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Report: Median home price on Long Island hits record $450,000 as sales slow

A home for sale in Oceanside on Wednesday:

A home for sale in Oceanside on Wednesday: In the July-September quarter, inventory was down 9.1 percent compared to a year ago.  Credit: Jeff Bachner

Median home sale prices on Long Island have hit a record high as overall transactions and the number of homes for sale continue to decline.

The median home price on the Island – excluding the North Fork and the Hamptons – was $450,000 in the July-to-September period, brokerage Douglas Elliman and appraisal company Miller Samuel are due to report Thursday. The 5.9 percent increase in median home prices from a year earlier marks a record high in the 16 years Douglas Elliman has tracked such data, the brokerage said.

The number of home sales closed in that period declined 2.6 percent to 8,304, and overall inventory fell 9.1 percent to 11,650 from 12,818 in the year earlier period.

“What we’ve been seeing for about four years has been very robust price growth and essentially a chronic lack of inventory,” said Jonathan J. Miller, president and chief executive of Miller Samuel.

While median prices hit a record, Miller noted that price increases alone are not the primary factor to look at when determining the health of the market. Low inventory, combined with rising mortgage rates and economic uncertainty, have contributed to fewer overall transactions.

“It’s been a couple years in the works, and I think rising mortgage rates have helped accelerate it,” he said.

The Hamptons saw a median sale price increase of 8.4 percent, rising to $965,000 from $890,000.

The median home price on the North Fork jumped to $619,000 from $550,000 a year earlier, representing a 12.5 percent increase.

The median sales price for the luxury market – homes representing the top 10 percent of sale prices – dipped to $1.2 million, down 1 percent from last year.

“We have the luxury market where there’s downward pressure on pricing,” said Ann Conroy, president of Douglas Elliman’s Long Island Division. “With the entry market, there’s a lack of inventory and there’s many more buyers than sellers.”

Both Conroy and Miller said that the pattern of rising prices will begin to level off as affordability begins to play a larger role. 

“The rate of price growth of the last four or five years doesn’t seem to be sustainable,” Miller said. “You can’t continue at 5 or 6 percent annual growth when wages aren’t rising anywhere near that and credit conditions, from a historical context, are tighter than the norm.”

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