Market FAQs During Covid-19
- Market FAQs
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Q: How has the pandemic impacted home listings and sales in Hawaii?
There was definitely a slowdown in the spring of 2020, but the Hawaii real estate market is now busier than ever before. Due to travel restrictions, there are naturally fewer buyers in the market because most foreign travelers are not permitted to travel to Hawaii yet. Obviously, fewer travelers = fewer homebuyers. However, U.S. residents have been able to return under the State of Hawaii’s Pre-Travel Testing program, implemented in mid-October, 2020.
For safety reasons, our agents are not conducting open houses, though we have been able to resume socially distanced home showings using all necessary precautions. Masks are mandated, with slightly different rules by county and by island.
Q: Can foreign buyers purchase property in Hawaii right now?
Yes. Although Hawaii’s State Senate has put forth a bill that could radically restrict foreign purchases. That bill has not yet been voted on by the full house or ratified into law. If a foreign buyer is intent on purchasing in Hawaii, there really couldn’t be a more critical and urgent time than now.
Q: What are some Hawaii real estate investment strategies right now?
While this is a broad question, our view is that you have to want the real estate more than the money. Real estate may seem to some to be inherently more valuable, especially after the considerations surrounding the pandemic that spurred very real considerations of “value.” All assets run the risk of rapidly being devalued, but real estate carries with it very internal and tangible values that cash, stocks and equities simply can’t provide.
Investment strategies depend on your current goals, portfolio and situation. Of course, we recommend consulting your CPA and/or financial advisors when considering anything as a true “investment.” But let’s face it – there are almost always personal reasons involved in the purchase of real estate in Hawaii.
Q: Is this a good time to buy a (second or vacation) home in Hawaii?
Yes, but you need to act quickly and decisively. The market is booming and the best inventory gets purchased quickly. There will be continued pressure on vacation rentals in 2021 related to Covid-19 and the ongoing housing shortages in Hawaii, so it’s unwise to plan on vacation rental income as a means of affording a second home. For true second home end users, however, there continue to be excellent buying opportunities.
Q: How does Hawaii Life expect the real estate market to change and evolve for the balance of 2021?
Listings returned to the market, and trading volume picked up considerably beginning in early July of 2020, and it hasn’t slowed down since then. Inventory is low, however, as mainland buyers and local residents are taking advantage of low interest rates and reduced buyer competition from foreign markets.
Q: Where can I find market updates and market information?
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