Nassau home sales jump 23% over May '11
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The Nassau County housing market picked up steam last month, with 23 percent more homes changing hands than in May 2011, according to a report released Friday.
Suffolk County had just a modest bump in activity, with the number of home sales up by 2.1 percent, the Multiple Listing Service of Long Island reported. The number of homes sold in Nassau was 808; in Suffolk, 824.
Home prices were a mixed bag, with the median home price in Suffolk falling 2.5 percent to $304,750 and the median in Nassau rising 0.4 percent to $394,750 compared to May last year, according to the listing service. The median is the midpoint.
House hunters are out in force, motivated in part by low interest rates, but they can be tough, well-informed negotiators, real estate agents said.
A home "has to be priced accurately," said Jamie Winkler, who owns a brokerage in West Islip. "Buyers are very, very educated; they know they don't have to rush anymore to buy a house."
The market is a mishmash, with price trends varying wildly from town to town, but homes in great condition are selling quickly -- and in some cases even sparking bidding wars, said Andy Yakubovsky, manager of Century 21 Prevete Bastone in Massapequa.
"They're basically going at asking price or even above asking price," he said. "The competition is out there."
In a sign that prices might be heading up in Suffolk, the median price of homes going into contract rose slightly last month to $315,000, 1.6 percent higher than in May 2011, and the number of pending sales rose by 9.7 percent compared to a year ago, to 1,042. Generally, home sales close about 2 months after they go into contract.
In Nassau the number of homes going into contract -- 1,102 -- spiked 24.2 percent compared to last May, indicating the rise in closings is likely to persist. However, the median pending sales price dropped to $405,000, down 1.7 percent compared to last year.