Market Trends

DIS-N-DAT…and Thanks a Bunch!

Featured home: 15-1845 23rd Avenue, Kea`au 

Each year, the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) conducts a survey of buyers and sellers. While the survey includes some pretty common-sense information, there are always many very interesting tidbits. For instance:

  • 5% of first-time buyers were over 74 years old. Go figure! Most, however, were around 25 years old. Most under 65 wanted to buy so they can have a home of their own.
  • Sales of multi-generational homes are increasing as youngsters move home due to economic adjustment for parents needing tending to.
  • Homes needing renovations or repairs are moved down on a buyer’s list.
  • The majority of homes sold were of the pre-owned variety.
  • Buyers are paying, on average, 98% of the asking price.
  • A typical home was 1,850 square feet (smaller in Hawai`i, for sure).
  • Buyers searching on-line actually took much longer to buy.
  • Most used an agent with only 5% buying directly from the owner or builder.
  • Buyers generally used financing.
  • Sellers sell to be closer to family, because their home is too small, or for job relocation.
  • Most homes were listed on the Multiple Listing Service (MLS).
  • Listed homes typically sold for 99% of the listed price.
  • Buyers and sellers typically use the first agent they speak to.
  • “DITY” (do it yourself, owners selling themselves) sell for less than listed homes…by quite a bit ($200,000 vs $280,000 for a listed home). The fact that their homes sell faster can be attributed to a lower asking price and the fact they often sell to someone they know.
  • Many buyers fear the process because they think they can’t qualify. Nonetheless, 75% want to buy.

At the Local Level…

This was all pre-COVID, of course. Fast forward and zoom in our local market, where activity is reaching new highs. We started COVID very flat. Our statistician, Danny Kraus, tracks sales and homes going under contract on a bi-weekly basis. Mid Aug, there were 282 homes moving to close. Two weeks later, this number eclipsed 300 homes! This is up from 200 on Jun 1st.

More and more buyers are willing to buy site-unseen. I have one home under contract where neither buyer nor their agent have personally visited the property!

VA loan numbers are soaring. Rates on these loans are trending lower than conventional rates and lenders seem to be bending over backward to accommodate our Vets.

Inventory is extremely low. It makes sense that sellers are staying put here in Hawai`i where they feel safer. As mentioned earlier, buyers have learned to work from home and are migrating from in-town condos to the suburbs. Logically, the condo market is one segment where we are seeing increased inventory and some price softening (mostly O`ahu).

Online Meet-Up

During this week’s Real Estate Wine’d Down, not only were we introduced to a great wine from Ryan Kadota of Kadota Liquors, we were fortunate to learn the rules related to (especially) agricultural exemptions. Keita Jo from the County of Hi Real Property Tax office explained the rules and differences related to our agricultural properties. Be sure to watch the recap by Kealohanui Browning or email us to watch the entire presentation.

h3>Best of East Hawai`i

Lastly, thank you so very much for voting us among the Best in East Hawai`i again this year! We look forward to seeing you all and thanking you in person very soon! Until then, stay safe!

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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September 11, 2020

Interesting facts…
Buyers are paying 98% of the asking price but listed homes are selling for 99% of the listed price? Who pays the 1% difference?
DITY homes (I think you mean DIY?) sell for less, which could be read as a bad thing-But is it? Sure they might be selling to a friend or family but they are also passing on the savings of not paying Realtor fees to the buyer.
There definitely are benefits to having a realtor work with you when buying and selling a property, but in a hot market, sometime all you need is ‘traffic’ and a sign.

Denise Nakanishi, R(B)

September 13, 2020

> Great points Marcel, those are all factors to consider when selling a home.

Mahalo for reading and commenting!

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