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Micron puts spotlight on Central New York housing needs

Two houses in a Syracuse neighborhood sit next to each other.
Brad Spelich
Two houses in a Syracuse neighborhood sit next to each other.

A local real estate expert is raising concerns the region lacks enough housing stock to support the tens of thousands of employees expected to work at the upcoming Micron facility.

Howard Hanna Real Estate vice president and CNY regional manager of services Mark Re said the impact of Micron’s announcement is felt almost immediately on the housing market.

"The very next morning after it hit the news we had a large body of raw land that's been on the market for two years, we had an offer on it because of this," Re said. "The phone started ringing within 24 hours, that even surprised me."

He said there are currently not enough homes to support the anticipated 50,000 jobs coming to Central New York. Because of that, Re said he thinks there will be more land on the market for people to develop.

"We're going to see the rise in new construction because it's necessary," Re said. "We're hoping to work with the townships and so that it won't take quite as long for things to develop."

In terms of the current real estate market and the time it takes to sell a property, he said homes are not getting snatched up as fast as they were in the past two years. But in the not-too-distant future, Re said he thinks developers will have to take measures to maximize housing stock.

"I think that the size of the properties, of the land areas where we build, will be smaller than they were in the past, so we can build more homes," Re said. "I also see a reuse of existing housing and actually rehabilitation of antiquated housing in the city of Syracuse to expand the supply of buildings because we need to meet that."

Re said current homeowners should be happy as the shortage of houses will inflate prices more. But he predicts it could be difficult for people trying to move to the area unless more homes are built.

John Smith has been waking up WAER listeners for a long time as our Local Co-Host of Morning Edition with timely news and information, working alongside student Sportscasters from the Newhouse School.
Matt Hassan is a senior broadcast and digital journalism student at Syracuse University's Newhouse School of Public Communications. He is minoring in History and sport management. Matt grew up in Port Washington, New York on Long Island. He creates print, radio, and television stories almost daily on a wide range of topics, including hard news, profiles, and sports. Matt hopes to pursue a career as either a reporter or producer of news.