Corcoran Pacific Properties is pleased to present a closer look at the luxury real estate market in Hawaii, which includes a detailed statistical analysis of Oahu, the Island of Hawaii, Maui, and Kauai for February 2023.
In last month’s review Gregg Antonsen, SVP of Corcoran Pacific Properties, stated that he foresees “Hawaii will see an uptick of inventory this spring together with a slower but more even-paced market for luxury real estate.”
Antonsen also shared that “Hawaii remains an aspirational market to high-end buyers, who are not just seeking an investment property but a location that offers adventure and lifestyle experiences which are more important decision-makers than if mortgage rates increase or not.”
Looking at February’s figures, we can indeed see the start of that prediction unfold. Overall, the number of luxury sales across the Hawaiian Islands has increased by 28.8% (52 to 67) for single-family homes and 23.7% (80 to 99) for attached properties compared to January 2023.
Inventory levels at the end of February saw small declines compared to January figures of -3% (517 to 502) for single-family and -1.6% (672 to 661) for attached properties. In comparison to median sold prices, year-over-year prices have trended up 14% compared to February 2022 for single-family properties and fallen for attached properties by -3%. But, after accounting for monthly variables, it is still more realistic to state that prices remain stable.
While these indicators reinforce that the market is potentially on the move again, many realtors are hoping for inventory levels to rise as we move into spring and for listings that were over-priced to be relisted closer to current market values, thereby opening up further opportunities for buyers.
The buyer demographic in this segment of the market is shifting once more back to secondary home and vacation buyers. The last few years saw a significant increase in the number of affluent moving full-time to Hawaii, but while these are still plentiful, especially for those able to work remotely, demand is returning to pre-pandemic norms for buyers.
After record-breaking sales transaction volume in 2021 & 2022, demand remains relatively strong for real estate in destination markets throughout the Western US, Hawaii being no exception, with activity in the lower-priced luxury brackets experiencing significant increases in sales. In the upper tier of the market, sales have fallen, but equally low inventory levels and over-pricing are preventing the number of sales rather than the demand from declining.
As in all markets, there are always opportunities and challenges for buyers and sellers for certain property locations, types, and price points. The opportunity to work closely with a real estate expert familiar with local trends is the best resource to navigate the specific and varied markets found within the Hawaiian Islands.