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Study: Bulk of Long Islanders Struggle to Pay Mortgage, Rent

Latest Long Island Index report says many plan to leave the area within the next five years.

Long Island's high cost of living has half of its population planning to leave the region within the next five years, a new study released Thursday concludes, as locals who have seen economic hardship after the Great Recession struggle to pay their mortgages and rents.

The findings of the The Long Island Index Report, "Long Island in the Aftermath of the Great Recession," is based on data gathered in the fall of 2012, before Superstorm Sandy left Long Islanders with damaged properties, battered homes, destroyed personal belongings and totaled automobiles.

According to the report, 58 percent of Long Islanders have trouble paying their housing costs, with 81 percent pointing the finger at the "serious" problem of high property taxes.

The study, conducted by the Stony Brook University Center for Survey Research, found locals are either planning to leave the area or worry that their children or family members will head for greener pastures off of Long Island, otherwise known as brain drain.

But while Long Island organizations like the Index have warned of brain drain for years, the urgency to thwart the problem is high on local minds, the study found. About 60 percent said the lack of affordable housing is a problem in their county, with the same percentage supporting changes to zoning laws that would make it easier to create legal rental apartments in a single-family homes.

“This survey highlights serious concerns for policymakers, and these concerns existed prior to Hurricane Sandy,” Nancy Douzinas, president of the Rauch Foundation, which publishes the Index, said in a statement. “The storm could not have lessened them or altered the fact that we need to be far more innovative in developing ways to address the high cost of living on Long Island.”

Leonie Huddy, director of the Stony Brook's survey research center, said the level of locals struggling for housing is at an all-time high.

“Unless there is a sudden and sustained increase in local household income, residents will look to leave as soon as the property market bounces back," he said.

To read the entire report, see the media attached to the article.

Let us know in the comments, are you a Long Islander who's planning to leave?

Concerned Citizen January 22, 2013 at 02:09 PM
Chris, You are a thoughful person and seemingly a numbers guy. But you write in absolutes when in fact you make claims that have not been proven. I love it when people think logically and try to put everything in to a clean and well manged formula. It is just not that easy... Your an "on paper" administrator that does not add in the human element; hence, in dealing with all of the variables in public education, you will never succeed.,, except on paper that is.
Lorraine DeVita January 22, 2013 at 03:04 PM
Has anyone ever interviewed for a job where there was no formal or written job description? Have you ever been evaluated on job performance with no criteria or formal written expectations? Have you ever just applied for and received a job with no previous background or experience? I personally FOILED my SD for job descriptions for all positions. from directors, managers, supervisors to clerical - I also asked for an organization chart - they currently dont have have one but have been working on it for years as the BOE has asked numerous times for one. So in essensce no one knows who reports to who? I was told that in most cases there arent any formalized written JOb descriptions and that while they are working on them they had to wait until the employees finished writing their job description. HUH? After 40 yrs in business working in and with many businesses small to fortune 50 i found that a wee buit weird to say the least. Job ads IF placed for positions are also subject to the same weirdness. There are no specific qualifications or detailed requirements no formalized process or methodology for seeking qualifed experienced candidates. When you play lossey goosey with HR , hiring & placement , when you ignor pretty much what is a standarized HR process throughout any industry you tend to over spend & under utilize. Do Adminsitrators have ANY HR training when they get their Admin certification, what exactly are they certified as adminitrators to do?
Lorraine DeVita January 22, 2013 at 03:36 PM
I dare say part of the problem is not the SD's fault, it is the culture that has manifested itself within Education. From the State level on down there is no call for a cleaning up of HR there is no set in stone process or accountability or formalized consistent policy , there is no madate or process that is documented on the state level. No required training. You cant expect educators to manage a business (yes even the state acknolwedges education is a business) if you dont have the tools or the training to do so. The State has manifested a culture where each SD can establish their own set of inhouse rules when it comes to the basic management of HR as long as it fits in with the parameters established by the CSE union. In other words anything goes as long as the unions dont object or find fault. Now really isnt that the Cart pulling the Donkey? i also think this is not just prevelant in Education. our local governments County and TOH HR policies are also quite suspect. What i dont understand is how this is allowed condoned and ignored. Education and governemnt are funded with public monies OUR monies. From unqualifed people running TOH aminal shelters, patronage jobs , unqualifed adminstrative support personnel all with our money and no one is held accountable. WHY?
Mitch Kerr January 22, 2013 at 04:44 PM
Lorraine, remember no standards for mortgages years ago? They have no standards because they don't care they are looting you
Dad of Three January 22, 2013 at 04:49 PM
Mr Wendt, thanks for the specific reference; I have learned something today about State constraints on transportation. But it also makes me realize, more and more, how much the hands of school districts, and their voters, are tied behind our backs by the State Legislature and the State Education Department. Until we change Albany, we are up ****'s creek without a paddle. The State binds us up, and then doubly insults us by cutting State aid even while mandating higher and higher costs for districts. Sen. Marcellino, any comments?
Former Long Islander January 22, 2013 at 06:55 PM
Ask yourself why Long Island home prices continue to decline when the rest of the nation is recovering. According to Housingtracker.net Long Island Median prices are down 33% from June 2006, and continue to steadily decline every year, down another 3% from January 2012. In the Nashville area prices have fully recovered from 2006, gaining 8% in the last year alone. Housingtracker.Net Long Island Median Asking Price Jan-13 $349,966 Dec-12 $354,580 Nov-12 $365,750 Oct-12 $369,738 Sep-12 $371,223 Aug-12 $376,000 Jul-12 $381,780 Jun-12 $386,500 May-12 $387,725 Apr-12 $380,400 Mar-12 $374,500 Feb-12 $368,000 Jan-12 $359,632 -------------------------------------------- Dec-06 $499,000 Nov-06 $499,000 Oct-06 $502,787 Sep-06 $511,249 Aug-06 $515,000 Jul-06 $519,198 Jun-06 $522,358
Former Long Islander January 22, 2013 at 07:21 PM
Let me explain the math behind these numbers. In the years leading up to the housing bubble and the financial crash of 2008, many traditional rules for borrowing were suspended. Now they are back. So a Conforming Mortgage means that no more than 28% of the family income can be calculated as available for home payments; that is Mortgage Principle and Interest + Property Taxes + Property Insurance. In a hypothetical case a family with a combined income of $100,000 cannot calculate more than $28,000 as available for this combined total. So assume that Property Tax on a prospective purchase is $10,000 and Property Insurance is $2,000; then only $16,000 could be calculated to be applied to the annual Mortgage Principle and Interest payments. But what if the Property Tax goes up $1,000 and the Property Insurance goes up (post Sandy) another $1,000? Then only $14,000 would be available in our example to pay for Mortgage Principle and Interest. Result: a 12.5% reduction in the amount of Mortgage borrowing available to that family and a reduction in what they can offer for a home purchase. Remember, it is not what the buyer is “willing” to pay for your home; it is what the bank will lend him that determines the offer in most cases. And Long Island wages have been declining in the last decade (unless you’re a teacher), so no ability to increase family income and add to borrowing power in that way.
Former Long Islander January 22, 2013 at 07:22 PM
What this suggests is that as your Property Tax and Property Insurance continues to go up on Long Island, your home value will continue to go down, with no end in sight. In Sumner County, TN where I live Property Tax has actually gone down a few percent in the last 3 years as new home construction has expanded our tax base.
Dad of Three January 22, 2013 at 09:42 PM
That seems more than a bit disingenuous, Former LI. Long Island home prices stayed stronger for longer than those in Florida, or Nevada, or California, or a lot of other places in the US, so it is rather natural that the market on LI will lag the improvements in many other parts of the country. Those other markets dropped first, and are unsurprisingly first to come back. Only time will tell how inflated the market feels that house prices on LI reached, relative to the inflated prices in other parts of the US.
Lorraine DeVita January 22, 2013 at 10:18 PM
@ dad of three- Unfortunately home values are directly tied into employment - our unemplyment on LI is RISING . Las Vegas is THE most depressed market in the US and has been for several yrs now. Depending on which financial publication you subscribe to the ONLY growth mentioned in the state of NY is solely in NYC , LI has not seen a significant bounce back and probably wont for a few more years. Especialy since unemplyment on LI is rising , with no discernable influx of any major industry sector jobs save for retail. Some areas of Cal. are on the rise but in none of the financial publications right or left, does anyone even mention LI they dont even WHISPER LI. I think Forbes has NYC as the #1 rising market unfortuntely it hasnt and probably wont spread east to LI. http://www.forbes.com/2009/02/24/housing-cities-ten-lifestyle-real-estate_home_prices_slide_21.html
Former Long Islander January 22, 2013 at 11:14 PM
I think you might be confused. The High Water Mark for Long Island was June 2006 when Median Home Prices were $522,358. A year later in June 2007 they were down 4.47% at $499,000. Then the next year in June 2008 they were down again another 8.18% to $458,200. Then the next year in June 2009 they were down again another 2.01% to $449,000. Then the next year in June 2010 they were down again another 4.40% to $429,250. Then the next year in June 2011 they were down again another 7.05% to $399,000. Then the next year in June 2012 they were down again another 3.13% to $386,500. And Finally in January 2013 they are at $349,966, down a total of 33% from 2006. They are not recovering at all; they just keep going down while other areas recover. And in my opinion you can thank your property taxes which not only make Long Island unaffordable but because of the Conforming Mortgage requirements that banks now operate under, they directly impact the amount of money a buyer can qualify for. So it is not a question of “how inflated the market feels” but rather what banks will lend a buyer based on only 28% of his income going for Mortgage Principle and Interest + Property Taxes + Property Insurance. So there can’t be a recovery unless Property Taxes and Property Insurance go down (which is unlikely) or wages on Long Island go up (which is also unlikely unless you are a teacher). It is not a matter of how anyone feels, it is arithmetic.
J January 22, 2013 at 11:29 PM
The problem is the Walmart effect. Too much money into to few hands. Also police and teachers benefits not salaries are too generous.
Former Long Islander January 23, 2013 at 12:14 AM
Folks you are like a patient with a hemorrhaging artery. You don’t need an aspirin for the pain, you need a tourniquet. If you don’t stop the hemorrhage nothing else will matter; and because State Law protects the teacher contracts you can’t. Several years ago in June 2009 Deutsche Bank predicted another 40% drop in New York Home Prices. http://blogs.wsj.com/developments/2009/06/16/deutsche-bank-predicts-40-drop-in-new-york-home-prices/ and that would put them down from June 2009 of $449,000 to $270,000 at the bottom. If you can get out now this is probably the best change you will have for the foreseeable future. Stop waiting for the recovery that won’t come.
confectioner January 23, 2013 at 12:27 AM
Teachers are ruining Long Island by teaching and getting 4% raise per year over the past 5 years? You don't think anyone in the private sector has averaged a 4% increase- certainly many people have not but many people have. Do you mean the Muppets(Left-leaning, Socialists) have turned you into a Republican because teachers are public employees with a contract, are you tuned into Fox News by any chance?
Former Long Islander January 23, 2013 at 12:31 AM
I agree about using individual’s names as it is in poor taste. On the other hand their salaries are all public information and can be obtained at http://seethroughny.net/payrolls/schools/
Argile January 23, 2013 at 12:46 AM
Long Island housing is still overpriced and overrated. Many houses aren't worth the 75% markup price that they are today. Especially with what the property taxes are. That's why the housing market is dead. All the for sale signs are down only because people can't sell. You can't sell a gold plated turd.
sadeto January 23, 2013 at 01:55 AM
That was almost 4 years ago, and it didn't happen. Prices are up slightly since then. And as the article at the end of your link says, DB had revised their earlier estimate of a 47% drop. Didn't happen. And it won't. Metro New York City remains an area of positive net migration and as long as that holds true the bottom won't fall out. Unless, of course, the economy totally collapses.
John K Massaro January 23, 2013 at 03:54 AM
Who died & made you moderator, old man? Mind your own f'n business...
Former Long Islander January 23, 2013 at 04:46 AM
What has happened in those last four years Sadeto? Prices continue their downward trend unabated in both Long Island and NYC. In June of 2009 when the article was written Median Asking Price in Long Island was $449,000 and in January 2013 it is $349,966, down 22% from that date and down a total of 33% from 2006. In NYC you have a similar condition with Median Asking Price of $401,802 in June of 2009 and in January 2013 it is $329,000, down 18% from that date and down a total of 33% from 2006. The important factor here is that they both continue to decline unabated with no end in sight. So Sadeto when you say “It Didn't happen. And it won't.” you are simply wrong. It has happened and it continues to happen as the data shows despite your wishful thinking. It is all about arithmetic, not feelings.
Former Long Islander January 23, 2013 at 04:00 PM
In constant 2011 dollars, pay per employee on Long Island has been relatively flat since 2007. In the ten year period beginning in 2003, average pay per employee on Long Island increased 3.7%. In the same 10 years the nation at large has seen a 9% growth in pay per employee. As a consequence, Long Island's wage advantage over the rest of the nation has decreased. In 2003, Long Island's pay per employee was 11.3% higher than the national average, while in 2012, the advantage was only 4.6%. If the cost of living index for Nassau County is 142.7 and that for Suffolk is 142.4 (the National Average is 100) then you would need a 42% advantage in wages over the rest of the nation to enjoy the same standard of living that the average American has. Or put another way Long Island is 38% behind the national average in purchasing power. Let’s look at some data. Nassau County with a Median Household Income of $94,856 and a Cost Of Living Index of 142.7 (US Average 100) has an Effective Median Household Income of $66,472 compared to the rest of the nation when adjusted for Nassau’s higher living costs. Suffolk County with a Median Household Income of $85,091 and a Cost Of Living Index of 142.4 (US Average 100) has an Effective Median Household Income of $59,755 compared to the rest of the nation when adjusted for Suffolk’s higher living costs. Long Island also has much higher property taxes and a State income tax.
Former Long Islander January 23, 2013 at 04:01 PM
For comparison Williamson County, TN (just south of Nashville) has Median Household Income of $93,166 and a Cost Of Living Index of 90.7 (US Average 100) has an Effective Median Household Income of $102,719 compared to the rest of the nation when adjusted for Williamson’s lower living costs. The property taxes in Williamson are about 20% of Long Island’s and there is No State Income Tax. So when people posting here continue to boast about how wonderful things are on Long Island, even though the traffic is impossible, just remember other places are doing much better.
highhatsize January 23, 2013 at 05:18 PM
As robkoz indicated, housing on Long Island is still overpriced despite the recent decline. The Case-Schiller index puts NY housing prices at 160 using 100 in the year 2000 as a base.* I suspect that the federal efforts to ameliorate the investment bank insolvencies is the cause. By cushioning the economic crash, it prevented housing and other values from plummeting to their true level quickly. So a further decline would not be unexpected but it has little to do with mortgage money availability as Former Long Islander has claimed. It's really quite simple, with an improved economy, more homebuyers will enter the market and prices will improve. Long Islanders forget that the entire decade of the '90s was a period of stagnant residential housing prices following the boom of the late '80s. Boom-and-Bust is s.o.p., particularly on the East End. The cycle is merely repeating at a different scale. * http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2011/05/31/business/economy/case-shiller-index.html#city/NY
Former Long Islander January 23, 2013 at 06:13 PM
First I did not say that is was a lack of “mortgage money availability”, I said that it had to do with the AMOUNT of a mortgage a bank would loan on a given property in order to comply with the Fannie Mae Conforming Mortgage requirements. Few banks nowadays keep the mortgage on their books; they originate the loan and then want to resell it through Fannie Mae. In order for a mortgage to be eligible for resale through Fannie Mae it must be a Conforming Mortgage. A Conforming Mortgage means that no more than 28% of income can be calculated for home payments; that is, Mortgage Principle and Interest + Property Taxes + Property Insurance. The amount of the Property Taxes + Property Insurance is ducted from the 28% to arrive at the annual amount of Mortgage Principle and Interest available; and therefore directly affects the amount of the loan. When a property has high Property Taxes and Insurance, the loan amount available will be less and therefore the amount the buyer can offer. This Conforming Mortgage requirement was waived during the lead up to the housing bubble. Now it is back. If mortgage interest rates go up (they are now at historic lows) then that will also dramatically affect the amount of the loan since it is a component of Mortgage Principle and Interest amount that needs to be adjusted for income. By the way your Case-Shiller Home Price Index was for July 2012 when Long Island Median Prices were $381,780. In January 2013 it is $349,966; down another 8.3%.
Former Long Islander January 23, 2013 at 06:16 PM
Second point, you say “It's really quite simple, with an improved economy, more homebuyers will enter the market and prices will improve.” Well there is no indication of an improving economy on Long Island; in fact unemployment has been going up there recently and wages are at best flat while costs are going up. Wait until you see the impact of Sandy on home insurance rates in the area. And what about communities who have lost properties from the tax rolls from Sandy’s destruction. Who will make up for that loss of tax revenue to Scholl districts? Your Case-Shiller chart says “Figures shown here are not seasonally adjusted or adjusted for inflation.” The June to July slight improvement was a factor of seasonality, not an actual upturn. Long Island prices have steadily gone down year over year when comparing the same months. They have been down every year since 2006 and January 2013 at $349,966 is down another 2.7% from January 2012’s $359,632. All this suggests that Deutsche Bank was right on the money and you will likely see no end to these value reductions. Remember, it is not what you think your house is worth, or what a realtor tells you it is worth, but in the end what a buyer can afford (and that usually means what a bank will lend) that determines its value.
Preliator January 23, 2013 at 08:33 PM
Austin: 74 Baton Rouge: 71 Jacksonville: 61
Walter Isaacs January 23, 2013 at 09:30 PM
Infant mortality rate: Mississippi #1 @ 10.6/1000 Louisiana #2 @ 9.9/ 1000 Tennessee #4 @8.7/1000 New York #39 @5.6/1000 The first three listed are so called "Right to Work" states. Coincidence?
Former Long Islander January 23, 2013 at 09:47 PM
NCES 2013-309 U.S. DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION Latest Data releases this week Public high school Graduation Rate (AFGR) New York 76.0% Tennessee 80.4% Average SAT Scores 2010 New York: Reading 484, Math 499, Writing 478 Tennessee: Reading 576, Math 571, Writing 565 Oh, and it was 50 degrees in Hendersonville today, Long Island 18.
highhatsize January 23, 2013 at 09:54 PM
to Former Long Islander: I'm not beating the drum for Long Island. Even with inflation factored in, the Case-Schiller Index for New York would stand at 127, meaning that housing prices would have to fall an additional 27% (in inflation adjusted dollars, whatever that would be) to equal their prices in the year 2000, However, your representation of Hendersonville, Tenn. is misleading. The US Government and the FBI consider it a dangerous place to live regardless of the proprietary rating of the City-Data site. I am sure that it is much cheaper to live there than on Long Island but that can be said of virtually every place on earth. For my money, most of Long Island is a banal dump. It's brilliant jewel is the ocean beach. I have found none other like it. It has an effect on my spirit that isn't duplicated by other locales (including the beautiful beaches of Florida.) But if I were going to live elsewhere, Henderson's distance from the ocean would eliminate it from consideration.
Former Long Islander January 23, 2013 at 09:58 PM
Tennessee IS a right to work state: Construction of the Music City Convention Center at 1.2 million square feet of exhibit space http://www.koreanveteransblvd.com/images/aerial_roundabout.jpg WHY SHOULD I MOVE TO NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE? http://nashvilletenn.blogspot.com/ Forbes Best Places for Business and Careers ranked Nashville, Tennessee number 6 of 200 largest metropolitan statistical areas in the U.S. (Long Island was ranked 98) Kiplinger Magazine — Best Value Cities of 2011 ranks Nashville, Tennessee Number 3 nationwide: “The majority of the new openings will be in the education and health-services fields.” Forbes—“The Next Big Boom Towns In The U.S.” projects Nashville to be the No. 3 boom town in the coming decade.
Former Long Islander January 23, 2013 at 10:07 PM
“The US Government and the FBI consider it a dangerous place to live” – balderdash Big Hat. The crime rate in Hendersonville itself (a city of over 50,000) is about the same as Nassau/Suffolk. Where has the US Government SAID it is a dangerous place to live? You dishonesty is appalling. Using Metro Statistical Area data is also disingenuous. It would be like lumping Garden City in with the Bronx. http://retiretotennessee.blogspot.com/p/hendersonville.html As far as Hendersonville’s distance from the ocean, try Old Hickory Lake right in Hendersonville, 97 miles long with 440 miles of shoreline. And we had a high of 50 degrees today. http://retiretotennessee.blogspot.com/p/old-hickory-lake.html

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