Hawaii Real Estate News & Market Trends

You’ll find our blog to be a wealth of information, covering everything from local market statistics and home values to community happenings. That’s because we care about the community and want to help you find your place in it. Please reach out if you have any questions at all. We’d love to talk with you!

Dec. 30, 2020

Oahu Great place to live, work and invest

Oahu, Hawaii: Great Places to Live, Work and Invest in

Part I of IV

With so much anxiety and turmoil going on around the world today, it’s very tempting to look for a paradise haven of your own, and move your family there. Alternately, owning a nice vacation property in such a place might offer a safe harbor until the storm clouds blow over. Buying real estate, either for residential or investment purposes, is probably a great idea, and the island of Hawaii offers the perfect opportunity.

If you’re looking for a magnificent Hawaii beach house for sale, then Oahu, also referred to as “The Gathering Place”, presents some exceptional options. The 3rd-largest of Hawaii’s islands, Oahu boasts of a diverse East-West culture, and provides homeowners, vacationers and native residents a diversity of lifestyles – from laid-back beachcombing and surfing, to quaint town-like ambiance, to bustling city vibes. Oahu has it all!

Hawaii Oahu Real Estate

Whether you choose to relocate your family permanently to Hawaii, plan on frequenting it occasionally as a vacation heaven, or wish to buy Hawaii luxury homes as an investment, we’re here to help. We guarantee that you’ll find something that suits your taste in our vast inventory of Oahu luxury properties.

Here are just some of the Oahu areas where you might find something worth owning:  

 

1.     Sunset Beach

Located just beyond the well-known Banzai Pipeline, in the vicinity of Ehukai Beach and the North Shore harbors, is another 2-mile (approx. 3.2 Kms.) expanse of sandy haven called Sunset Beach Hawaii.

If you love surfing, or simply want to while away the hours relaxing and watching big-wave surfers do their thing in wintertime, then Sunset Beach, Oahu, is the perfect place for you. With Gen X’ers now actively looking for the perfect retirement getaway, demand for the perfect Hawaii beach house for sale, especially in the Sunset Beach area, may be overheating.

beachfront oahu hawaii

And with dwindling supply, comes price wars that drive the prices of scarce supply up – that’s just the reality of a hot Oahu real estate market. To avoid participating in bidding wars, most prospective buyers are locking-in their bids now, so they can get just the right home for their budgets. Wise move!

If you want to assure ownership of your own beach-front retirement, or simply want a vacation home near a pristine beach, then we can certainly help you realize your dream. We guarantee you find everything that Oahu luxury homes can offer, including the awe-inspiring natural beauty of Sunset Beach…and more! 

 

2.     Waikiki

Are you looking for Hawaii beachfront homes for sale in one the world’s most sought-after vacationing and leisure destinations? Well, when you buy property in Waikiki, whether it’s a home or a condo, you get just want you’re dreaming for…and much more! The eight sections of Waikiki beach converge into a spectacular 2-mile sandy paradise, that stretches from the large Duke Kahanamoku Beach, all the way down to a tiny piece of sand across from the Outrigger Canoe Club, near Diamond Head. The best of Waikiki is right here.

Waikiki beach oahu hawaii

Waikiki offers some of the best luxury real estate in Honolulu. The city is literally a paradise of tranquility, with over 5 million people visiting there. You’ll have plenty of things to do, lots of shopping and other amenities close-by, and for the energetic night-owl, the city offers the very best of the island’s nightlife too!

Do you have surfing on your mind? The south swells in and around Waikiki are perfect for aspiring as well as pro surfers. And, if you are a family unit, don’t worry – the kids will enjoy their new paradise in Hawaii at Waikiki. The beaches are kid-friendly, so they’ll have lots to explore and keep themselves busy. And the Waikiki aquarium will fascinate everyone…including “kids” from 1 to 99 – guaranteed!

 

3.     Kailua

Another great spot for owning Oahu luxury homes in Hawaii is Kailua. While there is a commercial hub centered along the Kailua Road business district, Kailua is primarily a homeowner’s paradise – a residential haven. 

Located on the east coast of Oahu, Kailua is characterized by long stretches of sandy beaches on Kailua Bay, including a center of many water sports called Kailua Beach Park, and the gentle waves that flow through Kalama Beach Park. That sounds very appropriate, because Kailua in the Hawaiian language means “dual currents” or “two seas”. The name aptly describes the two scenic lagoons of the district, and the two sets of currents that flow through the crescent-shaped Kailua Bay.  

kailua oahu homes for sale

Flanked by Kailua Bay and the majestic Koolau Mountain cliffs, owners of luxury homes in Kailua Hawaii get the best of many worlds – especially if it’s peace of mind and tranquility you’re looking for. You won’t find the usual “hub hub” of a large tourist town, with skyrise hotels and 50,000-square foot box stores. Instead, you’ll be greeted with some of the best, and quaint little boutique stores and restaurants on the island here in Kailua.

And, if the ambiance of family-run stores and friendly, cozy bread-and-breakfast enterprises doesn’t lure you, then the plethora of hiking trails, water sport opportunities, historic sightseeing, bird watching and weekly visits to farmer’s markets sure will. Formerly a playground for Hawaiian royalty (alii), modern-day owners of Hawaii beachfront homes for sale in Kailua are in equally great company, with contemporary “royals” like former President Barack Obama and entertainers Jessica Simpson, Rihanna and Beyoncé and Jay-Z having made this their vacationing destination of choice.

 

4.     Diamond Head

Known as Lēʻahi to the local population, one of Oahu, Hawaii’s distinguishing locations is Diamond Head, a naturally-formed geological collection of vents, cones formed as a result of now dormant volcanic formations. Diamond Head was declared a national natural landmark in 1968 and, because of the panoramic view it offers of the south shores of Oahu and Waikiki, it also served as a military observation post in the 1900s. So, if you own Hawaii luxury homes on this part of the island, you’ll literally be in the midst of history. Geologists estimate that Diamond Head is anywhere between 400,000 to 500,000 years old!

Diamond Head Beach Oahu Hwaii

With the Diamond Head crater in their backyards, owners of luxury homes for sale in Diamond Head Hawaii virtually assure themselves of endless opportunities for taking in the natural wonders of their neighborhood. If you are an avid hiker, you won’t be disappointed. Upon ascending the summit, you’ll enjoy the most spectacular view of Oahu’s leeward-side, including the nearby island of Molokai and the neighborhood’s most famous resident – the Diamond Head Lighthouse. On a clear day, you and your family will enjoy the breathtaking view of the Pacific Ocean and as far away as Honolulu and Waikiki. 

 

Dec. 22, 2020

Housing Market Dec. 20, 2020

Initial Jobless Claims are moving in the wrong direction, unfortunately, as the number of people filing for unemployment benefits for the first time increased in the latest week. While the number of people continuing to receive benefits did decline, read on below to see why this news is not as positive as it seems.

 

In housing news, builder confidence declined in December after setting record-highs in November, per the National Association of Home Builders Housing Market Index. However, the reading is still the second highest on record and shows that builders remain positive about conditions.

 

The latest construction data also reflects the strong demand for housing. Housing Starts were up 1.2% from October to November and they also jumped 12.8% versus November of last year. The all-important single-family starts ticked up 0.4% to reach their highest level in 13.5 years. Building Permits, which are a good future indicator of Housing Starts, rose 6.2% from October's revised rate, with single-family permits up 1.3% from October to November.

 

While housing remains a bright spot in our economy, retailers struggled in November due to the spike in COVID cases. Retail Sales fell 1.1%, much worse than the 0.3% drop expected, while Core Retail Sales (which excludes automobiles, gasoline, building materials and food service) fell 0.5%. This was also lower than the 0.2% gain expected. This report shows how crucial additional stimulus is for businesses and families to bridge the gap until vaccines are widely deployed.

 

The pandemic is also causing a slowdown in manufacturing in the New York and Philadelphia regions, as the Empire State Index came in below expectations in

December at 4.9 while the Philadelphia Fed Index was reported at 11.1, also below estimates of 21.1.

Lastly, the Fed held its regularly scheduled Federal Open Market Committee meeting, which turned out to be somewhat of a non-event as highlighted below.  

 

 HMI

 

Jobless Claims Moving in the Wrong Direction

Another 885,000 people filed for unemployment benefits for the first time during the week ending December 12, which is an increase of 23,000 claims from the prior week. Continuing Claims, which are delayed a week, did decrease by 273,000 to 5.5 million. While on the surface this sounds like good news, unfortunately the decrease is for the wrong reasons.

 

When regular benefits expire, people can file for Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC), which extends their benefits another 13 weeks – and that figure increased by nearly 700,000! This is just further evidence that a new stimulus deal and the vaccine distribution are crucial to help businesses and employees in the months ahead.

 

Builder Confidence Remains Strong

The National Association of Home Builders Housing Market Index, which is a real-time read on builder confidence, fell 4 points in December to 86 after setting a record high in November. Even though this was a pullback, it is still the second highest number on record. Any reading over 50 in this index that runs from 1-100 signals that more builders see conditions as good versus poor.

 

All three components of the index declined 4 points in December, with current sales conditions reported at 92, sales expectations for the next six months at 85, and buyer traffic dropping to 73. Again, despite the declines, these are still strong readings.

 

NAHB Chief Economist Robert Dietz noted “housing remains a bright spot for a recovering economy.”

The latest construction data also supports the strong demand for housing, as Housing Starts rose 1.2% in November from October's revised rate. Starts are also 12.8% higher than they were compared to November of last year. While starts on multi-family units led the way, single-family starts were up 0.4% and at their highest level in 13.5 years.

 

Building Permits, which are a good future indicator of Housing Starts, rose 6.2% from October's revised rate and they were also up 8.5% year over year. Single-family permits ticked up 1.3% from October to November.

 

The Latest from the Fed

The Fed held its regularly scheduled meeting, which was something of a non-event as they noted they will continue to purchase Mortgage Backed Securities and Treasuries at their current levels (which has helped stabilize the markets), rather than expand their Bond buying program. Fed Chair Jerome Powell did note, however, that the Fed stands ready to buy more longer-dated maturity Bonds if they feel the economy needs it.

The Fed also reiterated that they are going to keep their benchmark Fed Funds Rate at zero until at least 2023 and that they would not jump the gun on rising rates, even if there are some transient blips of inflation due to COVD and demand coming back faster than supply. Note that the Fed Funds Rate is the rate the banks use when lending to each other overnight and it is not the same as home loan rates. As far as their projections, the Fed thinks the unemployment rate will be 5% in 2021 and GDP will be 4.2%.

 

What to Look for This Week

The middle of the week is packed with a variety of important reports across many sectors of the economy.

On Tuesday, the final estimate for third quarter GDP will be reported along with Existing Home Sales for November. More housing news follows on Wednesday with November's New Home Sales and the Federal Housing Finance Agency's House Price Index. We'll also get the latest data on inflation with November's Personal Consumption Expenditures, along with Personal Income and Spending.

Finally on Thursday, November's Durable Goods Orders and the latest weekly Jobless Claims figures will be released. The markets will be closing early on Thursday and will be closed on Friday for the Christmas holiday.

 

Technical Picture

The Fed's ongoing purchases of Mortgage Backed Securities continues to provide stability to the markets. Mortgage Bonds are being squeezed in a tight range between their 25-day Moving Average, which has been a solid floor of support, and overhead resistance at 103.70.

Dec. 14, 2020

Federal Government benefits are about to expire

Week of December 7th, 2020 in Review

The rise in COVID cases and decline in Paycheck Protection Program money is having a worsening impact on businesses and workers around the country as jobless claims trended in the wrong direction in the latest report. The number of people filing for unemployment benefits for the first time increased. The number of people continuing to receive benefits also rose.

Consumer inflation remained tame in November, per the latest Consumer Price Index report. Headline inflation was up 0.2% in November while the year-over-year reading remained unchanged at 1.2%. Core inflation, which strips out volatile food and energy prices, was also up 0.2% monthly while the annual reading was unchanged at 1.6%. More below about why tame inflation matters to Mortgage Bonds and home loan rates.

The latest National Federation of Independent Business Small Business Optimism Index dropped 2.6 points in November to 101.4, a three-month low. Within the report, those seeing higher selling prices rose 3 points to the highest level since May 2018, which is just 1 point from matching the highest since 2008. This data speaks to businesses not having enough people to help their supply meet demand, which is a sign that temporary inflation could be on the horizon.

Initial Jobless Claims Rise in Latest Week

Another 853,000 people filed for unemployment benefits for the first time during the week ending December 5, which is an increase of 137,000 claims from the prior week. Continuing Claims, which measure people who continue to receive benefits, also increased by 230,000 to 5.575 million.

In addition, remember that when regular benefits expire, people can file for Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC), which extends their benefits for another 13 weeks. The number of Pandemic Unemployment Assistance claims did decline by 313,000, but unfortunately for all the wrong reasons as benefits are expiring.

Keeping an Eye on Inflation

The latest Consumer Price Index (CPI) showed that inflation at the consumer level was tame in November, up 0.2% from October. The year over year reading remained unchanged at 1.2%. Core CPI, which strips out volatile food and energy prices, was up 0.2% on a monthly basis while the year over year reading was unchanged at 1.6%.

Inflation was also tame at the wholesale level, as November's Producer Price Index showed that headline inflation increased by 0.1%, which was in line with market expectations.

While these numbers are still relatively low, the year over year readings could continue to move higher as demand outpaces supply for goods and services. Those higher producer costs could translate to higher consumer costs and inflation.

Remember that inflation erodes the buying power of a Bond's fixed coupon over time. Meaning that rising inflation can cause Bonds to worsen or move lower. Home loan rates are inversely tied to Mortgage Bonds, so when Bonds worsen, home loan rates can rise. Though many factors influence the markets, tame inflation can benefit Mortgage Bonds and help home loan rates remain low.

The “Affordability” Myth

You may have heard some recent reports in the media about problems with home affordability. However, the "problem" being reported is a myth. Homes remain affordable today and in some cases are even more affordable today than they were a year ago.

What causes this confusion? Many mistakenly look at the significant move higher in the median home price, which is currently up 15% versus last year. But the median home price does not measure appreciation. Instead, it marks the middle price point of recent home sales.

Home prices have appreciated in the last year, but only 7% per the latest reports. Meanwhile, rates have fallen in this same period. This means that for many people, the monthly principal and interest payment to buy a home today could be lower than last year.

The bottom line is that there is reason to feel positive about the housing market with great opportunities for people hoping to buy a home next year!

What to Look for This Week

On Tuesday, we'll get an update on manufacturing in the New York region with December's Empire State Index, followed by the Philadelphia Fed Index on Thursday.

In addition, the Fed's two-day meeting begins Tuesday with their Monetary Policy Statement being released Wednesday. November Retail Sales will also be reported on Wednesday, which will reveal how retailers fared given the uptick in COVID cases. And on Thursday, the latest jobless claims figures remain critical to monitor.

Technical Picture

The Fed continues to provide stability to the markets thanks to its ongoing purchases of Mortgage Backed Securities. Mortgage Bonds continue to ride the 25-day Moving Average, which has provided solid support in recent days. Bonds have room to move higher until reaching resistance at 103.953 and if Stocks continue to sell off, we could see Bonds move higher in this range.

Nov. 23, 2020

Honolulu Hawaii Market November 2020

Oahu Real Estate Market Outlook - November 2020: Signs of recovery and better things to come

 

When COVID-19 hit Hawaii in the first quarter of 2020, realtors, buyers, sellers and real estate-related business braced for a backlash. Was there an impact – yes, as might be expected. But there are clear signs that the worst might be behind us. Even in the midst of a pandemic, it doesn’t appear that Oahu is experiencing a cooling in its real estate market. While sales volumes and pricing, for both condos and single-family homes aren’t overheating, there is a perfect mix of buyer interest and seller enthusiasm.

Overall, the market saw a slight spike in new listings, from 1,051 in September to 1,128 in October this year. However, it wouldn’t be accurate to say Oahu’s housing lacks competitiveness. In fact, the number of condos and single-family homes selling above asking price has increased – showing that there is plenty of competition from buyers, though not as much inventory as the market would have liked. Part of the reason for this robustness may be attributable to the fact that more travelers are now moving to Oahu to view open houses and check what’s on sale there. And that, in and of itself, is a sign of a healthy market!

 

LET THE NUMBERS SPEAK

 Honolulu Hawaii Real Estate Market November 2020

 

According to the Honolulu Board of Realtors, compared to the same period last year (Oct 2019), the median price of single-family homes in Oahu rose by nearly 11% last month (Oct 2020). With condominiums, however, the outlook wasn’t as rosy. Condo sales rose by just 1.7%, with median unit prices staying flat. The bright spot, however, is that condos experienced their first increase (albeit a relatively minor one!) since the beginning of the pandemic back in January 2020.

At a median price of $865,000, single-family homes experienced a healthy price increase in October 2020, compared to $780,000 last year (10.9% increase). On a month-over-month basis though, median single-family home prices experienced a slight down-tick from the $880,000 tag they commanded in Sept 2020 – that’s a 1.7% decline. October 2020 also saw slightly fewer (0.6%) single-family homes sold (345) compared to the same period last year (347).

The price tag of the median condominium was $439,500 in Oct 2020, which was around 0.3% less than what it was around the same time last year at $ 441.000 (Oct 2019). However, Oct 2020 saw 8 more units (for a total of 480) change hands than during last October (472).

The year-to-date numbers, for both single-family homes and condos highlight some interesting dynamics in Oahu’s real estate market. During the first 10-months of 2019, 3,121 single-family homes changed hands. That number was down slightly, by 1.3% (to 3,080) in the first 10-months of 2020. However, the median price of homes, on a year-to-date basis, rose in Oct 2020, from $785,000 to $818,500. 

Year-to-date condo sales were slightly sluggish, with only 3,785 units moving in the first 10-months of 2020, compared to 4,546 from Jan 2019 to Oct 2019. That’s a 16.7% decline. At a median Oct 2020 price of $432,750, condo prices, however, saw a slight YTD increase of around 1.1% compared to $428,000 during the first 10-months of 2019. 

SPOTTING THE TRENDS

 hawaii beachfront real estate

On a y/y-basis, new single-family home listings were down by 17.6% in Oct 2020, but the bright spot was that they showed a slight up-tick – of 3.3% - on a m/m basis. The most significant trend shift was noticed in single-family homes priced in the $600,000 to $699,999 range. Compared to last year, this group of homes saw a 52.3% decline in new listings coupled with a unit sales decline of 56.8%. 

Another trend shift was noted in single-family homes valued in the $800,000 to $1,199,999 price range. Their sales increased by 39.2%. When it comes to a sellers’ market, more than half of October 2020 sales (50%) in the $700,000 to $899,999 price range sold above the asking price.  

Single-family Oahu homes put on sale spent an average of just 10-days on the market. That definitely bodes well for sellers looking to list their properties now! 

There were some notable trends observed in the condominium sector too. Condos in the $500,000 to $599,999 price range saw an 18.5% uptick in new listings, with those priced in the $400,000 to $499,999 price range seeing a 30.23% surge in sales (112 units) compared to just 86 in the same period last year. More notably, an overwhelming 63% of condominiums listed in the $400,000 to $599,999 range changed hands above the asking price.

The median time that an average Oahu condo unit spent on the market was 18 days.

 

EXPERT OPINION

 Hawaii Beaches and oceanfront homes

Overall, the ongoing pandemic crisis seems to barely made a dent in Oahu market, barely impacting it, if at all. The numbers speak for themselves, signaling that Oahu’s real estate market is not just resilient, but is primed for a brighter future.  

Oahu housing market is definitely hot, and now’s the time get in – whether you’re buying or selling. And, the numbers don’t lie – they tell a story of a real estate sweet spot. How do we judge that? Well, the sign that a market is healthy and competitive is when sellers and buyers both walk away with what they want. Compared to last year, the doubling of single-family homes and nearly 64% of condos selling for above asking price tells a story of a robust market.   

Experts believe that now is the best time for both sellers and buyers to jump into the market and get exactly what they’re looking for.

According to Tricia Nekota, president, Honolulu Board of Realtors®:

“A lack of inventory coupled with high demand from buyers looking to capitalize on historically low interest rates is driving a very competitive market for single-family homes on O‘ahu. This is an opportune time for sellers to list their properties as housing values continue to rise, and buyers are on the hunt for their forever homes,”

Clearly, while there’s demand out there from home buyers looking to move into a serene community like Oahu, there are also sellers looking to cash-in and move on. Hawaii offers excellent respite from the hustle and bustle of most parts of the world. Whether you’re looking for a peaceful retirement get-away, a vacation property or a permanent change in your home address, places like Oahu offer the perfect place to invest in.

Aug. 26, 2020

Top 10 Hawaiian Real Estate Blogs and Websites To Follow in 2020

Top 10 Hawaiian Real Estate Blogs and Websites To Follow in 2020

 

We are please to announce that www.HawaiianBeachfront.com is ranked by Feedspot.com to be the #9 top 10 for Hawaii Blogs. Please see link for more details: https://blog.feedspot.com/hawaiian_real_estate_blogs/  

 

We try to keep you informed of whats going on in the market and keep you up to date. Make sure to come and see whats going on, available 24 hours a day.

9. HawaiianBeachFront.com

 

HawaiianBeachFront.comHonolulu, Hawaii, United StatesAbout Blog Search all Hawaii Luxury, beachfront, and oceanfront real estate for sale including single-family homes, condos, townhomes, and land. Our MLS listings update every 15 minutes. Frequency 2 posts / month Since Jul 2017 Blog hawaiianbeachfront.com/blog/..
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Aug. 18, 2020

Mokuleia Beachfront North Shore Land for Sale Oahu Hawaii

Covid 19 distancing at its finest. The last of its kind on the beach in Mokuleia Hawaii, on Oahu's North Shore where it still feels like old Hawaii. Rarely available, amazing opportunity to own this Beachfront 337 ft. long x 100 ft wide landscaped and groomed lot on Cozier Dr. Ready to build your dream beach house?

mokuleia beachfront for sale

This rarely available 33,739 sf. beachfront lot is located right in front of the surf spot Glass Doors, Sylva Channels & Rogers Right. Wonderful paddle boarding, snorkeling, kite surfing and kayaking directly in front.

Mokukleia land for sale

Unwind and enjoy a stroll on over 3 miles of white sand beach right in front of your oceanfront land. This .77 acres of beachfront zoned R-7.5, may allow up to 4 homes. You can build a main home and 3 cottages or CPR the property and sell 3 lots and keep the beachfront or any other configuration to make your real estate dreams come true.

Mokuleia beach for sale

If you are looking for that one in a million oceanfront property, this is it. Do not miss this rare opportunity to own a piece of paradise. 

Mokuleia oceanfront for sale North shore Oahu

Aug. 14, 2020

National Real Estate Market August 2020

Homes Are Being Snatched Off the Market at Their Fastest Pace in 2 Years

  • Homes sold in the U.S. during the second week of June typically stayed on the market for 22 days, the fastest pace since June 2018.
  • Columbus, Cincinnati and Kansas City are the hottest large markets, with homes being snapped up in less than a week. The slowest-moving for-sale markets are in New York, Miami and Atlanta.

After some choppy weeks in April and May, the housing market appears to once-again have the wind at its back as we approach the end of June, with active home listings on Zillow going pending after only three weeks — the fastest pace in two years.

Homes that transitioned from active to pending status — indicating an accepted offer, but not-yet-closed sale — in the week ending June 13th did so after being listed on Zillow for just 22 days, matching the 2020 low set during the week-ended March 28. A lot has happened in the ensuing three months — at the end of March, the true scale of the pandemic was just being realized, and widespread business closures and social distancing protocols were not yet fully adopted nationwide. 

Pre-pandemic, the real estate market was riding a wave of early-2020 momentum and looking ahead at what was shaping up to be a banner spring home shopping season. In the final full week of March, homes were selling about 5 days more quickly than in the same week of 2019, when the median home took 27 days to sell. But as the coronavirus pandemic and subsequent mitigation measures took hold more fully, the market slowed dramatically over the next several weeks, reaching its nadir in the week ending May 16, when the median home took 31 days to go pending — 6 days slower than the comparable week of 2019. 

Activity has picked up steadily and strongly since then, as buyers and sellers alike adjusted to new norms and found ways to make transactions happen safely and efficiently. Listings are now once again going pending faster than they did at this time in 2019. Newly pending sales fell more than 40% from the week ending March 1 to its low point in mid-April. But the time homes stayed on the market was not impacted to nearly the same degree. Sellers took a wait-and-see approach, limiting inventory but seemingly juicing demand for those few homes that were available. That same dynamic — sellers pulling back from the market more than buyers — has kept home prices relatively steady during the pandemic, though signs point to a modest decline in the coming months.  

This pickup in selling speed suggests that fundamentals are once again taking the wheel in the housing market: millions of Millennials are aging into their mid-30s and clamoring to move into homeownership, armed with record-low mortgage rates, but there is no wave of supply to match that demand. This May, buyers found themselves competing over the smallest pool of inventory  on record for that month in years, and it seems that after a couple months of delayed shopping, buyers were eager to make up for lost time with speedy offers.

Still, real estate is local, and the nationwide trend obscures some drastic differences in home sales speeds across major metro areas. The New York City metro area, already one of the nation’s slowest-moving markets in 2019 even before getting hit especially hard by the pandemic in its early days, has slowed even more dramatically since: The median days to pending rose from 47 to 70 days in mid-June compared to the same week in 2019. Miami, another slow-moving market, also experienced a notable year-over-year increase in days-to-pending, from 49 to 55. 

But most major metro areas followed the national trend: 29 of the 35 largest metro areas in the country saw an annual drop in days-to-pending for the week ending June 13. Home sales accelerated most quickly in mid-June in Pittsburgh, where days to pending plummeted from 27 to 10 year-over-year. In absolute terms, though, the fastest-selling homes this June are in Columbus, Ohio, where the median sold home lasts less than a week on the market — just 5 days — before going pending. Nearby Cincinnati is not far behind, at a blistering pace of 6 days to pending, tied with Kansas City as the second-fastest market as of mid-June.

Sellers appear to have heard the good news about brisk sales this June, and are bringing more homes onto the market: new listings are up 14% month-over-month. It remains to be seen whether more homes to choose from will provide buyers with some breathing room, or if it will be matched by continued bounce-back demand from those willing and able to move forward with their delayed home shopping plans. 

At the moment, given how low overall inventory is and how low mortgage rates have remained, there is a chance the U.S. will match or beat the record-low of 21 days to pending set in May 2018.

July 20, 2020

What Does The Real Estate Comeback Look Like on Oahu, Hawaii?

Beachfront Waimanalo Hawaii

Though COVID-19 hasn’t struck Oahu, Hawaii as hard as it has mainland, the real estate market has suffered. However, agents expect it to bounce back, and here’s how!

The closest thing Americans get to a tropical paradise is Hawaii. With its sandy beaches, friendly faces and beautiful waters, how could you not want to grab your own little piece of heaven? At the beginning of the year, there were billions of dollars flowing through the Hawaiian real estate market, but since COVID-19 continues to plague the United States, the market in Oahu has taken a hit. 

The question on many people’s lips is whether or not it’ll bounce back. In fact, as of June 24th, 49% of real estate agents say business is improving despite the current circumstances and 23% say things are holding steady. 

So, what can we expect for Oahu’s real estate market in the second half of the year? Let’s take a look!

Housing inventory in Oahu

If you were to look at 2018’s housing market, you’d notice that the number of single family homes that were being put on the market increased by 7.5% while the number of condos going on the market actually decreased by 7%. You would think that with more single-family homes being on the market, it would be easier to find affordable housing. That isn’t necessarily the case. 

Even though the interest rates are at an all time low, buyers are having a difficult time trying to purchase a house because inventory is low, therefore making it a seller’s market. Why, seller’s are often getting multiple offers on their property!

Low interest rates

With mortgage interest rates being so low, it would be an excellent time to refinance your house if you already have a mortgage. However, because of the rise of unemployment and large numbers of applicants requesting mortgage relief and forbearance, lenders are more hesitant to lend out money. Lending companies are increasing their qualification requirements and some people who may have been approved before the pandemic may not be approved now.

As a buyer, you need to keep an eye on your debt and your credit score. Try to keep your credit usage below 30% and always pay on time. By doing these things, you’re giving yourself a better chance of your application being approved. 

Decreased housing prices

June 2019 was a great year for Oahu’s real estate market. 327 houses were sold and the median price was a whopping $800,000. However, fast forward to June 2020, business wasn’t as good. Only 302 homes were sold (a 7.5% decline) but there was only a slight decline in price, the median being $770,000 (a 3% decline). 

The sad reality is, we don’t know what to expect going forward. Will people still be hesitant about putting their homes on the market out of fear of COVID? Will prices continue to drop due to economic struggles? No one knows. 

What we can say is that the market will continue to work in the seller’s favor. Sellers who have been toying with the idea of putting your house on the market for some reason or another, now may be the perfect time to do so. As more and more people (Americans and foreigners alike) decide to make Oahu their home, they’re going search for their dream home, get a mortgage while rates are low, and it’s possible that a bidding war could start on your home. 

Just remember, the coronavirus may have caused the country to come to a grinding stop, but people are always going to need housing - even if it that housing is a beach house!

July 16, 2020

The current real estate market

Here’s How Real Estate Is Making a Comeback Post COVID-19

Lanikai Sunrise Hawaii

We are now in the second half of 2020 and months into the COVID-19 pandemic. Although many industries have had to pause or scale down operations, the real estate industry is still going strong. Despite the recession, housing prices in many areas have remained relatively stable, and in some markets, they are increasing.

 

Many experts agree that today’s housing market is going strong because lenders have tightened their lending standards after the 2008 housing crisis. Additionally, since the coronavirus pandemic is not caused by economic factors, its impact is not specific to the real estate sector.

 

Even with those positive facts, many property owners are asking whether they should sell there home during the corona virus pandemic or wait until things settle down. It’s an understandable question, however given the uncertainty in the world today, and the fact it is impossible to predict the duration of the pandemic, homeowners shouldn’t wait to sell their homes because of the pandemic.

 

Below is an overview of the current state of the housing market and the ways real estate professionals are transforming the industry.

 

In early to mid-April, the impact of the pandemic on the housing market peaked. 78% of agents reported that buyer activity had declined in their market, and 87% said that they saw buyers put their home searches on hold due to the virus.

 

Although this lack of demand would normally cause home prices to drop, many sellers pulled their listings from the market. 76% of agents reported that they have seen seller activity decline at the start of April and 66% had seen sellers take their homes off the market.

 

Since June however, 79% of agents reported that the market tipped in favor of sellers and that it is now business as usual in their market. Much of this success is because real estate agents are taking new approaches to selling property during the pandemic.

 

One of the most notable shifts real estate agents have made during the coronavirus pandemic is hosting virtual open houses . These involve real estate agents using web conferencing tools such as Zoom, Google Meet, and Facebook Live to livestream walkthroughs of homes to prospective buyers.

 

During these events, buyers can ask the agent questions and receive answers in real-time, and even request that they home in on specific areas or revisit a room. While many buyers require an in-person visit before making an offer, virtual showings enable sellers to limit in-person showings to serious buyers.

 

Lenders are also adapting to the pandemic by allowing buyers to use alternative appraisals to secure a mortgage. Rather than an appraiser conducing an in-person walkthrough of the seller’s home, they instead review tax and MLS records, along with other information to verify whether the home is priced fairly.

 

In some cases, the appraiser will drive by the property, have the homeowner conduct a walkthrough of the home via web conferencing software, and/or reference inspection reports that were prepared by others.

Feb. 8, 2020

Honolulu Hill Top Sanctuary

Tantalus Mountain Top Estate

Tantulus Honolulu Estate

Family compound with 9 lots totaling over 2 acres. Build homes for your children or just to sell. This property has been in the same family for 100+ years and is the first time being offered for sale to the public.

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Enjoy fresh cool mountain breezes, singing Hawaiian songbirds & views to die for of Diamond Head, Waikiki and the pacific ocean.

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A tranquil lush canopy-covered scenic road leads you to this hidden gem at the top of the Koolau Range. This listing includes 9 adjacent parcels with a 5br/3ba ocean view manor including a separate rental on first floor, and a 4 bedroom, 3 bath ocean view home with separate guest studio for rental income.

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Multiple rare Koa trees are located throughout the property. This is your chance to own 9 lots in Honolulu and build what ever you can dream of or a family compound for the kids.

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Click here for more pictures and info on Tantulus Estate