Archive for January, 2009

“If I could get you a home for the same price as in July of 2004, would you be interested?”

What do we mean by 2004 prices? The median price of single family homes has changed very little since 2005. For simplicity, let’s say $600,000. Interest rates have dropped 2 points in the last 30 days or so. That is the same as a 20% drop in purchase price. That means you can now buy that $600,000 home for the equivalent of $480,000. The last time the single family home median price was $480,000 was in July of 2004.

So pick up the phone, and call me today at 808-728-1230 and let me know that you would like to get a home for the same price as in July of 2004, and we will get the process started….It has been nearly five years since we have had such buying opportunities…..I look forward to speaking with you soon…..Aloha, Jon.

O’ahu’s housing market ended 2008 on a surprise up note with a rise in the median sale price for previously owned single-family homes. The median rose 2.7 percent to $626,500 from a year earlier, according to the Honolulu Board of Realtors.

Though the gain was attributed to more sales in a few higher-priced neighborhoods boosting the islandwide median price, it was the first year-over-year growth for any month since October 2007.

Still, the full year recorded a 3 percent decline in the single-family home median price, and there is agreement between local economists and some top real estate brokers that buyers and sellers should anticipate prices will fall this year by a greater, but still moderate, amount.

The University of Hawai’i Economic Research Organization projects the median single-family home price will decline 5.2 percent this year, and 2.6 percent next year.

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Local brokerage firm Prudential Locations anticipates the median price could fall 6 to 10 percent by midyear. It notes that price movements, which vary by neighborhood, could be down more than 15 percent in some areas.

Nationally, the median single-family home price was on pace to drop 9.3 percent last year after slipping 1.4 percent in 2007, according to the National Association of Realtors.

“The Honolulu housing market shows remarkable price resiliency, even with the number of reduced sales,” Sandra “Sam” Bangerter, Honolulu Board of Realtors president, said in a statement.

Bangerter said some Mainland markets have had median price declines of 18 to 30 percent.

One positive trend for housing is interest rates that are falling and acting as a counterweight to poor consumer confidence that has deterred many people from buying property.

Prudential Locations in a recent report said reduced interest rates and other moves by the federal government to stimulate the national housing market could lead more people to buy homes, which increases demand that helps support prices.

“Such loan products would have a tremendous impact on the Hawai’i market, making forecasted price reductions less drastic,” Prudential said in its report.

Prudential also cited efforts to reduce foreclosures, which depress property prices, as another positive prospect for the local housing market this year.

Content provided by Andrew Gomes at agomes@honoluluadvertiser.com.