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Long Island

2nd highest home sale closings in June for LI, Queens

Long Island and Queens saw 3,885 home deals close last month, the second highest on record as people strove to beat the deadline for the federal home-buyers tax credit in case an extension was not approved, the Multiple Listing Service of Long Island said.

The highest was 3,916 closings in August 2005, a boom year according to the trade group, which has been systematically collecting sales data since 1973.

But the number of June contracts signed - the step before closing - fell 27.1 percent compared with a year ago, from 3,267 contracts to 2,382, data show. Real estate experts said the drop is a sign that buyers who might have signed contracts later pushed their closings up to take advantage of up to $8,000 in tax credits.

The median closing price of $367,500 was a 1.7 percent dip from $374,000 a year ago, according to MLS reports.

Congress and President Barack Obama pushed the June 30 closing deadline for the tax credit to midnight Sept. 30, a month that might also see an upswing in closings.

To Frank Dell'Accio, president of the Multiple Listing Service of Long Island, the market now feels like 2003, before the house-buying frenzy started and before the tax credit created a pool of buyers to boost the sales slump.

"I don't feel any pressures like we can't locate buyers or we can't locate sellers," the broker said.

"It's a nice, temperate market. We could always use more buyers, but it's not like we don't have any. I really would term it a very normal market."

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