July 18, 2009

Hawaii Real Estate Market Update

Overall, Hawaii Real Estate has been in crisis for the last several months, although there are some bright spots in the Island market. For example, single family home sales increased on the island of Oahu by about nine percent since the same time last year. On the other hand, the sales of Oahu condos decreased by almost eighteen percent from the statistics reported in the year two thousand eight. There is some relief to be found in a comparison with other tropical and resort real estate markets, especially those found in California and Florida, which were hit even more strongly by the sub prime mortgage crisis and the subsequent nationwide economic downturn. Some of these markets saw their average sales and market values decline by nearly half, a situation much, much worse than that found in Hawaii.

Realtor Mike Gallagher compiled a comprehensive chart chronicling the progression of real estate prices between the end of June 2008 and June 2009. It revealed that the only large residential area that increased in average sale price during that one year period was Kapolei, which showed a fourteen percent increase in condominium sales. This is possibly because a number of first time home buyers have been targeting the Kapolei area in recent months and years. This can be attributed to efforts both by the City and County of Honolulu and the Federal Government, the first for attempting to make Kapolei the “Second City” of Hawaii, and the second for an eight thousand dollar tax stimulus for first time home buyers.

Foreclosures, however, have been a particularly sore spot in the Hawaii Real Estate. According to an article written by Allison Schaefers in the Honolulu Star Bulletin, foreclosures in Hawaii skyrocketed by a whopping four hundred and twenty seven percent. A California company, RealtyTrac, presented the figures, and also concluded that “total filings last month were more than five times higher than the prior year.” Taken together, this meant that the foreclosures in the Hawaii Real Estate Market made the Aloha State the nineteenth worst in terms of number of foreclosures for the past month.

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