Market Trends

Welcome to 2019! Big Island Real Estate First Quarter Update

Wow! It just occurred to me that we are very close to completing two decades in this century! How did that happen?

Not Many Surprises Here

For those of us tracking such things, the answer is one quarter at a time. The first quarter of each year generally sees fewer homes change hands. Owner-occupant buyers normally want to close before the end of the year (4th quarter) to meet the deadline for their homestead exemption. This inflates 4th quarter numbers a bit and tends to cause a temporary decrease in Inventory.

Back on Track

Since the beginning of the year, most areas are showing a rebound in inventory. Ainaloa is the one place experiencing a substantial decrease in the number of homes for sale. Interestingly, this is an area where spec builders are quite busy. It makes perfect sense. Lots are affordable, roads are mostly paved, there’s all utilities (except county water), shopping is close by and it’s a lava zone three.

As expected, closed sales declined last quarter, the number of properties under contract (along with the median price) is up across the board except Nanawale, which remained basically unchanged.

The Price is Right

While pricing a home is normally based on historical data (sales), supply and demand is just as important in determining price direction. Continued demand tells me that prices are likely to continue to inch up. Trying to match property characteristics in order to find a proper price point can be daunting. All real estate is local. We have few “cookie cutter” neighborhoods.

When pricing, I also try to consider at what point buyers are likely to buy. That’s where the median price must be considered. Like pricing tennis shoes, there’s a point at which a consumer will not (or cannot) buy…no matter how nice the product.

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