‘Be prepared for competition.’ – Buyers struggle to find houses on LI amid the pandemic

Finding the perfect house on Long Island has recently been harder for many homebuyers.

Long Island Real estate agent Peter Grosso says home inventory is very low on the Island, and an influx of new buyers who were looking before or during the pandemic or buyers coming in from the city are driving up prices.
He says the sales halt in the spring created a tidal wave of buyers who are now looking for homes on the Island. Smaller homes, or first-time homes, are seeing the biggest per square foot increases.

Joel Sidwell, of Huntington Station, says he had high hopes of buying his first home on Long Island this summer. However, the harsh reality of a hot housing market hit quickly after he was outbid on four different homes in the last couple months.

“The market has been, for lack of a better word, chaotic," says Grosso. "I had a listing in Southampton…we had 10 offers over asking and none of them were from Long Island, all coming from Manhattan."

Larry Levy, dean of the National Center for Suburban Studies at Hofstra University, says Long Island has always been attractive, but now leaders need to examine how to grow the Island even more.

"In a sense, this is a second chance for the suburbs," he says. "Think about the longer term changes, the transformative changes that we need to work on to make these re-arrivals or new-arrivals from cities want to stay here."

Agents say is it still possible for a first-time home buyer to get a home on the Island, but buyers need to move quickly.
"If you are looking in Suffolk County. if you are looking in the price point of $250,000 and $450,000, be prepared for competition, be prepared to come with your best foot forward," says Grosso. "You are better off putting all of your chips in front of you right away versus trying to wait and try and make a deal because there is going to be someone right behind you."

Sidwell says though he is frustrated by his experience, he's willing to wait it out.

"It kind of makes us realize we are in for more of a long haul getting this done because the market seems so unusual right now," he says.

And according to a new report, U.S. homes sales rose nearly 14 percent in June.