LONG ISLAND, NY— A combination of low interest rates and families and couples relocating from New York City during the coronavirus pandemic is creating a booming real estate market on Long Island. Many families and couples have decided to head to the suburbs after the city’s virus, social upheaval and now ongoing remote working climate spurred them to leave and demand is high, with a sellers’ market across the Island.
Lisa Palermo has an office in Massapequa Park with Coldwell Banker and has listings in both Nassau and Suffolk Counties. She told Patch that the increased demand began in March and April as COVID-19 was at its worst in New York.
“At that time we were unable to do any in person showings. I was doing all virtual showings. It has subsided a bit. However, people are now being offered to work from home by some of their companies,” so the demand is still ongoing, she said.
Palermo is seeing a mix of families and couples who feel the city is now just too crowded for them. Buyers are interested across all price ranges, she said.
“Anything in the $300,000 to $600,000 [range] is garnering multiple offers and going above asking.”
Long Islanders who want to sell are enjoying the boom, but local buyers may worry they are being priced out and feel pressure to bid quickly in the fast-moving market. But Palermo doesn’t recommend waiting out the trend because of low interest rates, with some rates hovering under 3 percent for the first time in years.
Ali Caruana and her partner Joel Van Houten started looking for their first home the first weekend in-person showings were allowed in June. The couple looked for homes in Babylon, Bay Shore and East Islip and considered waiting out the hot market. But because the North Babylon residents were ready to buy and were buying for their primary residence they decided to go ahead in their search.
“There was so much pressure,” Caruana told Patch. “You’re going up against cash offers. You have to offer your best offer upfront and hope it gets accepted. Houses were going off the market as as fast as they were added.”
Caruana and Van Houten made five offers in a one-month time span before finally nabbing a house in Babylon Village.