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Long Islanders putting off selling homes

Denton Green Housing in Garden City Park, which

Denton Green Housing in Garden City Park, which has 113 rental units, won a competitive $1.1 million annual low-income housing tax credit, the state said. The senior housing project, built in 1972, plans to use the money for renovation, a spokeswoman said. Credit: Fotolia

In recent years, lots of Long Islanders have held their homes off the market because it is glutted with foreclosures and languishing listings, a town official says.

“People are holding on to their homes because they believe the prices are going to go up,” says Huntington Town Supervisor Frank Petrone.

On the Island, for-sale inventory during the third quarter was down 1 percent from a year earlier, according to a recent report from Prudential Douglas Elliman Real Estate.

Real estate agents say many sellers still think that boom-time prices are possible and they list their homes too high for today’s economic climate.

Others believe they can wait out the housing and economic crisis to get good money.

“How foolish is that?” says Ben Oliva, broker owner of Family Tree Realty in Mineola. “Prices will go up eventually, but it’s going to be a while.”

Prices won’t reach boom-era levels any time soon, he says. He predicts it will take at least five years for the market to list and sell all the properties that are in foreclosure court or still on the books of lenders.

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