FILE - In this Nov. 20, 2009 file photo, a...

FILE - In this Nov. 20, 2009 file photo, a 'sold' sign is seen outside a home in Corona, Calif. Mortgage financier Freddie Mac said Thursday, Feb. 11, 2010, rates on 30-year fixed mortgages slipped below 5 percent this week.(AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes, file) Credit: AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes

The median closing price of a Long Island home was $350,000 during the first three months of the year, a drop of 1.4 percent from a year ago and 3 percent from the preceding quarter, Manhattan-based appraiser Miller Samuel said in a report released Thursday.

A year ago in the same quarter, the median was $355,000, and in the preceding quarter it was $361,000, according to the report, commissioned by Prudential Douglas Elliman Real Estate.

The median closing price in Nassau was $400,000, a 1 percent jump from $396,063 a year ago and no change from the last three months of 2009, the first-quarter report said. Western Suffolk's median closing price of $305,000 was a 3.2 percent slip from $315,000 a year ago and 6.2 percent from $325,000 late last year, data show.

For properties on the North Fork and in the Hamptons, the median closing price was $800,000 for the first quarter, an increase of 32 percent from a year ago and 14 percent from the preceding quarter, the report said. The median closing price was $605,000 a year ago and $701,161 in the last quarter of last year, data show.

The higher-end market, which had been slow to feel the mortgage crisis, seems to be making a quicker recovery than the rest of the Island, the report suggested.

"The standoff between sellers and buyers has ended as prices have come down," said Dottie Herman, president and chief executive at Prudential Douglas Elliman. "Our business has doubled since this time last year, and the high-end [market] has come back strongly this quarter."

For example, both the luxury market and the rest of the Island saw the number of first-quarter closings increase from a year ago and fall from late last year, the report said.

But North Fork and Hamptons sales increased 142 percent from a year ago, while the rest of the Island saw a 33 percent jump in sales, the data show.

While North Fork and Hamptons sales fell 14 percent from the fourth quarter of 2009, sales on the rest of the Island fell 36 percent, the report said.

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