Home prices on Nassau County's South Shore rose faster this spring than in the overall Long Island real estate market, as the coast gradually recovered from superstorm Sandy's devastation.
The median home price along Nassau's southern coast hit $415,000 in the April-through-June period, an annual increase of 6.4 percent, according to a report to be released Thursday by the brokerage Douglas Elliman and the appraisal firm Miller Samuel.
By contrast, throughout Long Island, not including the East End, the median sales price rose year-over-year by 4.2 percent, to $375,000, the report showed.
Coastal communities such as Long Beach, Massapequa and Merrick "got hit very hard" by the October 2012 superstorm, Dottie Herman, chief executive of Douglas Elliman, said. "What you're seeing now is they've recovered, they've caught up and people still love the water," she said.
Even so, many homes still await reconstruction. In May, the state agency overseeing Sandy recovery, New York Rising, auctioned off about 140 damaged homes to buyers who plan to repair them or build anew. The state aims to sell 700 homes altogether.
In the aftermath of Sandy, the median price on Nassau's South Shore fell to $355,000 in the first quarter of 2013. The new report shows prices at their highest level since at least the second quarter of 2010, when Douglas Elliman and Miller Samuel started tracking sales in that area.
Nassau's South Shore also got a bigger boost in sales activity than Long Island as a whole, with the number of home sales jumping 17 percent year-over-year. Sales activity on Long Island, not including the East End, rose by 5.7 percent over the same period.
This spring marked the Island's ninth straight quarter of year-over-year price gains, according to the report.
The gains in prices and activity across Long Island "could be a reflection of the regional economy faring better," said Jonathan Miller, chief executive of Miller Samuel.
In addition, rising home prices in New York City are driving buyers to the suburbs, Herman said.
On the North Shore of Suffolk County, the number of sales more than doubled year-over-year, while the median price fell by 18 percent, to $402,000.
Market moving forward
Last year, sellers were "either holding on prices or saying, 'the rest of the country is up 6 percent so I should be up 6 percent,' " said Robin DiGirolamo, manager of Douglas Elliman's Smithtown office. "Now, when you have both parties on the same page, the transactions are happening."
The market was mixed in the Hamptons, where two separate reports came to different conclusions.
The report by Douglas Elliman and Miller Samuel shows the number of sales fell by 15.7 percent and the median price slipped 6.5 percent, to $849,000 in the second quarter, compared with the year before. The report cites sales that closed during the second quarter.
The Corcoran Group is due to release its own report Thursday, with the median price up 5 percent, to $975,000, and the number of sales steady year-over-year. The report uses sales that were recorded, rather than closed, during the second quarter.
The spring selling seasons were strong in 2014 and 2015 alike, said Ernest Cervi, regional senior vice president for the East End at Corcoran.
Demand is especially strong for new homes, and prices are rising in western communities such as Quogue and Westhampton Beach, he said.