May 2010

Found 11 blog entries for May 2010.

Great news for Honolulu!  Honolulu is the #31 City in the World and #1 in America for quality of living!

While Vienna has the top spot the world’s best quality of living, according to the Mercer 2010 Quality of Living Survey. Zurich and Geneva follow in second and third position.

Mercer conducts the ranking to help governments and multi-national companies compensate employees fairly when placing them on international assignments. The rankings are based on a point-scoring index, which sees Vienna score 108.6 and Baghdad 14.7. Cities are ranked against New York as the base city, with an index score of 100.honolulu_400

This year’s ranking also ranks the cities with the best eco-ranking based on water availability and drinkability, waste removal,

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"How's the real estate market?"  It's usually one of the first questions that poeple ask me.  

They want my perspective on the direction of Hawaii real estate prices, sales activity, and mostly, they want to know whether they should buy or sell right now. diamond_head_real_estate_572

But how does one determine which way the market is going?  Conventional wisdom says to look primarily at three factors. 1) The number of sales, 2) The median prices of those sales, and 3) The number of homes listed for sale.  

The Honolulu Board of Realtors has gone to great lengths over the years to take those three numbers and drill them down by month, by year, by neighborhood, by region, and by any other division you can think up. 

But which numbers really tell us what direction the market

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Via Star Bulletin:  After a school year cut short by 17 Furlough Fridays, public school head into next year with a complete academic calendar again.  "The furloughs are over," Governor Linda Lingle declared yesterday at a news conference.

The Hawaii State Teachers Association, the Department of Education and Board of Education reached a supplemental agreement in March to a contract that restored all furlough days. It was contingent on the Legislature approving the funds and Lingle releasing the money.

Lawmakers set aside $67 million from the Hawaii Hurricane Relief Fund to fund the agreement.  Additionally, $2.2 million in federal stimulus funds is being allotted to cover charter schools.

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This morning a client of mine closed on the sale of his beautiful condo at Mott Smith Laniloa in Makiki.  It was on the market for 2 days and received a full price offer of $650,000.   makiki condo

Mott Smith is an Ocean view condo building in a beautiful part of Makiki, and this unit has parking for 4 cars. It's one of Honolulu's best buildings, building tennis courts, pool, hot tub, full time security, BBQ and recreation areas. Check out the nice view to the right.

I could make various observations and judgements about the real estate market right now, but I think the numbers speak for themselves. 

Congrats to my clients on the sale of their condo! 

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Hawaii's economy will continue to benefit from TV filming, as CBS is remaking the original “Hawaii Five-O” TV series, according to several reports by Hollywood trade publications Monday.  Just like the classic cop drama that ran from 1968 to 1980, the new one will be filmed entirely in Hawaii.

It stars Australian actor Alex O’Loughlin as detective Steve McGarrett and “Lost” alumnus Daniel Dae Kim as Chin Ho Kelly. The cast also includes Scott Caan from “Oceans Eleven” as detective Danny Williams, “Battlestar Galactica” alum Grace Park as Kona Kalakaua, and actress Jean Smart of “24” and “Samantha Who” as Gov. Pat Jameson.

CBS announced officially its big prime-time line up for the coming season, which includes five new

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For the last couple years, people have been asking me what is going on with Moana Pacific, a highrise in town that seems to have been under construction forever.  Back in 2008, the building was stopped when the developer lost their funding.  So it just sat there, empty.

Well, good news, work on the partially built Moana Pacific will now start again, with a new name: Pacifica Honolulu.  Located at 1009 Kapi'olani Blvd, the developer has a new construction loan, announced Tuesday. 

They will employ 400 workers until work is completed in 2011-2012.  San Diego-based OliverMcMillan acquired the stalled project in October. 

Units range in size from 661 to 1,811 square feet. Prices range from $385,000 to $1.2 million.

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From the Advertiser: The state Public Utilities Commission approved a power purchase agreement on Wednesday between Hawaiian Electric Co. and the developer of a Kahuku wind farm project, described as the largest of its kind on O'ahu.

The facility, which could begin operating in early 2011, would generate enough electricity to power 7,700 homes.

The agreement between HECO and Kahuku Wind Power, a subsidiary of Massachusetts-based First Wind, calls for HECO to purchase 30 megawatts that will be produced by 12 wind turbines in Kahuku. HECO will pay 19.9 cents per kilowatt hour as part of a 20-year agreement with First Wind, said Darren Pai, HECO spokesman.

A typical residential bill on O'ahu this month is $158.20 based on 600 kilowatt hours of usage, Pai

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Many people don't realize that you cannot deduct losses from a rental property unless you can meet one of the criteria in these seven tests below. Many real estate investors meet the "materially" participating rule by one or more of the first three tests, but any of the 7 will do:

1. Managing and operating the rental real estate activity for more than 500 hours during the year; or

2. Doing substantially all the work required to manage and operate the rental real estate during the year (probably more than 70% of the total business hours are performed by the landlord); or

3. Working more than 100 hours during the year with no one (including nonowner employees and independent property managers) participating more than the landlord [Reg. §1.469-5T

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From The Advertiser: "Revenue per available room, or "revpar," rose to $122.43 in March from $119.21 a year earlier, according to a report released today by Hospitality Advisors and Smith Travel Research."

"After 24 consecutive months of room revenue losses, the rise in monthly occupancy during March was finally able to outpace room discounting for a modest revenue gain," said Joseph Toy, president and chief executive officer of Hospitality Advisors LLC, a local travel industry consulting firm.

Statewide, hotel room occupancy rose to 70.6 percent in March from 65.2 percent a year earlier. Occupancy has increased in six out of the past seven months due in part to discounting.

Nationally, Hawai'i's 70.6 percent March occupancy rate was the third…
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I was suprised to see this article in Pacific Business News today, which said that Maui real estate sales jumped in April, up four times over the number of sales a year ago.

158 Maui and Molokai condos sold last month, nearly four times the 41 units that sold in April 2009.  The median price of a condo also rose to $455,000, up 11 percent over $410,000 in April 2009. The developer sales at Honua Kai, which ranged from 573,300 to $4.5 million also influenced prices, the Realtors association said.

Single-family home sales for Maui County jumped 76 percent to 88 houses sold, up from 50 in April 2009. The median price of a single-family home fell, however, to $477,500, down 4 percent from $497,000 in April 2009.

Good news for the neighbor

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