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Thinking of Buying or Selling a Home this Summer? Here's What You Need to Know

The summer homebuying season is here, and June is on track to be the hottest month of the year for Hawaii homebuyers and sellers.

“Hawaii’s real estate market is typically the most active between May and October,” said Chad Takesue, vice president of sales for Locations.

“When kids are out of school, families often have more time to look at homes. The summer is a good time to move into a new school district or closer to work,” Takesue added.

Inventory typically rises in the summer months, giving homebuyers more choices. This summer, housing inventory is higher than it has been, with nearly four Months of Remaining Inventory for both single-family homes and condos, an increase of 36 percent and 29 percent, respectively. This means that if no new listings became available, it would take 3.7 months for all single-family homes currently on the market to sell, and 3.9 months for all current condos listings to sell.

The last time there were this many single-family homes and condos for sale was a decade ago.

seasonalityOpportunities for buyers and sellers

“There is a huge opportunity for both buyers and sellers this summer,” Takesue explained. More homes for sale means more choices than in recent years.

After years of rising, home prices have stabilized this year. Interest rates have dropped, coming down from nearly five percent to around 4.07 percent. This combination makes for a very favorable market for buyers. Serious home sellers should prepare for the busy summer season by ensuring their properties show well and are priced appropriately for their neighborhood.

Days on Market — the number of days a home is on market before an offer is accepted — typically fall below the annual average from April to mid-September. Oahu homes sell faster in June than any other month, when Days on Market are 10 percent lower than average. Sellers will want to position their homes to sell within this time period.

Locations’ research also shows that as Days on Market decrease during summer peak months, sales numbers and median prices increase.

Tips for summer buyers

  • If you’re ready to buy a home, this summer is an opportune time, when the most choices are available and interest rates are relatively stable. The sooner you are able to become a homeowner, the sooner you will be able to start building long-term wealth. You’ll also have peace of mind knowing that your monthly housing costs will be stable. 
  • Don’t try to “time” the market, Takesue warns — it’s impossible to know when the market has hit a high or low until after the fact. 
  • Getting pre-approved for a loan will help you to stand out.
  • A knowledgeable REALTOR® can advise you on the market dynamics of a particular neighborhood or building.

Tips for summer sellers

  • Sellers will likely have more competition this summer: A fresh coat of paint and a deep cleaning can help your home shine. 
  • With more homes for sale in most neighborhoods, appropriate pricing will be key — if your home is overpriced, homebuyers will move on to the home down the block. 
  • An experienced REALTOR® can recommend home improvements, offer guidance on proper pricing and effectively market your home to buyers’ agents and their clients.

Finally, because each neighborhood and building is different, be sure to consult with a knowledgable REALTOR® when you're ready to buy or sell a home this summer.