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Frigid winter slows Nassau home sales; Suffolk sales rise

A sale-pending sign is a good sign no

A sale-pending sign is a good sign no matter where it is. Home sales prices on Long Island roses modestly in February 2014 over a year ago, a new report says. This sign was on a house in Denver on March 17, 2012. Credit: AP / David Zalubowski

The frigid winter put a damper on the housing market in Nassau County in February.

Last month, 601 homes were sold in Nassau -- a 2.4 percent decrease from the year-ago period and the first time that sales had dropped in over a year, according to a report released Wednesday by the Multiple Listing Service of Long Island.

The number of homes sold in Suffolk County rose 9.1 percent from February 2013, to 698.

The weather didn't clip home prices, however, which rose in both counties compared to a year earlier. The median price of homes sold in Nassau rose 4.6 percent to $397,500. In Suffolk the median price was $303,500, up 2.4 percent from February 2013.

In past months the number of closings in Nassau had consistently improved compared to a year ago, when superstorm Sandy ravaged the Island and delayed sales. Suffolk saw similar gains with the exception of January, when sales fell.

Brokers said the winter weather was a factor in Nassau's slowdown.

"It was very, very cold and very snowy, and people were reluctant to come out," said Lorraine Weber, a real estate agent with Century 21 American Homes in Oceanside. "After a few of those storms . . . you couldn't even park cars because of the mounds of snow on the street."

Kim Schultze, a Realtor at Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage in Huntington, said the severe winter delayed some homeowners from putting their houses on the market, too.

"I think we have a delayed spring market rollout of houses," she said.

The weather also pushed down the number of homes in contract to be sold in February. The number fell 20.8 percent in Nassau and 16.2 percent in Suffolk compared to a year ago.

In Nassau it would take 9.7 months to sell all the homes listed at the current pace of sales, while it would take more than a year in Suffolk.

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