Real estate bidding wars driving up home prices

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HONOLULU (KHON2) — The median price of a single family home on Oahu is just shy of a $1 million, but realtors said the bidding war is going strong. It is not expected to ease any time soon.

There are more potential home buyers in the market right now, than there are houses for sale. This demand is driving up bids, many times home sell above the asking price.

Hawaii Living LLC Realtor Associate Tracy Yamato said homes are selling quicker and for more. Yamato is about to close on a nearly 800 square feet condo on the end of Kakaako with an asking price of $599,000, although the final price will be more.

“Well we got a couple offers immediately,” Yamato said. “Of course all of the agents asked how much above do I need to go, but I can’t say that, I have to be fair, right? So, I say ‘Give it your best shot. You have one shot. You won’t have a second chance.'”

The Honolulu Board of Realtors said the median price for a single family home set a new record last month, averaging $979,000. The median price for a condo also increased to $460,000.

“We’re seeing very little inventory in the $600,000 to just under a million price range,” Honolulu Board of Realtors President Shannon Heaven said. “Which is probably the most important price range we probably have to be able to facilitate people to get into homes.”

Although Yamato said the high prices should come with context. This time last year, real estate took a hit with the pandemic. A year later the market is much healthier.

“Any sales reported in May or June of 2020, was the absolute low point of the pause,” Yamato said. “So a year later, we’re already been an increasingly active market since then for 10, 12 months.”

Although first time home buyers are not expected to buy a near one million dollar home right off the bat.

Keller Williams Realtor Associate James Taylor said there is plenty of opportunity on west Oahu.

“West side has tons to offer,” Taylor said. “Even some central Mililani, Wahiawa, you can find some real nice properties, condo townhouses, even some single families.”

Taylor just listed a three-bedroom in Waianae going for $619,000, but with current market conditions, a bidding war is to be expected.

Taylor said, “I would say get a good lender. Your good lender is going to scratch out every ounce of what they can get for you.” 

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