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Valley Stream home prices soar in seller's market

Supply doesn't meet buyer demand

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Low interest rates, proximity to New York City and good school districts have made Valley Stream a prime location in the post-pandemic real estate market, according to local real estate brokers and agents. With houses in high demand, however, the supply isn’t keeping up, leading to dozens of bids on every home and properties selling at well above the original asking prices.

“I think it’s like the perfect storm,” Helena Veloso, an associate broker with Douglas Elliman and senior executive manager of sales for the Franklin Square office, said of the Valley Stream seller’s market. “Between people trying to get away from city life and more in the suburb area, and the interest rates being low and a shortage of inventory . . . it all kind of really gave for the perfect storm in getting these prices way above asking.”

Veloso, who has worked in real estate for 30 years, said she has seen many homes sell above their asking prices during her career, but has never experienced a market quite like this one. In addition to millennials with families bidding on the highly sought-after homes in the community, Veloso said, she has also noticed that many investors are taking advantage of the market’s climate. While lumber prices have risen, she noted, house flippers are able to recoup their investments, and sometimes more, when they resell the properties.

Femi Adebanjo, a 20-year Valley Stream resident and an associate broker with Keller Williams, observed there has recently been an influx of prospective buyers from New York City looking to relocate to Valley Stream. The pandemic, Adebanjo said, has made people realize the need for more living space, while still being able to have commuter access to the city.

“I think what a lot of the people . . . moving to Valley Stream are looking for is more space. . . They’re looking at it as if something else happened, I don’t want to be trapped in my one or two-bedroom apartment; I want to be in a home where I actually have the space,” Abdebanjo said. “So if I do get cooped up again, at least I have the space where I can move around comfortably. And a lot of that is also ramping up the sense of urgency for people to buy now and not having to deal with what they’ve dealt with for the past 15 months.”

Sellers in Valley Stream are in a favorable position, Adebanjo noted, because buyers will purchase nearly anything. This provides sellers with the opportunity to place homes on the market to be sold “as is,” and still be able to reap a considerable profit, he said. Compared with neighboring towns such as Malverne, Lynbrook and Oceanside, Adebanjo commented that Valley Stream homes tend to sell quicker. Lately, he said, they have gone for up to 30 percent more than the asking price.

“Even if the house is overpriced . . . [buyers] don’t have a problem coming in, taking a look at it and trying to make a deal,” he said of the fierce competition to purchase a home in Valley Stream.

Carol Gallo-Turschmann, a licensed real estate broker and owner of Bill Gallo Realty Inc., said every open house that she has hosted recently has had 50 or more prospective buyers attend. During the pandemic, she noted, many people were frightened to have people walk through their homes, so they delayed placing their homes on the market, causing a backlog of homes. Now, as people are getting vaccinated, would-be sellers are becoming more comfortable with putting their homes on the market. 

Sellers, Gallo-Turschmann said, tend to be older adults seeking to make a move to the Carolinas, Florida or Arizona, where taxes are lower and properties are less expensive. Buyers, she said, are typically people in their 40s with families looking for backyards, basements and better schools.

“Valley Stream is a wonderful community that people are excited to move into. It’s diverse in its population. It’s got terrific public transportation — the Long Island Rail Road, buses to the city, beautiful parks and pool complex, great school system and a community that’s safe to live in,” Gallo-Turschmann said. 

A Valley Stream resident for more than 50 years, she said she didn’t foresee the bubble breaking any time soon, as long as interest rates stay where they are and the job market continues to increase. As people are returning to the workforce, she thinks more buyers will emerge.

“Right now, the buyer is making the demand and making the prices. I’ve been doing this for 44 years. I’ve been a broker in Valley Stream for that long, and I have never seen a market with a demand like this,” she said. “If you’re able to sell your home now and you’re thinking of moving, there’s no better time than now to get the best price for your house.”