LONG ISLAND, NY — The Long Island real estate market is still going strong. In a rebound from the coronavirus shutdown, sales continued to grow, and prices continued to climb. According to new data, the median sales price of Long Island homes increased and was much higher than in 2019. The median sale price climbed $15,000 which is more than 13 percent higher. The number of homes sold also made a big jump continuing a trend as the market rebounds. Though the market is blazing hot right now, real estate sales took a big hit due to the spring shutdowns. Most professionals still have fears of another coronavirus-related shutdown, however, now that the vaccines are being distributed across the state many are hopeful that just isn’t going to happen again.
The December 2020 closed median home price for Long Island, which includes Nassau, Suffolk, Queens, and Brooklyn housing data recorded on OneKey MLS, was $550,000 representing a 13.4% increase over last year. Nassau County reported a $606,500 closed median home price in December representing an increase of 13.0% over $536,500 reported by the MLS last year. Suffolk County reported a closed median price of $480,000, which represents a 16.5% increase over $412,000 reported last December. Queens reported a closed median home price of $648,888 representing an increase of 7.8% over $602,000 reported by the MLS last year.
The total number of available residential listings in December 2020 on the MLS is 13,372, which represents a decrease of 4.8% over last year and many are predicting that we will continue to be in a buyers market even with the Winter and cold weather. The increase according to the data is coming from a huge demand for homes from people who just want to get out of New York City. Many people just want more space and to be away from the isolation and fear that they now have for living in NYC. Not only because of the coronavirus but now also because of the long lasting scars from witnessing months of lawlessness and rioting in a city they once loved. Now it is just not quite the same for many, and they realize that living on Long Island is a great alternative.
Despite the pandemic-induced recession, home prices in all the major markets continue to rise. According to economists and market watchers, the residential real estate sector has been highly supportive of the economic recovery of the country so far. Although millions were laid off or furloughed it didn’t prevent house hunters from buying homes across the nation. As a result, the housing market saw the highest pace of sales growth since the height of the unprecedented housing boom in 2005. The current housing boom is driven by the intense demand and record-low mortgage rates. Housing prices had already started rising before the pandemic arrived but the pandemic created a rapid acceleration in double-digits. The housing market has seen record-breaking growth since June after briefly put on hold during the outbreak of the pandemic this spring. As prices keep climbing month-over-month, it just shows the resilience of the US housing market in the face of an ongoing economic recession.
Despite looming economic uncertainty, highly controversial elections, and the continued spread of the pandemic, home buyers continue to quickly snatch up the relatively few homes listed for sale on Long Island. The pandemic has really knocked down homebuilders’ ability to fill the housing supply as Long Island is running out of land. The housing market has already been running too short of previously owned homes. Now creative building and zoning changes are rumored to be a way Long Island may deal with the tons of empty retail and commercial space. Lawmakers from the governor on down are suggesting taking the empty malls, strip malls, and commercial space and turning it into low income and senior housing. This would create opportunities to repurpose retail space that may never again be fully rented and also provide dormitory style living for Long Island’s youth who have for years been leaving Long Island because of a lack of affordable housing. Meanwhile real estate professionals continue to be concerned for inventory and the increasing pricing. In a buyers market many are more apt to put their homes on the market as for sale by owner. We will soon see.
Regardless of what is happening across the country Long Island has always been a great investment and will always be a great investment. No one wants global warming, but warmer shorter winters, earlier spring’s and longer fall seasons are all a reason why long term, Long Island Real Estate will continue to prosper long into the future.