On Long Island's south coast, there are homes in some areas for about a month or even fewer, agents say. "We usually have five to six months at a time," said Seth Pitlake, Douglas Elliman's agent in Merrick. "It's not that stocks don't go up," he said, "it's just that whatever comes out of the market is being used up."
Mr. Pitlake's customers, Tom and Alicia Monforte, both in their early thirties, witnessed these tight conditions as sellers and buyers. Their Great Neck cooperative sold out in a week, but when they looked for larger property further east in Bellmore, they found themselves in a crowded field of buyers.
"We would make an offer only to find out that someone else offered $ 40,000 above the asking price," said Ms. Monforte, a clinical social worker, adding that "every free moment was devoted to looking."
The couple recently found a home at the end of a long day of hunting. "It was the last house we looked at of seven," said Ms. Monforte. The house – a 2,200-square-foot, five-bedroom ranch priced at $ 649,000 – had just been relisted after a previous deal failed. "In five minutes we knew," she said, "and in two hours we made an offer for the full request, and it was accepted."
Similar scenarios of tough competition play out on the north coast. Mr. Pitlake's Bablyn colleague at Douglas Elliman's, Maria Babaev, who specializes in the so-called Gold Coast, recently listed a five-bedroom, two-level Rosene Pines in Roslyn Pines that "takes a lot of work."
In just one show, she said, "I had 27 buyer groups and got eight offers, three of them above." The winning bid: 10 percent above the list price of $ 999,000. Ms. Babaev said more expensive homes were selling faster than usual, although she was quick to add that all types of property must be competitively priced to generate interest.
And what do buyers want? "They want green space," said James Gavin, an agent at Laffey Real Estate in Manhasset, "and a lot of people ask for a home office and then a pool."