Low-interest rates and relatively low prices are making it easier...

Low-interest rates and relatively low prices are making it easier for buyers to jump into the market, experts say. (June 2, 2010) Credit: AP

Long Island's real estate market is not about to start booming again, and since the last boom led to a devastating bust, that's not so bad, panelists said at a gathering Thursday for the Association for a Better Long Island.

The panelists from a broad range of real estate professions discussed the market's past, present and future at the Melville gathering sponsored by ABLI, a developers group.

"There is a light at the end of the tunnel -- we're just not sure how far it is," said Mitchell Pally, chief executive of the Long Island Builders Institute.

The market for homes and commercial spaces is slightly stronger than it was last year, panelists agreed. Demand for retail space is especially encouraging, said Frank Zuckerbrot of Sholom & Zuckerbrot Realty.

Low-interest rates and relatively low prices are making it easier for buyers to jump into the market, the panelists said. "It's cheaper in some instances to buy than to go out and get a rental," said Linda Bonarelli Lugo, owner of Realty Executives North Shore and president of the Multiple Listing Service of Long Island.

However, difficulty getting financing puts a damper on new projects, Pally said.

A previous version of this story attributed the final statement, that difficulty getting financing has put a damper on new projects, to the wrong speaker.

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