Big Island

Is It a Buyer’s Market on the Big Island?

The real estate market on the Big Island of Hawaii is always a topic of great interest, whether you’re a potential buyer, seller, or just a curious observer. One question often arises: “Is it a buyer’s market on the Big Island?” In this blog, we’ll delve into the current market conditions, factors influencing the market, and what this means for potential buyers and sellers.

Understanding a Buyer’s Market

Firstly, let’s define a buyer’s market. A buyer’s market occurs when more properties are available than buyers are looking to purchase. This inventory surplus typically leads to lower prices and more negotiation power for buyers. Conversely, a seller’s market is characterized by high demand and low inventory, increasing prices and giving sellers the upper hand.

yellow two story home on big island hawaii

Current Market Conditions on the Big Island

As you know, since COVID-19, Hawaii has had a tremendous amount of interest from buyers. We have had the lowest number of homes and condos for sale in decades. These two factors have driven prices up tremendously. The real estate market slowed down last year (2023) primarily because of interest rates and buyers feeling prices would decrease, so many chose to wait in the shadows. As many found, prices did not fall on the island. In 2024, we saw quite a significant increase in home prices from 5% to 25%.

Starting on December 20, 2023, I started to see a change in the Big Island’s real estate market, with an increase in homes and condos listed for sale. This trend has continued on the Big Island, and many other islands are seeing this increase as well. At this moment, it’s too soon to say we are in a buyer’s market overall. Yet if you dive down into super hyper-local markets, you will find specific areas on the island are a buyer’s market.

Several factors contribute to this assessment:

  1. Increased Inventory

Recent data indicates an increase in the number of homes available for sale on the Big Island. This rise in inventory gives buyers more options, which can lead to more competitive pricing and better deals.

  1. Stabilizing Prices

After a period of rapid price increases, home prices on the Big Island have begun to stabilize, and we are starting to see homes and condos stay on the market for longer periods. This stabilization can be attributed to increased inventory and a slight cooling in demand. For buyers, this means that the frantic bidding wars of previous years may be less common, and there’s more room for negotiation. However, caution is still advised; large bidding wars are still occurring. An example was recently when a single-family home in Kona was put on sale for under $900,000  and received 23 offers within a couple of days.

3. Economic Factors

Like many others, Hawaii’s economy has faced challenges due to global economic conditions. Rising interest rates and inflation concerns have impacted buyer affordability, leading to a more balanced market. According to an article by the Hawaii Tribune-Herald, tourism is down by 28% from 2023. Additionally, some potential buyers are taking a more cautious approach, further easing competitive pressure.

covered lanai seating at big island condo

  1. Local Market Trends

Local market trends also play a crucial role. Certain areas of the Big Island may experience different conditions. For instance, the Kona coast might have a different market dynamic than Hilo or the more rural areas. Understanding these local nuances is vital for buyers looking to make informed decisions. At a time when the market is shifting, knowing which local communities are a seller’s market or a buyer’s market will help you make the right move with your purchase.

In conclusion, the Big Island is experiencing a more stable real estate market, which may lead to a buyer’s market. With increased inventory, stabilizing prices, and more negotiation power, it’s an opportune time to explore the real estate market. By working with a local agent, securing pre-approval, and staying informed, you can make the most of this market and find your dream home on the beautiful Big Island of Hawaii.

For more information and personalized advice, contact our experienced team of real estate professionals. We’re here to help you navigate the market and find the perfect property to suit your needs.

With aloha, Leeana

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