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ClassifiedsReal Estate

LI home sales dip outpaced nation

The number of home sales contracts in Nassau and Suffolk was down for the ninth month in a row last month compared to January 2010, and the local numbers were worse than the national trend.

Nationally, the Pending Home Sales Index for January dipped 2.8 percent from December and 1.5 percent year over year, according to figures released Monday. In the Northeast, the index slipped 2.4 percent in January and is down 3.0 percent compared to January 2010.

The Multiple Listing Service of Long Island reported a 3.9 percent year-over-year decline in the number of home sales contracts for January. Some 1,643 contracts were signed last month, compared to 1,710 last January.

Pending sales are considered an indicator of future closings, but the National Association of Realtors predicts an increase in total existing home sales for 2011 based on current contract activity. The number of existing home sales for January -- 5.36 million -- outpaced NAR’s annual forecast for 2011.

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