June price increases were relatively modest, compared with price trends over...

June price increases were relatively modest, compared with price trends over the past year. Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto/Feverpitched

Long Island home prices kept climbing in June, despite a slowdown in sales.

In Nassau County, homes sold for a median price of $519,000 last month, a rise of 3.9 percent compared with a year earlier, the Multiple Listing Service of Long Island reported Thursday. Suffolk County homes traded for a median price of $376,000, up 3.7 percent annually.

Home prices have made annual gains for more than 12 months straight in both counties. In the last 12 months, year-over-year price increases have ranged from 3.4 percent to 12.5 percent in Nassau and 3.2 percent to 9.7 percent in Suffolk, listing service figures show.

“The inventory continues to be low, which creates competition among the buyers, which leads to increases in pricing,” said Jerry O’Neill, owner of Coldwell Banker Harbor Light in Amity Harbor. “The demand seems to be higher in the entry-level and mid-priced ranges, although we’ve had a good run of some of the higher-end waterfronts.”

The supply of homes listed for sale increased year-over-year by 5 percent in Nassau and dropped by 5.6 percent in Suffolk. However, levels are still relatively low. With 12,723 homes listed for sale in both counties, inventory is down 27 percent compared with five years earlier.

Rising interest rates, buyers’ desire to close deals before home prices increase further and the high cost of renting an apartment are prompting buyers to get into the market, O’Neill said.

Mortgage rates averaged 4.53 percent this week, up 0.5 percentage points from a year earlier, mortgage giant Freddie Mac reported Thursday.

If mortgage rates rise over 5 percent, that could prompt some buyers to scale back their budgets, O’Neill said.

The number of closed sales fell by 4.4 percent year over year in Nassau and 2.2 percent in Suffolk last month, compared with the previous June. Buyers also signed fewer new contracts last month, with pending sales dropping annually by 2.5 percent in Nassau and 4.4 percent in Suffolk.

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