Monday, January 19, 2009

HBR Economist Explains our Oahu Housing Market

According to Harvey Shapiro, research economist for the Honolulu Board of Realtors, the mainland housing prices have been dropping by double-digit percentage points, and some cities have dropped over 30 percent in just one year. But in Honolulu, our housing prices are stable.

"We're off about 25 percent from last year in terms of the number of sales, but prices have been pretty flat," Shapiro explained. "I know it's hard to believe, but we have very limited housing out here. And even with the small demand that we're seeing in the market now, the prices have been holding steady."

In the mid-1990's, prices decreased and we saw foreclosures and short sales, and then the market rose until its peak in 2005. "We had an over eight-year unprecedented growth in the Oahu housing market, and rates got so low in the early part of this decade that it fueled housing price increases," he stated. "Because we had such high demand for our housing and not that much housing available, the prices were bid up. That cycle ended in the third quarter of 2005, and since that time, our sales have dropped off," Shapiro continued. "It's the normal progression of the market."

Jack Leslein, owner of East Oahu Realty, adds, "The best advice I can give is to work with people who are knowledgeable and experienced, and check with a reputable lender or realtor."

With more than 20 years living and working and representing sellers and buyers of Hawaii Kai real estate, I can help you deal with the market. Call me with any questions or concerns.

Barbara Abe, REALTOR

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