In Nassau, home prices and sales rose compared to the previous February, according to a report released Thursday by the Multiple Listing Service of Long Island. In Suffolk, meanwhile, the number of sales fell year-over-year and prices remained stagnant.
In both counties, pending sales rose sharply, while the number of homes for sale dropped.
That low inventory, along with a widespread belief that the market has hit bottom, has led to a few bidding wars, real estate agents said. Some home shoppers are especially keen for areas that escaped damage from Sandy, the devastating Oct. 29 storm, while budget-minded buyers are seeking out bargains in storm-hit waterfront areas.
In Nassau County, the median home price of a sold home rose by 2.2 percent year-over-year, to $383,200. There were 589 home sales, an uptick of 1.6 percent compared to February 2012. The county saw a big boost in the number of homes going into contract, with 832 pending sales, a year-over-year bump of 14 percent. However, the median price for a home going into contract remained virtually unchanged, at $385,500.
There were 6,480 Nassau County homes for sale last month, 27 percent fewer than during the same period last year. That makes for an 11-month supply at the current pace of sales. A healthy market has a six- to eight-month supply, brokers say.
"Buyers complain to us constantly that there are no houses on the market," said Gary Baumann, a real estate agent with Douglas Elliman in Dix Hills and Syosset. One recent listing in Syosset found a buyer in less than a week; the three-bedroom home fielded multiple offers at its full asking price of $562,800, he said.
In Suffolk County, the median price of $298,700 for completed home sales rose 0.3 percent from the previous February. There were 615 home sales, 3 percent fewer than last February.
However, there were 875 pending sales, a nearly 11 percent increase over the previous February. The median price of a home going into contract was $315,000, a rise of 3.3 percent from the same period last year. Suffolk County had 9,068 homes for sale -- an almost 22 percent decline from the previous February, but still a nearly 15-month supply.