Tough competition, soaring prices: No relief in sight for Hawaii’s housing market

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Published: Aug. 16, 2021 at 10:32 PM HST|Updated: Aug. 17, 2021 at 4:19 AM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Realtors say interest rates are historically low, which is driving many to shop for a new home. But with the demand so high there’s just not enough property to go around.

The demand for homes isn’t surprising to Realtor Tahiti Reed of Better Homes and Garden Advantage Realty.

“I call it the wild, wild west right now because there are people just submitting offers way above asking,” said Reed.

Just two days ago, Reed handed the Ramos Family the keys to their first home in Hawaii.

“It’s satisfying. It’s relieving, but it feels great,” said Jethro Ramos.

But getting to this point wasn’t easy as the Ramos family made multiple offers, which were all above the asking price.

“About 10 offers, stayed persistent, aggressive and we finally got the home that we wanted,” said Jethro.

“Well, it was definitely frustrating,” said Sierly Ramos. “It was discouraging at first because, you know, just hearing family stories, my sister stories, my friends, and you know, they’ve been searching for months or years.”

The Ramos Family closed on their new Ewa Beach Home at nearly 6% over the asking price.

According to the Honolulu Board of Realtors, more than 80% of the homes in Leeward and Central Oahu were sold above the asking price in July.

The board’s president, Shannon Heaven said there’s a high demand for properties on the west side.

“And probably just simply because that’s where a lot of demand is built up more buyers can afford that price range,” said Heaven. “I mean, me personally, I put in an offer for a client, and there were 60 other offers for that same property.”

Reed says some buyers are from the mainland, as Hawaii has become a popular remote working destination.

Making it an even more competitive housing market.

“Yeah, so a lot of people that come from the mainland, they’re having a larger down payment because they’ve already sold their home there so they’re putting all of that money down to make a purchase here.”

But Reed says there’s still a chance for residents to secure a home.

“We just have a flood of buyers that, you know, couldn’t qualify before, but now since the interest rates are very low, they can qualify,” said Reed. “So we have new buyers coming into the market.”

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