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Long Island posts highest number of sales in 15 years

Long Island is continuing its consistent ascent, posting its highest number of home sales in 15 years.

According to Douglas Elliman’s third quarter report, the number of closed sales in the area reached 8,528 deals, which represents a two percent increase from the same period last year.

The rise in Long Island’s transaction volume coincided with a jump in prices. During the quarter, the median sales price in the area reached $425,000, which amounts to a 4.9 percent hike from the same time last year.

The growth also represents the continuation of a 4.5-year streak in which the area dodged a decline in the segment.

The average price for Long Island homes, meanwhile, grew by 5.4 percent year-on-year to $517,638.

“There’s just a tremendous amount of buyer demand. I guess the economy is starting to show some signs of life. People are a little bit more confident, a little bit more secure in their jobs. (Long Island) has really become a very vibrant region,” said Ann Conroy, the president of Douglas Elliman’s Long Island Division.

Deals were brisk in spite of the increase in prices, with Long Island homes spending just 73 days on the market, a 16.1 percent reduction from the average of 87 days during the same time last year.

Sellers also had more leverage as listing discounts dropped year-on-year from 3.6 percent to 3.1 percent.

According to Conroy, the increased demand touched all tiers of the Long Island housing market. “It’s coming from all levels,” she said.

“Entry-level, as always, was very, very hot. It’s just at the luxury level (over $2.5 million) that it was quieter than we wanted it to be. Good thing about that, though, is that a lot of the listings at the high-end that we perceived to be maybe overpriced have expired. So now some of that inventory is coming down a bit with quality listings and quality pricing.”

The luxury segment, which represents the top 10 percent of all sales, registered a 3.9 percent median sales price increase to $1,177,000 million. The average sales price for luxury homes, meanwhile, rose by 5.1 percent to $1,414,032.

The year-on-year growth for luxury homes was more modest than that of single-family homes. During the period, the median sales price for the category grew 4.8 percent to $440,000. The average price, meanwhile, rose 6.1 percent year-on-year to $542,876.

The consistency of the Long Island market was absent in the Hamptons and the North Fork. During the quarter, the median sales price in the Hamptons rose by 7.9 percent to $890,000.

The figure, however, represents a 13.6 percent drop from the previous quarter. The average price for homes in the Hamptons, meanwhile, dropped four percent to $1,675,998. This decline was driven by the luxury segment, which saw the number of closed sales stay flat at 52 transactions. During the quarter, the median sales price for luxury homes in the Hamptons dropped by 11 percent to $5,561,500.

The figures for North Fork showed a similar pattern. During the quarter, the median sales price in the area rose 6.8 percent year-on-year to $550,000. The figure however, represents a 0.2 percent decline from the previous quarter.

The worst-performing segment in the area was the luxury category, which registered a 23.3 percent year-on-year drop in median sales price to $1,322,500.

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