Hawaii Real Estate

Hawaii Real Estate Agents Report Unexpected Spike In Sales 

Catherine Pennell is a real estate agent representing Kauai for KW Kauai Keller Williams in Hawaii, who claims that the housing industry in Hawaii has been booming since April. Pennell says she’s fielding two to three phone calls everyday from people living in the United States looking to move to Hawaii. 

“I think people are saying, ‘Life is short.’ It’s a lot of talk because they’re not here yet and they can’t get here yet, but I’ve done more sight-unseen sales than I’ve ever done during the pandemic, three in the last three months.”

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Julie Peters is another real estate agent working for Island Boutique Realty on the island of Hawaii, who recently spoke with the press about how when wildfire season began in August she was fielding at least one call each day from residents of California looking for places on the island away from all the smoke and fire danger. 

Peters recalled how “one person wanted to come over immediately and rent in the meantime because she was so done with smoke. The last five closings I did were sight-unseen. I had rarely done that before.” This seems to be a major new pattern for Hawaii real estate, but also the industry in general. Buyers are more willing to invest in properties before seeing them either because they want an immediate escape from their current reality, or due to the Covid-19 pandemic making in-person viewings difficult in many areas of the country. 

She claims that a majority of her buyers this year have been from the Bay Area. According to Title Guaranty, which owns the largest real estate database in Hawaii, from January to June 2020, California residents bought $587.6 million worth property in Hawaii, making up 41% of total sales during that period coming from the U.S..

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“Demand for Hawaii is always there, but it’s just grown exponentially this year. A lot of people that were already looking toward retirement here sped it up, or people found out they could work from home. We got a rush of that and then the West Coast fires happened.”

Hawaii is also currently enduring a massive wave of new condos and other properties being placed on the market. In August 2020 new listings for condominiums went up by 97% when compared with the previous year. Single-family homes, on the other hand, are being bought at a much quicker rate. 

Cash offers have also been the most common form of payment, as those offers are more likely to go over the initial asking price. This influx in purchasing, however, doesn’t mean that the industry in Hawaii isn’t struggling like the rest of the world. Active listings were down by nearly 20% between April – August 2020 versus 2019. Honolulu County specifically saw an 18% decline while Maui County saw a 9% dip. 

West Coast buyers have increased exponentially as well as the concept of virtual listings/house tours. The pandemic, wildfires, and lack of active travel make it nearly impossible for buyers in the US to look at spaces in real life in Hawaii to move to. This new wave of blind buying is likely just the beginning of a new era of real estate in a post-pandemic world.

NYC Real Estate

Manhattan Real Estate Stronger Than During The Great Recession

According to a recent analysis by real estate market data firm UrbanDigs, the Manhattan real estate market is currently in much better shape than it was during the Great Recession. Like most industrys adjusting to pandemic life, however, the future is still very unclear and fearsome. 

The report claimed that there were much more sellers than buyers during the Great Recession but now, during the Covid-19 pandemic, that gap is much smaller. Noah Rosenblatt and John Walkup are the cofounders of UrbanDigs, and recently claimed that they believe this gap has lessened because the Great Recession was a strictly economic crisis in America while the coronavirus has halted every single aspect of life for everyone, regardless of socioeconomic status. 

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“The lack of sharp spikes in supply and a corresponding drop in demand suggests the market is not as one-sided as the Great Recession, although lingering virus fears will keep a lid on demand for the time being.”

The report heavily focused on comparing the supply and pending sales of the past six months with the first six months of the recession as well. They also focused on what’s known as the “market pulse,” which essentially is the ratio of pending sales to actual supply. A lower ratio number would reflect that there are more sellers than buyers. 

In September 2007, supply increased by 10% every quarter and pending sales were dropping at a rate of 30%, according to past analysis’. The 15 quarters that followed showed a steady increase in supply, and a major drop in pending sales; 50%, dropping the market pulse from 1 to .16. When the pandemic initially shut everything down in March, there was a major drop in pending sales, which boosted supply, however, it was nowhere nearly as quickly as it dropped in 2007. 

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The market pulse is currently at a .22, which has been expected due to a general pulse decline within the past five years in Manhattan; in late 2019 the pulse was at .3. Rosenblatt and Walkup noted that sellers today in the metropolitan are still facing the heaviest competition in nearly a decade due to the increase in properties available, and willingness from sellers to negotiate their pricing. “Clearly, the economic impact of the pandemic has yet to be fully tallied, but in the meantime, it appears that the market for Manhattan real estate is functional, just fearful.”

Overall, however, the two believe that comparing the state of the market now to what it was during the Great Recession is like comparing “apples to oranges.” While there may be many general similarities the differences fully outweigh them. There have been spikes in the unemployment rates during both events, however it’s broken major records within the past six months because the job losses are more sudden and frequent. The two do believe, however, that whenever this pandemic does come to an end unemployment will hopefully bounce back quickly, and the supply and demand of the market will follow. 

“NYC real estate and the economy, in general, are weighing other exogenous forces so with that in mind, certainly, there is more room for real estate to go down, but in the long run, the city will renew itself, even if the process might be bumpy.”

Industry workers believe now would be a great time to invest and negotiate in real estate if you are lucky enough to have that ability right now. They also believe that Manhattan hasn’t seen the absolute worst that the pandemic can do in regards to negatively impacting the market and sales, so like the rest of the country and its many industries, they’re taking every precaution currently imaginable to stay afloat.

Business Sales

How To Boost Your Business’s Holiday Sales

It’s always a happy holiday for retail businesses. Whether it’s a local boutique, or a major corporate chain, stores seem to flood with eager customers trying to cross off everyone on their shopping list. Businesses seem to thrive the most when it comes to holiday deals. As we grow older, the lists of gifts we need to buy seem to get longer and more expensive. So what can your business do in order to make your life, and your customers’ lives, the easiest during this holiday shopping season? 

Holiday marketing is extremely important for the success of any business regardless of the size of it, and in an age when technology is constantly advancing, a majority of that marketing is done online. Social media presence and an easy-to-navigate website are key in ensuring that your business remains successful, and also that people are able to find out about you. Especially if your business is at a local level, social media is the best way you can spread the word about your sales and deals to your customers and beyond. Additionally, if you have a website that allows for users to create an account or attach an email they’ll be able to stay more informed on everything going on within your business. 

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When it comes to the holidays, however, you should be going above and beyond with your online presence. An amazing way to generate online traffic and customer engagement is by adding a wish list feature to your website. A wish list will not only give your customers the flashback of what it was like to write letters to Santa, but also makes the shopping experience so much easier for both of you. 

Wish lists in general allow customers to curate all of the products that they want for themselves, or need to buy for others, and have it be in one place for when they’re ready to buy. They allow the buyer to take their time and not feel the pressure of a growing online cart looming over them while they shop. Wish lists typically stay saved for a customer regardless of if they leave the website or not; normally this feature means that customers need to create some sort of user account that will save the list for them, however, accounts in general are also another amazing way to ensure that your customers are staying informed and updated with your store. 

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If you do decide to add a wish list feature to your website, a crucial feature will be a “share” button that allows the customer to send their wish list to any of their friends or family. This feature will easily allow people to tell their loved ones what they’re looking to receive, or buy, making the entire shopping experience fairly simple. 

Wish lists are also extremely beneficial to the business itself. As the website’s admin, you’ll have access to every user’s wish list. This means you’ll be able to see the trends of what products customers are gravitating towards. Additionally, keeping the wish list feature active year round will give you an indication of seasonal shopping patterns and allow you to have a greater insight into what products are more in demand depending on the time of year. This information can be crucial for a business owner, as it indicates what supplies/products you may need to stock up on, depending on the time of year. 

Finally, another great feature that can be added to the wish list section of your website is a “recommendations” section. Depending on your website’s algorithm, this section can either show customers other products that your business carries that relates to what they put on their wish list that they might be interested in, or it could show users what products other customers are adding to their wish lists this holiday season. When shoppers see products that are popular, they’re more inclined to add them to their list, whether it be for themselves or as a gift. When it comes to gift giving this feature can be especially useful as it tells customers what products people are really loving that your loved ones may also enjoy. 

Making your online presence known is, in general, an amazing way to generate business. Adding on a special section for holiday wish lists not only makes the shopping experience that much easier all around, but also helps Santa know what everyone wants this year.