Big Island

Meet Me on Monday

Not only are things changing daily, there’s never enough room here to even cover the basics. For that reason, Team Nakanishi is now offering an opportunity to interact with us directly. We call it Wine’d Down. I call it “anything but corona.” I actually love the beer; the virus, not so much! Our inaugural Zoom meeting began on Monday, April 27. The intention was to work out glitches prior to this formal announcement. Sun Tsu said, “in the midst of chaos, there is opportunity.” This theme seemed even more appropriate considering the initial Zoom security glitch we experienced. Yikes! Nonetheless, there was still lots to cover. Here’s a synopsis of the valuable information discussed. 

Shop Local

Right now, it seems appropriate to showcase local companies who have adjusted their business model to accommodate our stay at home adventure. Geanna Short from Aloha Mondays shared that while they previously focused on catering, their creative menu is now available for both take-out and delivery (Hilo lunch orders $75; small surcharge for outlying areas).

Mortgage Update

Len Pagan from Academy Mortgage shared current adjustments in lending. Some loans (VA/FHA) are seeing sub 4% rates, the rest slightly higher. Credit score requirements have inched up to 660, up from the traditional 640. Borrowers with scores under 580 probably have few choices. Apply anyway so that you can make a plan to move forward when the time is right. Lower credit score borrowers can expect to pay more points. Purchases are being put ahead of refinances. 

Market Update

A look at the market activity shows 4 sales closing in Hilo the week of 4/6, 9 the week of 4/12, and 6 the week of 4/19. We saw about 37 homes under contract each of those weeks. This means that new escrows are being opened to refill the sales funnel each week. In Hawaiian Paradise Park, 7 homes sold the week of 4/6, 5 the next week, and 7 the week of 4/19. Contingent properties held steady and even bumped up by 7 the week of 4/19. Most telling was that prices (as predicted) seem to be consistent with local buyer affordability. Pricing appears to be holding steady so far. While there is still good inventory, many properties have been pulled from the market or are being held off the market for now. Expect a flood of new inventory once things improve. This will likely create a supply and demand shift. 

Traditionally, Hilo buyers are end users (plan to live in the home) while buyers in HPP are a mix. While the stock market seems to be steady this week, during turbulent times, investors often move their money to hard assets like real estate. We aren’t seeing this yet. If it happens, an additional buyer pool will be competing with local buyers. One interesting trend noted nationally is the move away from the city core that has been happening over the last decade (Read: Zillow Talk.) It makes perfect sense. We are all gun shy about living in crowded areas right now. Again, this trend may create more competition for affordable Hawai`i properties like those on the East Side of Hawai`i Island.

Join Us!

Every Monday at 3 p.m. we’ll talk about current real estate trends over a glass of wine (optional). Ready to Wine’d Down with us? Please email me to receive your Zoom invitation. See…out of room again…lots to talk about!

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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