Long Island home prices set record high in June; Nassau median at $720,000

For a second straight month, Long Island home prices set records even as rising mortgage rates made housing more expensive for buyers.

The median sale price in Nassau County was $720,000 in June, 11.8% higher than the June 2021 median. This was the first time the median exceeded $700,000. The median sale in May was $689,444, according to new data released by OneKey MLS. Figures are not adjusted for inflation.

In Suffolk, the median price among completed sales in June rose 10.8% to a record $560,000 from the median in the same month a year ago. In May, the median sale sold for $555,000.

Although prices have risen, fewer deals were completed last month than in June 2021 as the island continues to struggle with a shortage of homes available for sale. The number of completed deals fell 14.5% in Nassau to 1,261 and 9.3% in Suffolk to 1,547. Closings represent a lagging indicator of the market, as buyers who closed in June generally closed a contract a month or two earlier.

The new data showed signs that the median price of closed sales could stabilize in the coming months. The median price for pending sales — deals likely to close in a month or two — was below the median close, at $690,000, in Nassau and about the same, at $560,500 in Suffolk.

The $720,000 mark in Nassau may be short-lived, OneKey MLS CEO Jim Speer said, but he doesn’t expect a big drop in prices.

“I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s just a month-long hiatus,” Speer said. “When I look at the pending prices, it would lead me to believe that the [closed sales] the median is not going to stay up there.

Prices continued to rise and the number of pending sales remained roughly flat from May to June, despite the average US mortgage rate rising to levels not seen in more than a decade. The average US rate for a 30-year fixed mortgage in June was 5.52%, according to mortgage giant Freddie Mac. Six months earlier, in December, the monthly average was 3.1%.

“The idea is that we might see a decline in the number of pending sales or prices due to rising interest rates,” Speer said. “But we don’t see that.”

The lack of listings has kept home sales competitive, although some buyers may be shut out of the market. If the pace of pending sales in June were to continue, it would take 2.6 months to sell listings in Nassau County and 2.3 months in Suffolk. A five-month supply of homes is considered a balanced market, where buyers and sellers tend to be on equal footing in negotiations. The last time this happened was in May 2020 in the first phase of the pandemic.

Supply “has been low for quite some time now. At some point, we start to ask ourselves, “Is this the new normal? “Said Speer. “It’s going to take some time to meet all the demand there, so I expect months of supply and inventory won’t change drastically.”

Lynn A. Saleh