Big Island

Gain First / Lost First? Big Island Market Update

Featured home: 15-958 Paradise Ala Kai Dr. Keaau, HI 96749

My Pops was a vertically challenged football player. Like I’ve mentioned before, he was built more like a chest freezer than an actual football player. My grandmother tipped the scale at over 300 lbs. I don’t have many skinny genes. I know all there is to know about gaining and losing. Specifically, I understand that where you gain first, you lose first. This is certainly the case in real estate…that is, in a normal market which we certainly haven’t had since May of 2018. 

The Skinny

Here’s what I see now. Almost across the board, there is still more demand than supply. In some segments (mostly Puna) demand numbers are off slightly because, for the most part, displaced homeowners are no longer in the mix. 

Today’s buyers are primarily either local, from O`ahu, or the mainland. Given the exaggerated TV reports regarding the lava flow last year, the fact that we have so many off-island buyers is surprising. Looking ahead into the Team Nakanishi pipeline, we see this trend continuing. Not reported here and relatively unexpected is the activity level in the Hawaiian Beaches area. 

Activity seems to have really picked up. For the first time in recent memory, there is not enough inventory to meet demand. Buyers in that market hover around the $200,000 price point. There were 19 sales, 13 homes are moving to close and 21 active listings. With recent inventory added at Volcano Golf Course, there seems to be an oversupply, but I expect this market to correct quickly.

Demand in Hilo has increased and demand far exceeding supply. The bottom line is that there’s no clear indication that any markets are losing steam just yet.

What About Me?

Don’t see your market or don’t have a computer? No problem. We’ll happily provide a custom report by email or snail mail if you provide your mailing address or email and TMK#. In the meantime, contact me if you need personal assistance!

About the Author

Denise Nakanishi

Denise Nakanishi is a REALTOR Broker with Hawai'i Life. Denise Nakanishi is one of Hilo's most acclaimed real estate agents. She reached the rank of Major in the US Army and is now known by many as "Major Mom." The nickname fits–not only does Denise bring the discipline and mission-oriented attitude you'd expect, she's also caring and compassionate, always looking out for her clients like they're her own family. Having made the Big Island her home since 1987, Denise combines her extensive knowledge of the area with a sharp focus on customer service and the results speak for themselves. She's the recent recipient of the Best East Hawai`i, Best of Zillow, Chairman's Circle Award, President's Circle, Top Producing Agent since 2001, and Realtor of the Year awards. Denise stays ahead of the curve because she's passionate about education–she served as Education Chair for Hawaii Island REALTORS® for many years. She's one of Big Island's best real estate resources, known for her weekly article in the Hawaii Tribune Herald. Denise leads Team Nakanishi for Hawai`i Life, who is committed to their family, work, and community. In her little time away from work, Denise is a committed runner and Grandy. She also devotes many hours to various Veterans' Organizations, the East Hawaii Cultural Center, and the Hawaii Island REALTORS®. You can email me at or via phone at (808) 936-5100.

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