January 5, 2011

Ko Olina real estate market update & outlook

The Ko Olina real estate market, found on the North Shore of the island of Oahu, saw some signs of weakness even as the overall forecast for the state’s housing market began to improve. According to statistics compiled by the Honolulu Board of Realtors, there were fewer single-family homes purchased in the month of November 2010 compared to year-ago levels. There were a total of 245 single family properties sold in the most recent tracking period, while 258 were sold in November 2009, representing a decrease of approximately five percent. The elevated quantity of home sales in November of last year can be partially attributed to the federal housing tax credit, which expired at the same time last year. According to a report from Pacific Business News, the average sales price of an Oahu single-family home was $585,000, representing a decline of approximately five thousand dollars from the same time last year. Condominium sales saw a similar scenario, with the median price increasing and sales volume decreasing. In November, there were a total of 303 condos sold, while there were 402 sold in November 2009. The median price for condominiums rose from $310,500 in 2009 to $315,000 in 2010.

However, the outlook for the next few months is cautiously optimistic, according to a forecast by the Hawaii Association of Realtors. The outlook, which was published in Pacific Business News, indicated that higher interest rates and fewer houses on the market may point towards a seller’s market in the upcoming year. Experts expect the interest rate to rise above five percent in 2011, while the local housing inventory remains low. Similarly, unemployment on the island of Oahu, including Ko Olina, is quite low compared to national levels at 5.4 percent. As interest rates rise, it is possible that potential buyers who have been on the fence will make the decision to purchase a property in the upcoming months. Ko Olina’s economic success is heavily dependent on the tourist industry, which suggests that the region’s real estate might improve as the state’s most important economic driver also improves.

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