BUFFALO, N.Y. — Over two years into the pandemic, there continues to be a high demand for housing, but not a lot of options are available. Whether you are looking for a home to buy or a place to rent, inventory continues to be low and the buyer demand is still pretty high here in Western New York.
"As a landlord, I get it. I was in their shoes years ago. Renting helped me get my start because I found a nice low rent spot in Kenmore. Without that, I don't know how the future we have changed me," said Delton Arno, a Buffalo landlord.
After one day of posting his property on Zillow, Arno got over 100 calls. Before the pandemic, Arno said he would have gotten maybe 20 parties interested in a span of two weeks.
"With the time span of 24-hours, it's 20 times faster than I expected. So with the calls coming in. I had to take the listing down," he said.
The reason for high interest could be a combination of factors.
"It's not a massive population bomb or anything. It's just the fact that inventory is extremely low," said Jason Sokody, associate broker at Howard Hanna Real Estate. "So when you just look at the basics of supply and demand without the inventory being able to support it. You are going to hear about it more often on social media and just with our friends. So, you are going to see that stress because people when they were able to get a rental unit after just seeing a few of them. Now, they are going to have to see a ton of them just to be able to secure a unit."
And on top of that, the eviction moratorium has ended. Some people have started to be evicted and may be out looking for other places to live.
"People don't pay their bills because they don't want to pay their bills," Sokody said. "They don't pay their bills because they are going through hard times. This is Buffalo. This is the 'City of Good Neighbors' not everyone is just saying, 'Hey, I don't want to pay because I don't want to pay.' They are looking for jobs or lost a good-paying job because of COVID," he said.
Now landlords like Delton who are in similar situations, are going to have to go through the dozens of applicants to find one.
"I just want loyalty. So with low rent comes loyalty. That kind of what I really pay for," Arno said. "I am just trying to find a nice person I can get along with that might now a thing or two about being handy."