Long Island home prices rose with the temperatures last month.

In Nassau County, homes sold for a median price of $440,000 in April, up 7.7 percent compared with a year earlier, the Multiple Listing Service of Long Island reported Friday.

Suffolk County residences traded for a median price of $315,000, 5 percent higher than the previous April.

Home buyers were busy in both counties. The number of closed sales rose year over year by 3.5 percent in Nassau and 8.8 percent in Suffolk, the listing service reported.

Slow but steady gains in home prices -- plus the prospect that interest rates could rise later this year -- are prompting buyers to get into the market, said Jerry O'Neill, owner of Coldwell Banker Harbor Light in Amity Harbor.

The average interest rate for a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage was 3.85 percent last week, up slightly from the previous week but 0.35 percent lower than a year before, mortgage giant Freddie Mac reported.

advertisement | advertise on newsday

"That's providing an incentive for first-time home buyers to get in and get a hold of something," O'Neill said.

What's more, buyers don't seem to be as wary of waterfront homes as they were in the immediate aftermath of the October 2012 storm that devastated the South Shore, O'Neill said. "The initial reaction after Sandy was, 'Wow, this could happen again,' but that doesn't seem to be the feeling for most people now," he said.

That could bode well for the upcoming auction of 150 storm-damaged homes. New York State purchased the homes and is selling them to the highest bidders on Tuesday and Wednesday in Hauppauge. Buyers will be required to make the homes more storm-resistant.

Those homes are likely to be bought by investors who will repair and eventually resell them, O'Neill said. That could give South Shore home prices a boost, he said.

Across Long Island at the current pace of sales, it would take slightly more than 11 months to sell all listed homes. A balanced real estate market has about a six- to eight-month supply of homes, brokers say.

The number of homes listed for sale fell by 1 percent year over year in Nassau and rose by 2.5 percent in Suffolk.