Thursday, May 10, 2007

Is the Hawaii housing market becoming more "balanced"?

The Advertiser runs a sunny story on the good health of the housing market in Hawaii.

The number of O'ahu single-family home and condominium sales peaked in 2005 at 12,607. Sales dropped 17 percent to 10,421 last year, and have continued to decline this year but at a slower pace.

Homes that a couple of years ago spent a median 15 to 30 days on the market before selling have spent a median 40 to 70 days on the market this year.

Inventory, which dropped to roughly 1,700 units in mid-2005, has been around 4,000 this year.

Median prices, meanwhile, began to wobble late last year after doubling since 2001. This year through April, the single-family home median price is up just 1 percent to $630,000. The year-to-date median condo price is $322,000, up almost 6 percent compared with a 15 percent rise last year.

The article also touches on "lending challenges" created by the fallout from the subprime lending fiasco currently taking place on the Mainland.
"It has a tremendous effect," she said. "I find that more challenging than selling. I have the product, but it's the mortgage companies now providing the pressure."
The Hawaii housing product is unique, certainly, but this bubble was built on "creative financing" and "exotic mortgages".


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