A look at Long Island’s housing stock

There are a lot of factors that contribute to the challenging cost of living on Long Island, specifically the cost of putting a roof over our heads.

According to American Community Survey data from 2019, an estimated 43.5% of housing units in New York State are rentals (occupied and unoccupied), while 48.6% are owned or for sale. An additional 8% are housing units for seasonal, recreational, migrant workers or other purposes.

This means that while there are slightly more housing units meant for ownership or sale in New York state, the difference is comparatively small for rental units.

Meanwhile, on Long Island the disparity is much larger, with nearly 3/4 (74.3%) of housing units being owned or for sale, compared to only 18.3% available as rentals.

This table illustrates it well:

Geography Owned or for sale Rented or for rent Other
New York State 48.6% 43.5% 7.9%
Long Island 74.3% 18.3% 7.4%

Let’s compare neighboring counties with Long Island as well. A look at Bergen County, New Jersey and Westchester County, New York shows that our rental and ownership split is still far more extreme.

Geography Owned or for sale Rented or for rent Other
Long Island 74.3% 18.3% 7.4%
Bergen County 62.8% 35.3% 1.9%
Westchester County 59.9% 36.7% 3.4%

Combined with home prices that have trended upwards since 2014, rising as much as 13% in September, this puts significant pressure on Long Island’s rental market.