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Sandy dampens otherwise bright LI housing picture

…The median home price on the Island, not including the East End, was $380,000 in the July-through-September period — a 4.1 percent gain over the third quarter of 2012, and the highest price since fall 2008, when the typical home sold for $415,000, according to a report to be released Thursday by the appraisal firm Miller Samuel and the brokerage Douglas Elliman….

…The overall rise in prices and sales across the Island reflects a mix of factors, from rising mortgage rates to low numbers of homes for sale, said Jonathan Miller, chief executive of Miller Samuel….

…Mortgage rates that are low by historic standards, but increasing since May, have prompted many families to buy “before rates rise further,” Miller said….

…In addition, Miller said, many homeowners who would like to trade up are stymied by strict credit standards or low home equity, so they have not listed their own properties….

…On the South Shore, Sandy caused a temporary lull in home sales, followed by an artificial spike last quarter, Miller said….

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