Let's Talk ... Real Estate

By Michael Ardolino

Michael Ardolino

Another year is coming to an end, and a new one is about to begin. It’s time to look back at the real estate trends of 2023 and what experts are predicting for 2024.

2023 in review

The real estate market in 2023 displayed some interesting dynamics, with fluctuations in mortgage rates and a continued appreciation of home values. Buyers are looking, and there aren’t enough homes on the market. 

As I mentioned in last month’s column, people are still moving to the suburbs, and there is solid evidence of that trend here on the North Shore of Suffolk County. What we’re seeing is more demand for homes than there are currently up for sale. It may not be the same as the previous couple of years; however, the demand is still there.

— From October to December, we experienced a 3% decrease of homes on the market in Suffolk County.

— Nearly 60% of homes in the county sold above the asking price.

— Suffolk County homes sold for over 3% higher than a year ago.

— Rates climbed to nearly 8% this year but dipped toward 7.5% recently for a 30-year mortgage.

 Looking forward to 2024

Predictions indicate a positive trajectory for home prices, a decrease in mortgage rates and potential interest rate cuts by the Federal Reserve in 2024. The Feds cutting interest rates, possibly multiple times in the coming year, would end 20 months of rate hikes.

In an article posted to the HousingWire website, Lawrence Yun, National Association of Realtors’ chief economist, said data shows inflation is easing, which could lead the Federal Reserve to cut rates.

“I think that the Federal Reserve will cut interest rates four times in 2024,” Yun said. “Inflation will be much calmer, [and] the abnormal spread between mortgage rates and the 10-year treasury [yield] will begin to normalize or narrow.” 

Some real estate experts have gone as far as predicting that home prices will continue to rise over the next five years. It’s difficult to predict that far out as real estate is inherently uncertain as it’s influenced by local economic and global factors. 

The one thing we know is that homes are appreciating right now and mortgage rates are currently decreasing. We don’t have a crystal ball to know what will happen over the next few years. We do know what’s going on now.

Advice to sell before more houses are listed in the spring aligns with the current market conditions and trends.

Spring ahead

If you’re thinking of selling, don’t make the mistake of waiting until the weather gets warmer. Now is the time to sit with a real estate professional and to prepare your home. Go through your house and donate the furnishings and items you don’t need and finally make those small repairs on your to-do list.


Potential sellers should stay informed about the latest market developments and consider consulting with real estate professionals for personalized advice.

So … let’s talk.

Michael Ardolino is the Founder/Owner Broker of Realty Connect USA

METRO photo

By Michael Ardolino

Michael Ardolino

One trend remains from the “unicorn years” — people continue to move away from dense areas and are attracted to Suffolk County’s North Shore. The allure of suburban living continues to grow as potential buyers reinvent their lives with less traffic and fewer crowds than in the city.

Inventory low, appreciation high

Buyers attracted to our towns and villages need houses to buy, and yours could be one of them.

Suffolk County experienced a slight increase of .6% in the number of homes on the market from September to October. While the norm during colder months is a decrease in inventory, after a few years of a sellers market, the recent increase isn’t enough to satisfy demand. 

Last month, Suffolk County homes sold for 3.6% more than they did last year at the same time. In October, nearly 60% of homes sold for over the asking price, providing a golden opportunity for potential sellers to sell now.

Listing before 2023 ends or early in the new year while competition is still low can result in higher demand for your home and, possibly, a more lucrative offer.

Potential sellers who have paid a good percentage of their mortgage — especially if they are downsizing or retiring to a less expensive area — can pay off a new home or most of it, avoiding high mortgage rates. Rates can be refinanced in the future, and if they continue to increase, with a fixed mortgage rate, you’re locked in. 

Before you list

Selling a home requires careful consideration and planning. Here are some key steps:

◆ Meet with a real estate professional and get all the facts to make an educated and confident decision about selling.

◆ Before you choose a broker, ask how many homes an agent has sold in the past year.

◆ Visit your dream town to see if it meets your expectations and how the market is doing there.

◆ Just flirting with the idea of selling? Start making repairs on your home.

◆ Remodeling? Consider who today’s average buyer is and what they would look for in a home. 


Make an informed decision. Selling or buying a home is a financial investment and a lifestyle choice. Sit down with a trusted real estate professional to make the best of today’s market and the wisest decision for you and your family.

So … let’s talk.

Michael Ardolino is the Founder/Owner Broker of Realty Connect USA

Image from Michael Ardolino

By Michael Ardolino

Michael Ardolino

‘Unicorn’ Years

There’s no room for fairy tales in real estate. Many headlines have occurred because many articles compare today’s real estate market with the last few years, which experts have dubbed the “unicorn” years where home prices reached unsustainable record highs.

A few years ago, a frenzy in the market began. We saw record high sale prices and incredible opportunities for both buyers and sellers. Sellers sold above top dollar and buyers had the lowest mortgage rate at their fingertips. The market seemed too good to be true but it all really happened. As we return to a more normal market you may ask yourself “Did I miss out on selling my home for a great price? The answer is “No! You haven’t missed out on selling your home for top dollar!” Inventory is still so low that there is not much competition for sellers.

Inventory has been low for a long time, and plenty of potential buyers remain on the market. The lack of inventory has maintained a market that favors sellers and buyers.

Homeowners thinking of selling would be wise to get their houses on the market. With a lack of inventory and a great amount of buyers, there is still competition for homes on the market.

“When supply is so low, your house is going to be in the spotlight. That’s why sellers are seeing their homes sell a little faster and get more offers right now. If you’ve thought about selling, now’s the time to make a move.” – Keeping Current Matters


Overall inventory is very low. Sellers are still selling for top dollar and buyers are still lining up to buy homes on Long Island. If you’re thinking of selling in the near future,  Autumn is the ideal time to take care of minor maintenance around your home. You’ll want to have your furnace inspected, change the air filters, inspect chimneys, trim trees and clean the gutters. For sellers, the time is right.  So … let’s talk.

Michael Ardolino is the Founder/Owner Broker of Realty Connect USA

Graph from Michael Ardolino

By Michael Ardolino

Michael Ardolino

Many real estate experts will tell you when selling a house, no matter what the market is like, the seller can get a great return on their investment if they understand market trends. This particular piece of advice is always worth repeating.

Right now 

Many buyers were starting to acclimate to raising mortgage rates, which doubled within months in 2022. Lately, things have been improving. As of April 6, Freddie Mac reported an average 30-year fixed-rate mortgage of 6.28%, which was down from 6.32% the week before, making it the fourth seven-day period in a row where rates decreased.

A dip in mortgage rates leads to more buyers returning to the market.  

For countless potential homeowners, the obstacle will not be the mortgage rates; it will be the low inventory.

“Mortgage rates continue to trend down entering the traditional spring homebuying season,” said Sam Khater, Freddie Mac’s chief economist, in a press release. “Unfortunately, those in the market to buy are facing a number of challenges, not the least of which is the low inventory of homes for sale, especially for aspiring first-time homebuyers.”

Low inventory combined with higher rates than last year means prices are remaining steady across Long Island.

In a recent article on the Keeping Current Matters website, Lawrence Yun, chief economist at the National Association of Realtors, projected home prices will remain steady. “We simply don’t have enough inventory,” Yun said. “Will some markets see a price decline? Yes. [But] with the supply not being there, the repeat of a 30% price decline is highly, highly unlikely.”

In other words, most real estate experts are not predicting another housing crash.

Be a savvy seller

While home prices remain steady, buyers are not offering more than the asking price for houses that need work. How do you get your house to sell quickly? Make any necessary repairs. As I have mentioned in past columns, this doesn’t mean elaborate renovations. It means you must fix that leaky faucet, running toilet or damaged flooring.

Sellers also need to be flexible with showings. Keep your home clean and organized so that when an agent calls to say a buyer wants to look at your home, it can be viewed at a moment’s notice.

Most important of all, now more than ever, you want to work with a real estate agent who prices your home realistically. Look at what similar homes sold for in the past couple of weeks, not the last few years.

Take away

Sellers who are practical regarding pricing — looking at today’s prices and not yesterday’s — and choose to work with a real estate professional can garner a great return on their investment. 

So … let’s talk.

Michael Ardolino is the Founder/Owner-Broker of Realty Connect USA

By Michael Ardolino

Michael Ardolino

There is optimism and opportunity in the current real estate market.

What’s trending

Mortgage rates hovered in the 6% range over the last two months after peaking at 7.08% last fall, according to FreddieMac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey. As of Thursday, Feb. 9, FreddieMac reports a 6.12% rate. We’re now seeing more buyers infiltrate the market again who pulled out during the recent rate hikes. Renewed opportunity for a larger buyer pool means you may see more action for your house, and possibly more offers that will come in. As for buyers, it’s still very early, and you can get into the home you’re looking for before other buyers continue joining the market again.

“Mortgage rates are the dominant factor driving home sales, and recent declines in rates are clearly helping to stabilize the market,” said Lawrence Yun, National Association of Realtors chief economist.

Lisa Sturtevant, Bright MLS chief economist, also stated, “Mortgage rates fell throughout January, prompting more buyers to view properties and make offers. Inflation has begun to ease, boosting consumer confidence. Many agents and brokers are expecting a robust [housing] market, and the overall mood in the market feels much more optimistic.”

Why now?

Unemployment at 3.4%, easing inflation, and low rates improve affordability significantly. This gives your buyers more room to bid higher on your house, and as a buyer yourself, you can submit a much stronger offer than you would when rates are higher.

It’s important to understand that 6%, and even 7%, rates are still low when compared to how high they’ve gone several times in the past, and you’re still getting a great rate. Although rates dropped throughout January, there are mixed predictions about what the rest of the year will bring. Local home prices are stabilizing, while inventory remains low and is inching toward a more balanced market (see graph). Knowing the theory of supply versus demand, wise sellers can jump to put their house on the market before inventory continues to increase.

Timing, how you price your house, and guidance from a real estate professional who does research and stays up to date on the market is essential to your bottom line and how quickly your house will sell.


Take advantage of your built-up equity and the current market: historically low rates, easing inflation, low unemployment and low housing inventory. An experienced real estate agent who does their due diligence of research and homework, as well as stays up to date on current market trends, will make a significant impact on the success of selling your home. 

So … let’s talk.

Michael Ardolino is the Founder/Owner-Broker of Realty Connect USA