Long Island's housing market shook off the summer doldrums last month, with sales activity and prices rising in both counties.
The number of closed home sales rose by 9.6 percent across the Island compared with the previous July, after two months of year-over-year declines, the Multiple Listing Service of Long Island reported Tuesday.
Nassau County homes fetched a median price of $456,500, an annual gain of 4.9 percent. In Suffolk County, home prices ticked up by 2.2 percent year-over-year to a median of $339,900.
The real estate market is bouncing back from the brutally cold winter, said Steven Pagano, broker-owner of Pagano Properties in Huntington Station. "A lot of the pent-up demand from the winter has transferred to the summer months," he said.
Home buyers seem to be feeling more confident about the economy, and banks have eased their lending standards somewhat, he said.
What's more, he said, prices have risen enough that homeowners have gained the equity they need to move up to a bigger house.
That's what John Ingle is hoping to do. The 33-year-old insurance adjuster lives with his wife and two children, ages 8 and 3, in a two-bedroom ranch in East Patchogue that he renovated himself. The family hopes to move to a larger home farther north, closer to family and friends.
Ingle listed the home for $259,000 in May and recently dropped the price to $245,000, aiming to attract buyers in the $250,000 and under range, he said.
At the current price, he said, "it's right in the wheelhouse where it needs to be."
Islandwide, buyers are finding slightly fewer homes to choose from, with the number of homes for sale dropping by 0.6 percent in Suffolk and 3.5 percent in Nassau, compared with the previous July. It would take almost seven months to sell all 18,420 listed homes at the current pace of sales. Brokers say a balanced real estate market has a six- to eight-month supply of homes.