Home prices on Long Island skyrocket due to high demand, low inventory

LONG ISLAND (WABC) -- The median home selling price on Long Island rose by at least $73,000 throughout the last year, according to broker listing database OneKey MLS, due to high buyer demand and low inventory of homes.

"It's a great time to be a seller," said real estate agent Christine Tabacco-Weber, with Cold Spring Harbor-based Lucky to Live Here Realty. "It's a really tough time to be a buyer."

According to OneKey MLS, the median home sale price in Suffolk County in February 2020 was $402,444, compared to $475,000 in February 2021.

In Nassau County, the median home sale price in February 2020 was $525,000, compared to $600,000 in February 2021, an increase of $75,000.

At the same time, inventory has dropped significantly since this time last year, creating all-out bidding wars between buyers.

The Handler/Zimmerman Team from Exit Realty Premier in Massapequa provided Eyewitness News with pictures of long lines outside a recent open house in Ronkonkoma. The first open house for the home was February 20, and by March 5, it was under contract.

Tabacco-Weber said people are buying homes sight unseen, only after looking at pictures online.

She said buyers are paying for seller's moving costs, closing costs, and even are offering sellers to live in the house by paying rent or staying there completely free for a certain period of time.

"If you want to leave New York, this is the time," she said. "Your house will probably sell in a weekend."

Deirdre O'Connell, with Daniel Gale, said most buyers right now are Long Islanders looking for a change in their homes.

"They've decided that they've been in their houses for a year during the pandemic, and the space isn't working for them anymore," she said. "They need that extra room to either to teach their children, work from home."

Larry and Cindy Starr recently bought a home in Huntington.

"Even when we started going over-ask, it wasn't over-ask enough," Cindy Starr said.

They couldn't believe the competition they went through looking for a home.

"We lost a lot of houses that we were interested in because of that," Larry Starr said.

The couple paid $6,000 over the asking price for their new home.

Tabacco-Weber said although the market is difficult right now for sellers looking to make a profit, they do have options.

She said sellers can live with relatives, rent a home or apartment, or even live in a hotel for a few months until they find a new home to buy.

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