Aloha Tony's Oahu Real Estate Blog

People often ask me about remodeling in Hawaii. Is it hard to find a good contractor? Yes.  Are materials and labor more expensive?  Yes. But you can do it and you should. I've done several remodels now, and this one is my favorite.  

A couple years ago I bought a foreclosed home on the North Shore from a bank.  The process of buying it was a crazy ordeal that took over a year to complete, dealing with title problems and termites.  But once I finally closed on the purchase, the real work began.  This is what the front of the house originally looked like. The trees and grass were overgrown, and the carport had a very plane look to it. 

Original Front of HouseWe removed the center post in the carport, added a nice door and some wood to give it a board and batten look, and

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     As I'm looking at the statistics that just came out from the Honolulu Board of Realtors, I'm laughing! Mainly because at the beginning of the year I actually thought that maybe the market may start to slow down in 2016 (see my article from March 2016 below in the blogs)... Boy, was I wrong!

      Not only did our market continue to soar in 2016, but December was the 2nd highest month for # of sales. December is usually a bit slower as expected with the Holiday's.

 

     The median home price for Oahu went up from $700K to $735K. And the median condo price went up from $360K to $390K respectively. The Honolulu Board of Realtors calls this "stable". The average days on market for both SFH and condo's went down (that's a good thing) to 18

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Buyers this past summer got a great deal on their loans, with interest rates at around 3.5%. Since then, rates have shot up from 3.5% to 4.5%. How are interest rates priced anyway? And what do rising interest rates mean for the housing market and the economy overall? Should anyone still consider buying a home right now?   

Pricing interest rates 

Let's start with the first question: how are interest rates priced? Economics writer Paul Solman offers some insight:


Think of a market interest rate as the sum of three separate factors: waiting, repayment risk, and inflation.

1. First, waiting — also known as the time value of money. Imagine an inflation-free environment, such as today’s. Which would you take: a thousand dollars today or a

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     As most of you know, Pantone, Benjamin Moore and Sherwin Williams each year, pick a "Color of the year" that influences trends for interior design and fashion. Following these color trends can be very risky if you plan on selling your home within the year... This year Pantone has picked a color called "Greenery." Its a very vibrant, yet not neon green. I might even call it Spring Green. It's pretty in small doses (pillows, throw blankets, or other decor), a wall of this color may be a bit overpowering though, and only appeal to a small number of buyers

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     Benjamin Moore has picked "Shadow 2117-30" as their color of the year for 2017. It's a VERY dark navy blue with some shades of purple in it. It's a beautiful color for a dress, a men's

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        Artist Rendering for new development on Kapiolani 

       A Los Angeles based development company (Salem Partners) recently filed a sewer connection application for the "Heald College Plaza Development" block of 1470, 1488, and 1500 Kapiolani Blvd. to build a 500 unit, high rise condo-hotel building which would be just adjacent to Walgreen's and across from Ala Moana Center.

      The building, once completed will consist of 301 studio, 122 one bedroom, 71 two bedroom, and 6 three bedroom units.

      They will be using locally based engineering and planning firms and also have other building in the works near the convention center.

      As soon as I have more information about purchase price and pre-sales, I'll add it to this blog.

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  Our sellers did a killer job on renovations to this already valuable piece of property in Mililani Mauka. Thanks in large part to their hard work, we were able to go into escrow today after just 4 days on the market!        Some of their upgrades include all new flooring throughout, a wide open kitchen with brand new cabinetry, granite countertops, and all new appliances; fresh paint on the interior and exterior; and a brand new washer and dryer.      This two-story home on a corner lot has 4 bedrooms, 3 full baths, and a flat and grassy back yard.      Mililani Mauka was developed about 20 years after Mililani Town, on the other side of Interstate H-2. "Mililani" literally means "heavenly caress"…
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      It seems that prices are still continuing to rise in the residential housing market here. As we begin to come upon the "busy season" of sales, there are some interesting trends to note as we compare last years statistics to this years.

    The median home price for single family homes has risen again to $725,000 from last years $700,000. That's a 3.6% rise. Last year at this time the median home price had risen 7.2% from the previous year....could we finally be slowing down? The end of the year statistics will show us a better picture, so stay tuned for that in the months to come.

    The median home price for condo/townhome's also rose to $385,000 from $380,000, respectively. That's only a 1.3% increase from last year, compared to the rise of

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Hawaii’s hottest summer and coldest winter coincide with all-time highs in Oahu median home prices. Maybe it’s time we talk about the weather.

Research suggests that Hawaii's unusual temperatures last year may have been a factor in driving up Oahu home prices.

Last September, two Hawaii cities reported the highest summer temperatures in over 100 years. "It really is significantly warmer than what we typically have," said meteorologist Chris Brenchley. He added that, once humidity was factored in, "We started to see those heat index values in the high 90's, even in the triple digits."

That month, the median home price in Honolulu reached a historical new high of $730K.

Then in January of 2016, the National Weather Service reported the lowest

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Would Hawaii real estate be so expensive if not for foreign investors?

Probably not. Consider these facts:

The average sale price of homes sold to foreign buyers from 2008 to 2015 was $785,604 and the average sales price for mainlanders was $630,390. By comparison, the average sale price of homes sold to local buyers over the same period was $478,189.

So foreign buyers on average have spent 65% more than local buyers, while U.S. Mainland buyers have spent 32% more than local buyers. Also worthy of note is the quantity of homes being acquired: more than a quarter of homes sold in Hawaii are purchased by non-Hawaii residents. On neighbor islands, nearly half the homes are swept up by out-of-state investors

These and other findings were

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New loan regulations may have had a negative impact on the U.S. real estate market, but national figures differ noticeably from the very resilient Oahu real estate market.

Reuters reported last month that “U.S. home resales posted their sharpest drop in five years in November,” a 10.5% drop from October 2015. While some may see this is a potential warning sign for the health of the U.S. economy (especially after last week’s stock market plunge), NAR economist Lawrence Yun suggests that new regulations on paperwork for home purchases may have driven the decline.

What new regulations?

If you’ve been looking into real estate recently, you may have seen the acronym T.R.I.D. TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosure Rule Implementation (TRID) went into effect

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