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With a shortage of home inventory, prices rise in Nassau and Suffolk 

The number of home sales fell by 4

The number of home sales fell by 4 percent in Suffolk and increased by 9.6 percent in Nassau, compared with the previous September, according to MLS.com. Credit: Newsday/Steve Pfost

Long Island real estate prices continued their uphill climb last month, driven by a shortage of listings.

In Suffolk County, homes sold for a median price of $412,000 in September, up 7.7 percent from a year earlier, the Multiple Listing Service of Long Island reported last week. Nassau County homes traded for a median price of $540,000, up 2.9 percent annually.

Home prices have made year-over-year gains, or held steady, every month for four years in Nassau and more than two years in Suffolk, listing service figures show.

The number of sales fell by 4 percent in Suffolk and increased by 9.6 percent in Nassau, compared with the previous September.

The inventory of homes for sale dipped by 0.4 percent year-over-year in Suffolk and rose by 4.4 percent in Nassau. In both counties, it would take five months to sell all listed homes, at the current pace of sales, giving sellers an edge over buyers. A balanced market has a six- to eight-month supply, brokers say.

“There’s a big shortage of inventory in the market,” especially for homes selling for less than about $500,000, said Joseph Ragnauth, owner of Joe R Realty in Uniondale. “This is what you call a sellers’ market…. Once [homes are] priced right, they sell within a week or two.”

Low mortgage rates are “a plus” for buyers, Ragnauth said.

The average 30-year home loan rate was 3.69 percent last week, down 1.16 percentage point from a year earlier, mortgage giant Freddie Mac reported.

In an indication that buyers still have an appetite for home purchases, last month the number of new sale contracts signed jumped year-over-over by 11.5 percent in Suffolk and 21.4 percent in Nassau, the listing service reported. 

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