2021 Spring Buyers Have 50% Fewer Homes To Choose From

If you are a buyer struggling to find a home for sale in 2021, you are not alone. According to a recent commentary by Realtor.com, the national median list price in March increased to $370,000, a 15.6% jump compared to a year ago and an all-time high. By Hawaii standards, the national median is a drop in the bucket, but the same dynamics are at play — high demand and low inventory.

“Home prices have skyrocketed, shattering previous records,” said Danielle Hale, realtor.com®’s chief economist. “We expect to see more sellers emerge in the weeks ahead, which should give buyers more options. Homes will likely continue to sell fast, but increasing interest rates and monthly costs could slow the pace of price gains unless we see a boost in demand from equity-rich repeat buyers.”

Will Hawaii see a boost in demand?

Possibly, as we certainly have our share of equity-rich repeat buyers. But, as monthly costs go up, there will be some buyers who simply won’t qualify or who will step back and wait to see if prices soften.

In the meantime, home buyers currently in the market do appear to be in a hurry. They are trying to buy before any further increases in mortgage rates, which have moved above their sub-3% averages over recent weeks.

aerial view of oahu

The problem, of course, is finding a home.

According to Hale, “In many areas of the country, there are half as many available homes for sale than a year ago—and in some markets that number increases to less than one-third.”

Competition remains strong across the country for housing and in Hawaii. Especially in Hawaii. Bidding wars are common. Prices are escalating. And, simply put, there are just not enough homes for Buyers to choose from.

So, what’s in store?

According to NAR”s Economist, activity is expected to remain strong in 2021. We agree. So, stay in the game. Sharpen your pencil and be prepared to compete. Even though rates may be edging up, they are still at historical lows.

If you are lucky enough to snag a home, you’ll be among those who say, “Lucky we Own in Hawaii.”


Cherie Tsukamoto is a BIC, R, ABR, CRB, CRS, GRI, SRES, MRP with Hawai'i Life. You can email her at [email protected]