With a growing labor market and suffering housing sector, the Long Island NY economy seems to mirror the national economic news.
The labor market in the U.S. is constantly improving with jobless claims remaining below 300,000. Consumers are also more eager to spend as retail sales were up 0.6 percent in August. Motor vehicles sales went up by 1.5 percent, as well as sales of building materials and garden equipment. Growth in sales of building materials may be an indicator of some improvement in the housing market.
Nationally, the housing market has a lot of room for improvement. New home starts fell by 14.4 percent and existing home sales declined by 1.8 percent in August and 5.3 percent year-over-year.
Long Island NY Economy
Similar to other parts of the country, the Long Island NY economy shows some signs of growth with 4,000 private-sector jobs added in August. The typical gain for our local market is 500 jobs. The retail sector is also doing great with 1,500 jobs added, compared to the typical increase of 300 jobs.
Rents for retail spaces on Long Island has been on the rise for eight consecutive quarters. Vacancy rates amount to 5 percent which is lower than the Northeast Census Region (8.6 percent) and nationally (9.6 percent). All of this may be an indicator of a strong holiday season.
However, housing numbers don’t look too good for our local real estate market. Just as in other parts of the country, home sales in August declined by 15 percent year-over-year, from 1,346 units to 1,144 units in Nassau County. In Suffolk County home prices fell by 10.5 percent which is a drop from 1,358 to 1,215 units. A year-over-year comparison will become less optimistic in the upcoming months since home sales grew rapidly in both Nassau and Suffolk counties last fall.
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