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Long Island Housing Market Making A Serious Comeback

MELVILLE, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) -- Bidding wars, competition among buyers and low inventory are driving up demand for homes.

And right now in our region the biggest rush for houses is on Long Island. Some acting fast are worried about interest rates and the new tax laws, CBS2's Jennifer McLogan reported Thursday.

Susan Weber's head is spinning. Her four-bedroom family home on the market in Melville received two full-priced offers almost immediately, but she declined a bidding war and just sold it for the asking price of $549,000.

"Have to move more quickly than anticipated. You have to make contingency plans," Weber said.

The family is buying in Pennsylvania.

According to a report by Miller Samuel Appraisers, Long Island home buyers are giving the housing market the fastest start to the year since the housing boom of more than a decade ago.

"As long as we have this buyer demand, even if interest rates go up, which I think people are talking about more than even the tax bill, I think it's a great time to sell. People will get the optimum money right now," said Ann Conroy, the president of the Long Island division of Douglas Elliman Real Estate.

Last year at this time the average numbers of days a home stayed on the market was 98. So far this year it's 84.

As mortgage rates rise buyers have hurried to close deals.

"Homes are going to go super-fast because there is just such a lack of inventory of the better quality homes at the right price," said real estate broker Howard Steinfeld.

Some are making renovations before putting a house on the market, but experts say that's not necessary. They suggest counseling and education services, especially for first-time home buyers.

"When you are looking at purchasing a home, you need to consider the principle interest taxes and insurance placed on you, something you wouldn't normally have as a renter," said Peter Elkowitz of the Long Island Housing Partnership.

"It's just amazing. Any house that is a nice house will get scooped up really, really quickly for a fair price," Weber added.

Reasonably priced and in good condition are the keys.

According to the report, Long Island's housing market mirrors what's happening nationally, with chronically low inventory and steadily rising prices, McLogan reported.

The Long Island region median home price just rose to $410,000, up 6.5 percent from last year.


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