The Time to Buy?

I have a great real estate agent that I keep in touch with in Beverly Hills and, by all accounts, she is reporting that the market continues to rise in her market, albeit at a slower pace than we saw in 2021, but still in an upwards direction. The theme that seems to be a national headline in real estate is something along the lines of “Inventory is low, demand is high, and causing headaches for buyers and investors!”

Conventional Loan Limit Increased

Similarly in Hawaii we see more buyers than sellers which translates still to a frenetic market with low inventory.  Lenders will tell you the market is normalizing. Conventional loan limit in Hawaii increased to $970,800, still affordable if you are financing your purchase, rates remain great for buyers to buy into Hawaii at this time, the expectation being rates will hike.

Geopolitical issues are creating extreme volatility with rates, happening multiple times a day versus a regular “normal” market which would be set daily. We’ve had historically low rates for a long time, and lenders report they are seeing the shift back to purchase-focused over refinancing loans as rates rise.

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Lifting COVID Restrictions

Mainland activity acts as a gauge by which to compare what is happening in Maui, possibly magnifying Maui being highly sought after in the COVID era as a preferred location to live, Hawaii fared better than most US states, remote work boosted buying urgency in Maui in a COVID era. Just announced, Hawaii will lift its indoor mask mandate as pandemic recedes.

The expectation is that we are going to be seeing a spike in tourism this summer. Travel restrictions to Hawaii after lifting — Safe Travels Hawaii is going away — and in turn we expect an unprecedented number of visitors and buyers to return to the islands. Statistics show that last year’s influx of mainland buyers has fueled price increases across the state. This summer, Hawaii will also see the return of international travelers.

Maui Real Estate Market

There is an inventory downturn in 2022 but the pace of the market is as strong as 2021. The high end is inflating the median price where we have seen the market slow. In my opinion based on all the evidence before me, downturn or slowdown, or escalation in the market, the right time to own in Maui is when it is right for you.

Here’s the latest data from Realtors Association of Maui which in summary highlights “Inventory was at an all-time low of 860,000 as February began, down 17% from a year ago and equivalent to 1.6 months supply. According to Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist at the National Association of REALTORS®, much of the current housing supply is concentrated at the upper end of the market, where inventory is increasing, while homes priced at the lower end of the market are quickly disappearing, leaving many first-time buyers behind. The shortage of homes is boosting demand even further, and with bidding wars common in many markets, it’s no surprise sales prices continue to soar.”

Click here for the full report.

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