The economy is reopening, but many people are still financially struggling. According to a recent report, the Honolulu Board of Realtors (HBR) noted that 38% of tenants were unable to pay rent in June.
To further get a deeper look at our economy, Hawaii's Department of Labor and Industrial Relations has issued more than $1.7 billion in unemployment insurance benefits since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. When it comes to unemployment, more than one out of five people in Hawaii are without work.
Where does this lead us? If you are looking to buy a sell, I will not be surprised if you decided to kick the can down the road. Recent statistics from HBR have shown that closed sales have declined during the pandemic month. However, homes are still selling.
I have personally closed on two properties last week -- both were condos. One property was a townhome in Newtown and the other was a high-rise in Hawaii Kai. More so, Greg and I just listed two properties too. Surprisingly, both properties have received interest from prospective buyers.
Kicking the can down the road is an option. Every person's situation is unique and that strategy might work. However, our real estate market has been resilient.
For example, Koa Ridge is now accepting lottery applications for their first round of homes. Second, Hoopili is still being built out. If sales were slow, maybe some developers might pause their projects.
If you are looking to buy, it is critical you evaluate your employment situation. If your employment is steady, it might be good to take advantage of our historically low mortgage rates. Take the cheap money and lever up because we might not see rates again. More so, as you are looking to buy, it might be wise to purchase a home that you can plant roots in. Since our housing market is quirky, you should not assume that prices will immediately boom again.
Let me know if you have any questions.