Buying Advice

Buyer Behavior and Trends

If you are following Hawaii’s real estate market, you know that inventory is extremely tight and that demand is strong. You’ve heard about multiple offers and escalating prices. You know that the interest rates are fueling buyer demand and that Sellers are reaping the benefits. It’s old news. But, have you heard about some of the trends we are experiencing when it comes to Buyer behavior? Strategies that Buyers are utilizing to sweeten their offers?

Current Buyer Strategies

Yesterday, I attended a round table discussion sponsored by Fidelity Title and Escrow. Panel members included professionals from across the state. Though much of what was discussed was no surprise, it was interesting to hear about some of the practices being implemented by Buyers statewide to secure properties. For example, you’ve probably heard about Buyers writing cover letters to endear themselves to the Seller. But, did you know that some Buyers are now creating videos about themselves for presentation to the Seller? Wow! Buyers are also waiving terms like cleaning, termite inspections, surveys, and in some rare cases, even home inspections! Now, I’m not necessarily condoning these practices, but it is interesting to observe the great lengths some buyers are willing to go to win the property.

Mainland Buyers Look to Work Remotely from Hawaii

Another interesting trend concerns mainland buyers. If you can work remotely, why not work in Hawaii? We are seeing many mainland buyers pack up and move to Hawaii. What’s interesting is the domino effect. For instance, on Maui, a mainland family shared on Facebook about their new island home. They also shared about the private school their child was attending. Interestingly enough, more families moved to Maui and attendance at the school went up. Significantly. So, Buyers are not only competing and going to great lengths to secure property, but they are also sharing their experiences on social media. Will this cause a ripple effect? It already has.

Trends Shifting to Single-Family Homes

Are there any other trends? Yes. Buyers are shifting from condos to single-family homes. The main reason — COVID-19. Congested lobbies, elevators, and communal amenities have become less desirable. Buyers want private outdoor space. Yards for entertaining and for the kids are becoming increasingly important. The data supports this trend as we see both price and volume gains in single-family homes over condos. Will this trend continue? We believe so. COVID-19 has shifted the way we think. The way Buyers think, what they want, and how they behave.

In the weeks, months, and years ahead, we will continue to see new buying trends and behavior. As the country shifts to adapt to change, so will our market and our response to it. New trends will emerge. Buyer behavior will change. But, one thing won’t change — the desire to live in Hawaii. If anything, we will see more Buyers doing what they can to own a piece of paradise. Now, that’s a trend you can take to the bank!

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