homes for the month. The median sales price of $178,000 was up $500 from May of last year.

Bart Stevens, owner of a Winslow real estate agency, says first-time homebuyers are the driving force behind the increased sales, drawn by low-interest rates and a stable inventory of homes.

For the three months from March through May, home sales statewide jumped 14 percent, while the median price went up by 3 percent.

Fifteen out of Maine's 16 counties showed increased home sales for the March-through-May stretch over 2012.