By Kelsie Radziski, Samantha Rutt, and Abigail Bender
Home sales are down across Long Island, a product of rising interest rates and limited houses listed on the market, realtors told The Osprey. Still, young buyers and aspiring home-owners are struggling to find a reasonable home.
“The market is lacking on the inventory right now,” Cecelia Schmidt, local real estate agent at Coldwell Banker said. “It is a tight market because of the interest rate; interest rates have doubled since last year practically. A lot of the buyers that could afford $500,000 when the rate was three percent can’t afford $500,000 when the rate is close to seven, [and] it is bringing their buyer power down.”
A lack of inventory in the current housing market has contributed to the minimal home sales across the island. Local real estate experts said tight inventory is usually normal during the holiday season and the cold weather months as people are less likely to list their homes.
“It’s hard for new buyers, especially in this area, because they are often not working with a lot of money and other people will come and put much more money down, sometimes even cash deposits, and outbid them,” Kevin Iglesias, a local real estate agent at Realty Connect USA, said.
Younger generations are looking to buy homes, and they are struggling.
“[The market] is much tougher for the first time buyer, the young buyer,” Lina Lopes, a local real estate agent at Douglas Elliman, said.
Aspiring homeowners are concerned. Stephen Graziano is a 24-year-old looking to settle down on Long Island and start a family. He worries about his ability to find a good home on the island.
“It’s very stressful to think about what you’re going to lock yourself into for possibly the next 20 years or so,” Graziano said. “You want to make sure where you’re living and possibly raising a family is in a good area with good schools.”
Real estate agents recommend looking into older homes that may need some work for lower prices.
“[The house] needs work but if it had everything done it would be easily [worth] $100,000 more,” Stowell said during an open house.
In addition to limited inventory, inflation has caused interest rates to rise, this presents a challenge to prospective homebuyers looking to apply for mortgages. Homebuying is a seller’s market right now, exacerbated by the increased interest rates.
“If they buy now, they’re going into a seven percent, or six and a half percent interest rate,” Lopes said.
Home prices across the island have lowered since July 2022, when they reached record-breaking heights. Experts say the Long Island housing market is overvalued and puts houses out of a comfortable price range for residents due to prices exceeding income growth.
There is a new housing proposal by Governor Hochul which advocates for the construction of 800,000 new housing units statewide to be built in the next decade. The proposal directs towns and cities to loosen restrictions around building homes within a half mile of train stations and subway stops.