Have you noticed a shift in the real estate market since COVID-19? I don’t mean a shift in sales volume or pricing, I mean a shift in how we work. A shift in what buyers want. Things have definitely changed since COVID. The pandemic has shifted the way we work and it has shifted the desires of buyers.
How Real Estate Business Has Changed
So, what are we seeing and what is different? For starters, virtual tours, social media, virtual closings, and sight unseen closings are becoming much more normative. Due to lack of inventory, people are making quick decisions and closings are getting shorter — in some cases less than two weeks from start to finish. Yes, the way we do business has changed and the speed at which we do it has changed. But, what’s most interesting is how much the mindset of buyers has changed.
Hawaii is Not Just a Vacation Destination
Buyers are coming to Hawaii, but no longer viewing our island state with vacation in mind. Rather, buyers are choosing Hawaii for lifestyle purposes. This is where they want to both work and play. People want to get back to nature. Tired of the city and the impact of COVID, many buyers are seeking a better lifestyle and a healthier place to raise their families.
Buyers also want turnkey properties. Homes that are move-in ready are attracting attention. A lot of attention! Not only do we see them flying off the market, but some of the buyers are purchasing them site unseen and moving straight into their new homes upon arrival to quarantine for the mandatory two weeks.
Buyers From the Mainland Favor Oahu
It also appears that many mainland buyers are opting for Oahu over the neighbor islands. It’s likely due to schools, hospitals, and quick and easy access to entertainment, shopping, and other desirable resources. There is speculation that luxury condos may lose some appeal as buyers opt for more space and privacy. Paying huge maintenance fees for condos when amenities are currently shut down, may also be a factor in buying decisions.
Though it will take time for our sales data to catch up with what we are experiencing (as well as hearing via the coconut wireless), suffice it to say that a change is in the air. A change in mindset and a change in behavior. COVID has changed the way we do business. And, it has changed people. It has changed where they want to live and how they want to live. Perhaps the expression, “Lucky we live Hawaii,” has never been truer or reverberated so loudly.