Nearly three years after Sandy battered Long Island, the storm-damaged South Shore of Nassau County led the recovery in the Island's housing market.
Across Long Island, the median home sale price rose to $390,000 in the July-through-September quarter, a yearly increase of 2.6 percent and the highest level since 2008, the brokerage Douglas Elliman and the appraisal firm Miller Samuel reported in an analysis scheduled to be released Thursday. It was the busiest quarter since at least 2003, with 7,658 homes changing hands.
Those figures do not include the East End.
The southern coast of Nassau County made the largest gains, with the median price rising by 7.9 percent annually to $421,000, the report showed.
Right after the Oct. 29, 2012, storm, "there were people who just said, 'I can't do it anymore,' and those people left," said Dottie Herman, chief executive of Manhattan-based Douglas Elliman.
"Then there were the people who said, 'I'm going to make my house higher but I'm staying because I love it,' " she said.
One reason prices are rising along Nassau's southern coast is that many homes have been rebuilt -- in some cases bigger than before and now elevated above 100-year flood levels, said Jonathan Miller, chief executive of Manhattan-based Miller Samuel.
The coastal housing market "is not back to normal, but it's certainly far better than many had anticipated three years ago," he said.
Across Long Island -- not including the East End -- home prices hit their most recent lows in the first three months of 2013, in the aftermath of the storm.
Since then, prices on Nassau's South Shore have risen by 18.6 percent, the new report shows. That outpaces the 14.4 percent price gain throughout Long Island as a whole, not including the East End.
Despite the overall gain in Island home prices, the luxury market cooled off in the third quarter. Looking at the top 10 percent of sales, excluding the East End, the median price slipped by 6.6 percent, to $1 million, Miller Samuel and Douglas Elliman reported.
The same dynamic held true in the Hamptons. The overall median price rose by nearly 10 percent annually, to $950,000, but among the top 10 percent of Hamptons home sales, the median price fell by 18 percent, to $5.3 million.
The Hamptons real estate market was slower than in 2014, with the number of sales falling 20 percent annually.
Last year's Hamptons market set record-breaking highs, due to the economic recovery and a flood of luxurious new homes, said Ernest Cervi, regional senior vice president for the East End at the Corcoran Group, a real estate brokerage based in Manhattan.
This year, "we saw less activity because of the turmoil that was going on in the financial markets here and around the world," Cervi said. Now, "buyers are still coming to the table, but they're coming slower."