How the Delta Variant Could Affect the Long Island Real Estate Market

By
Real Estate Agent with The Pesce & Lanzillotta Team, at Berkshire Hathaway Homeservices

With surging COVID-19 cases and the Delta variant increasingly in the news, there’s some concern in the Long Island community that we might return to the early days of the pandemic. Mask mandates, schools closing, and certain businesses deemed non-essential.

 

The real estate industry has proven its resilience in adapting to the novel coronavirus by implementing new health and safety procedures. However, if COVID cases continue to rise, what will that mean for the Long Island housing market?   

 

Determined Buyers and Sellers Will Likely Stick It Out

 

This time around, we know what we’re dealing with. Many people are vaccinated or have already had COVID. This means buyers and sellers who really need to move are unlikely to back off. Some sellers may pull their homes off the market, but many will likely stay the course knowing that there are still buyers out there ready and willing to jump through whatever hoops are necessary to get a home. We might see some change in available inventory and the number of closed sales, but it’s unlikely to be as dramatic as it was at the beginning of the pandemic. 

 

Virtual Tours and Showing May Make a Comeback

 

While a lot depends on how much the Delta variant causes the pandemic recovery to backslide, we might see more agents and sellers opting to use 3D and virtual tours as a pre-screening mechanism for prospective buyers. That way they limit the number of people entering a home to only the most serious of buyers. Virtual showings have tapered off somewhat as we’ve returned to normal on Long Island, but we could see a rebound in the months to come.

 

Interest Rates Will Stay Low

 

Despite the Fed’s declarations that interest rate increases are on the way, turbulent times tend to have an insulating effect on interest rates. Just don’t expect a dramatic decrease as rates are already near historic lows. Mortgage rates may dip a bit, but it’s more likely that the Fed will just reverse course and push back their planned rate increases until later in 2022 and 2023. Either way, prolonged low interest rates will continue to incentivize many buyers to not wait and buy now – Delta variant or not. On Long Island, where we’ve struggled with limited inventory and intense buyer competition over the last year, low interest rates will continue to propel multiple offer scenarios and bidding wars. 

 

Home Prices Will Continue to Rise

 

While the rate of home price growth has shown signs of slowing over the fall and winter, if buyer competition intensifies it will put more pressure on home prices as people fight to secure one of the few available homes. Many communities on Long Island have already seen record-high sales over the last twelve months. A new wave of intense buyer activity could push those prices higher still. For the latest in Long Island market data, click here

 

No matter what happens with the Delta variant, the bottom line is this: the Long Island housing market is likely to weather the changes just fine. We have more information about the virus and more tools in our arsenal to keep people safe. Determined agents and clients sustained the market in the early days of the pandemic and they will do so again. We’re also rounding the corner into the traditionally slower part of the year for home sales. Some drop-off is to be expected and, in the end, it may be hard to determine how much of that is due to rising COVID cases and how much is just normal seasonal adjustment. 

 

If you want to list your home this fall or start your search for your Long Island dream home, we’re here to help. With our innovative and tech-forward approach to real estate, we can help you adjust and stay the course no matter what obstacles the Delta variant presents. Reach out to us today to get started!

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