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LI home prices edge up in November, while sales jump

Kimberly Green Bancroft with Daniel Gale Sotheby's International

Kimberly Green Bancroft with Daniel Gale Sotheby's International Realty, talks to a potential homebuyer, after a tour on Dec. 12, 2015, during an open house on Winans Place, in Locust Valley. Credit: Heather Walsh

Long Island home prices edged up in November as sales activity jumped.

Suffolk County home buyers closed on 1,117 sales last month, up 10.7 percent compared with a year earlier, the Multiple Listing Service of Long Island reported yesterday. It was the county’s busiest November since 2005, listing service figures show.

Nassau County home sales increased by 4 percent, with 874 homes changing hands.

In Suffolk, homes sold for a median price of $331,000, up 1.8 percent from last November. Nassau homes traded for a median price of $430,000, a year-over-year gain of 1.7 percent.

The improving job market and low interest rates are prompting more buyers to jump into the market, said Frank Paruolo, broker-owner of Bay’s Edge Realty in Sayville and president of the listing service.

“People are more confident in making a financial commitment than they were perhaps two years ago,” he said.

The average rate for a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage was 3.95 percent last week, up slightly — 0.02 percentage points — from a year earlier, mortgage giant Freddie Mac reported. Many economists believe mortgage rates could begin climbing soon.

That expectation “always spurs people to say, ‘I better think about doing something now,’ ” Paruolo said.

It also helps that sellers are more willing to price their homes “realistically,” said Kimberly Bancroft, a real estate agent with Daniel Gale Sotheby’s International Realty in Locust Valley. As a result, more homes are selling at — or even above — asking price, she said.

“Right now I’m finding that buyers are very educated, they do a lot of research,” Bancroft said. “Agents are sensing that the buyer is savvy, and most of us price things fairly tightly.”

With more homes selling, buyers had fewer options in November than they did a year earlier.

In Suffolk, the supply of listed homes dipped by 1.2 percent annually, to an 8.6 month supply at the current pace of sales. In Nassau, the number of homes for sale fell by 6.7 percent year-over-year, to a 6.8 percent supply.

A balanced real estate market has a six- to eight-month supply of homes, brokers said.

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