Big Island

A Market Full of Surprises

Featured home: 15-2044 16th Ave. Keaau, HI 96749

As part of our Real Estate Wine’d Down Zoom meetings, our Team Nakanishi statistics guru Danny Krause tracks, among other things, new listings and sales activity occurring since the initial COVID stay-at-home order began. New listings during this period have seen a sharp decline. With pre-COVID inventory already in short supply, it’s no surprise that demand is on the rise. Danny also tracks weekly contingent and under contract information for Puna and Hamakua.

Real Estate Rebound?

Sales are on the rise. We began June with 207 homes under contract and ended with over 265 moving to close! While I normally compare year-over-year stats, it seemed more appropriate during this time to make a direct comparison of quarters 1 & 2 of this year. In this way, I can best demonstrate market direction.

Who’s Buying?

Demand continues to be extremely strong. Neighbor island buyers are back in the mix, along with a group of “sight unseen” buyers who are willing to buy using an agent armed with various video tools. Lenders are telling me they are seeing a strong uptick in sight unseen offers as well. We are also expecting a large group of buyers who are chomping at the bit to get to Hawai`i with the intention of finding a safer place than the mainland. Nui and Danny have about 40 such buyers combined!

Multiple offers have returned as well. The most popular loan programs for local buyers remain zero down programs like USDA (available outside Hilo) and VA. With local buyers returning to work without lender penalty for a break in employment, these programs offer local buyers the chance to move into home ownership at historically low interest rates. Nationwide, pricing is holding steady.

Although the table shows some price softening in certain segments, I suspect there are other influences in play. Buyers shouldn’t expect deep discounts, especially with off-island and mainland buyers returning. Don’t see your neighborhood on the chart? Don’t have a computer? No problem. We’ll happily provide a custom report by email or snail mail if you just contact me.

Zoom with Us!

BTW, this past week on our Real Estate Wine’d Down we discussed the intricacies of 1031 exchanges. More on that next week, or look for Nui’s recap on social media. Our next Wine’d Down on July 13th at 3 p.m. will feature a high-powered presentation regarding HELCO’s plans to move our island state to power independence. You won’t want to miss it! Just email me or Ash for an invite!

About the Author

Denise Nakanishi

Denise Nakanishi is a REALTOR Broker with Hawai'i Life. Denise Nakanishi is one of Hilo's most acclaimed real estate agents. She reached the rank of Major in the US Army and is now known by many as "Major Mom." The nickname fits–not only does Denise bring the discipline and mission-oriented attitude you'd expect, she's also caring and compassionate, always looking out for her clients like they're her own family. Having made the Big Island her home since 1987, Denise combines her extensive knowledge of the area with a sharp focus on customer service and the results speak for themselves. She's the recent recipient of the Best East Hawai`i, Best of Zillow, Chairman's Circle Award, President's Circle, Top Producing Agent since 2001, and Realtor of the Year awards. Denise stays ahead of the curve because she's passionate about education–she served as Education Chair for Hawaii Island REALTORS® for many years. She's one of Big Island's best real estate resources, known for her weekly article in the Hawaii Tribune Herald. Denise leads Team Nakanishi for Hawai`i Life, who is committed to their family, work, and community. In her little time away from work, Denise is a committed runner and Grandy. She also devotes many hours to various Veterans' Organizations, the East Hawaii Cultural Center, and the Hawaii Island REALTORS®. You can email me at or via phone at (808) 936-5100.

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