Area Real Estate News & Market Trends

You’ll find our blog to be a wealth of information, covering everything from local market statistics and home values to community happenings. That’s because we care about the community and want to help you find your place in it. Please reach out if you have any questions at all. We’d love to talk with you!

Nov. 6, 2020

October 2020 Real Estate Statistics for Oahu

Infographic showing October 2020 RE Stats for Oahu

 

The Real Estate market on Oahu has remained quite competitive even in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. A lack of inventory in the market combined with very low interest rates continue to drive demand. It is perhaps more important now than ever to have a good Realtor who can help to navigate this competitive market. An experienced Realtor can help both buyers and sellers understand the local market while identifying opportunities and guide them through the process of buying or selling a home.

 

Compared to October of last year, the median sales price for single family homes on Oahu was up almost 11% to $865,000. Newly listed single family homes stayed on the market a median of 10 days before going under contract. Speaking of new listings, there 17.6% fewer in October of this versus last year.

 

The median sales price of condos on Oahu was down slightly from October of last year at $439, 500 versus $441,000.  The number of new condo listings was up 1.7% from last year and the median time on market was 18 days versus 26 days last year.

Posted in Market Updates
Oct. 6, 2020

OAHU REAL ESTATE STATISTICS FOR SEPTEMBER 2020

Infographic Showing RE Sales Stats for Sep 2020

 

The Summer Season on Oahu ended on a high note with closed sales of Single-Family Homes at 12.7% higher than last year when looking at Year-over-Year activity.

The closed sales of Condos dropped by 2.1%.  The median Sales Price of Single Family Homes on the island was up a little over 13%, setting a New Record of $880,000 while the median Sales Price of Condos remained the same at $445,000.

 

The island is definitely in a Seller's Market with a low inventory of homes. The median Days on Market for Single Family Homes fell by 69% to a new record of 9 Days, while median Days on Market for Condos dropped by 22% to just 21 days.

 

As the market shifts into the fall season, Inventory of Available single-family homes and condos are down 39.3% and 5.8%, respectively, compared to this time last year. 

If you've been thinking of selling your home, now may be the perfect time.

Posted in Market Updates
Sept. 23, 2020

2021 Color of the Year!

And the 2021 Color of the Year is.... (drum roll, please) Urbane Bronze!  At least according to Sherwin-Williams paint company. Sherwin-Williams says Urbane Bronze (SW 7048) is, "A warm, sophisticated bronze, the color inspires all of us to find sanctuary in any space. Urbane Bronze is a rich anchor that grounds the mind in calm and stability with its ties to the natural world". With so many people staying at home during the COVID-19 pandemic our homes have become even more of a retreat from the world and painting rooms, or parts of your home is an easy way to make your home even more of a haven.  According to Sherwin-Williams the decade of the 2020's "ushered in a return to rich, bold colors, stepping away from the cool neutrals of the 2010's".

I'm not sure I would want to paint an entire room this color but I could see using it for accent walls and perhaps for some trim, etc.

 

            Walls painted in the Sherwin-Williams color, Urbane Bronze

Posted in Buyers, Sellers
Sept. 8, 2020

New Median Price Record for Homes on Oahu

Oahu Home with Pool

Single-family homes on Oahu hit a record-median price in August while sales volume held  steady. However, the condominium market remained challenged by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Honolulu Board of Realtors reported today that single-family homes reached a new record-high median sales price of $839,000, climbing 6.2% from $790,000 in August of 2019. Single-family sales volume rose 2.8% going up to 370 sales from 360 sales during August of 2019.

“A lack of inventory coupled with high demand from buyers looking to capitalize on historically low interest rates is driving a very competitive market for single-family homes on Oahu,” said Tricia Nekota, president, Honolulu Board of Realtors said in a statement. “This is an opportune time for sellers to list their properties as housing values continue to rise, and buyers are on the hunt for their forever homes.”

Single-family homes sold 44.4% faster this August than during the same month last year, with these properties spending a median of just 15 days on the market. Increased demand due to continued low interest rates was coupled with limited supply as there were 20% fewer listings this year than last year.

During the past three months, 43% of single-family home sellers received their full asking price or higher compared to 35% during this same period last year. In our experience working with Buyers over the past few months, almost every home is receiving multiple offers and going for prices over asking.

Hawaii real estate analyst Stephany Sofos said some of the additional single-family home sales were likely fueled by a coronavirus-related desire on the part of some condominium owners to seek properties where they were able to socially distance better.

“The suburbs are becoming more attractive as more buyers look for homes where they can socially distance,” Sofos said. “The pandemic has made people less likely to want to share public spaces and elevators.”

Sofos said low interest rates also have helped more buyers qualify for single-family home purchases.

The median price for an Oahu condominium in August also rose but at a lesser acceleration, only increasing 2.5% to $430,000 from 419,500 in August of 2019. Meanwhile, condominium sales volume fell a steep 20.1% to 409 units from the 512 condominiums that changed hands in August of 2019.

New listings for condominiums also remained 19% below last year. However, year-over-year median days on the market remained steady with condominiums spending an average of just 23 days on the market.

 

Posted in Buyers, Sellers
Sept. 8, 2020

OAHU REAL ESTATE STATISTICS FOR AUGUST 2020

Real Estate Stats Chart for August 2020

I believe most areas of the nation are in a similar situation as Honolulu, where we have very tight inventory and Buyers hoping to purchase while mortgage rates are at historic lows. This is a great time to list your property if you've been considering selling. Get a FREE Property Valuation for your home by following this link: https://www.olapropertysales.com/cma/property-valuation/

Posted in Buyers, Sellers
Aug. 6, 2020

OAHU REAL ESTATE STATISTICS FOR JULY, 2020

Oahu Real Estate Statistics for July 2020

 

Oahu’s Housing Market Continues to Slowly Recover
Month-over-month sales and new listings up, market activity still trails 2019 levels

“We are seeing signs of increased activity driven by eager buyers looking to take advantage of record-low interest rates coupled with sellers who are slowly wading back in to put their properties on the market. This real estate activity indicates confidence in our local housing market and contributes to the recovery of Hawaii’s economy,” said Tricia Nekota, president, Honolulu Board of REALTORS®. “With low inventory and continued declines in new listings, REALTORS® serve as a trusted partner to help buyers navigate this highly competitive market, where many properties are experiencing multiple offers that are well above the asking price. REALTORS® also work closely with sellers to manage high demand and multiple offers,” added Nekota.

Posted in Market Updates
July 7, 2020

2020 - 2021 REAL PROPERTY TAX RATES ON OAHU & IN HAWAII

 

 

The State of Hawaii recently released Real Property Tax Rates (Property Tax Rates) for the Fiscal Year 2020 - 2021.

The Property Tax Rates for Honolulu County (Oahu) are as follows:     

These are the Tax Rate per $1,000 Net Taxable

Residential

 

$3.50

Commercial

 

$12.40

Industrial

 

$12.40

Agricultural

 

$5.70

Preservation

 

$5.70

Hotel & Resort

 

$13.90

Public Service

 

$0.00

Vacant Agricultural

 

$8.50

Residential A, Tier 1

 

$4.50

Residential A, Tier 2

 

$10.50

Bed & Breakfast Home

 

$6.50


What does this mean and how do you calculate property taxes? Find the assessed value of the home / property and divide that figure by 1,000. Then multiply that number by the Tax Rate and this would give you the approximate tax rate.   
Another way to look at it would be to divide the Tax Rate by 1,000 and turning it into a percentage. Example: the Residential Tax Rate of $3.50 divided by 1,000 becomes .0035 or .35% which could then be multiplied by the assessed value of the property.  Let's look at a couple of examples.  The median Single Family Home Sale Price in May, 2020 was $800,000. Multiplying $800,000 x .35% (the Residential rate) = $2,800 in Annual Property Tax.  If you were looking at Agricultural Land that was assessed for the same value the Annual Property Tax would look more like: $800,000 x .57% (the Agricultural Rate) = $4,560.

I find the Residential A classification interesting. Residential A is essentially a home that an investor might own, or a second home. It is a residential property that does not have a Home Exemption, meaning it is not the owner's primary residence.  Someone who owns a residential investment property that is assessed at the same $800,000 as in the example above, the Annual Property tax would look like: $800,000 x .45% (the Residential A, Tier 1 rate) = $3,600 which is $800 more than the base Residential Rate.  What happens if the assessed value of that same property goes up over $1,000,000?  That's when it falls into the Residential A, Tier 2 category and the tax rate goes from .45% to 1.05%.  So if the assessed value of this property should go to $1,000,500 the Annual Property Taxes would go up to: $1,000,500 x 1.05% (the Residential A, Tier 2 rate) = $10,505.25

To recap, the Residential Property Tax Rates for Oahu are: the Tax Rate for your primary residence is 0.35% of the assessed value. If it is an investment property or second home valued at less than $1,000,000 the Tax Rate is 0.45% and if the property is an investment or second home valued at over $1,000,000 the Tax Rate is 1.05% of the assessed value.  Perhaps a good thing is that Residential Rates did not increase. It appears the only Tax Rate that increased was the Hotel & Resort classification, which went from 1.24% to 1.29%.

I placed links below to the Real Property Tax Rates table as well a detailed Residential A Classification explanation from the State.

Real Property Tax Rates in Hawaii

Residential A Classification

Disclaimer: The author of this Blog is a Realtor, not a CPA nor Tax Advisor. Although I wrote this information as accurately as I could it is possible mistakes were made in the interpretation of the facts or in calculations. Therefore do not rely on this information to make purchase decisions but instead consult a tax, accounting or legal professional for advice.

Posted in Property Taxes
Nov. 12, 2019

The Good, Bad, & Ugly of Refinancing Your Mortgage:

Mortgage Lender Speaking to Clients

 

Refinancing a mortgage means that you are replacing your current mortgage loan with a newer mortgage loan. Refinancing may work for some people and not for others. However, as with anything, there is good, bad, and ugly to refinancing one's mortgage. In this post, we will explore some of the good, bad, and ugly to reducing your mortgage as well as how to protect yourself from ending up with a worse deal after the refinance than you had before you refinanced.

The Good About Refinancing Your Home:

Some of the reasons that people wish to refinance their homes are entirely legitimate, and many refinances do help the homeowner save money. The following are situations in which a homeowner may benefit from a home refinance:

  • You can often lower your monthly payments to a more affordable amount that fits your budget.
  • In some cases, you may be able to reduce your borrowing costs.
  • You may be able to decrease your interest rates (allows you to pay more towards the principal of your loan and less to the bank on interest)
  • Many refinancers today will allow you to make payments online which makes paying your mortgage more convenient.
  • You will have more loan options than ever meaning you can find an opportunity that best fits your needs
  • Some lenders may specialize in loans that include FHA loans or Veteran's Affairs loans meaning that the loan you have offers you unique refinancing options to meet your personal needs and those of your existing loans the best

These are some of the perks that refinancing your home may offer you as someone seeking more affordable, more manageable monthly payments. In other cases, it may be the situation that interest rates that have come down or are fixed so that you can pay more to the principal rather than on skyrocketing interest rates.

The Bad About Refinancing Your Home:

Just like there can be upsides to refinancing your home, there can also be downsides. If you don't do it correctly, refinancing your home can lead to financial issues moving forward. The following are some of the disadvantages that may come into play when you go looking to refinance your home: 

  • Your interest rates may go up if they are not "fixed" or guaranteed for the life of the loan you may find yourself in a refinancing situation that means that you got an adjustable interest rate, which means that your interest rates may go up when interest rates throughout the US rise. You might end up paying more and not less.
  • Make sure refinancing is not adding an excessive amount of time to the loan you are currently paying on. If it does then maybe reconsider a shorter-term refinance or a different lender to get what you need not to add all that time to your loan.
  • Never refinance your home to save money to invest. Paying down a 5-6% mortgage makes a lot more sense than investing in a 2.5% CD. Once you pay off your home, then you can spend more aggressively with the money that you were using to pay your mortgage.
  • You should never be taking a refinance option to use that money for another home. If you are planning to move in two years but will be paying off a refinanced home for five more years, then it doesn't make sense for you to refinance as you may never recoup the money it costs you to do the refinance.

If refinancing leaves you in one of these situations, then consider just staying with the mortgage that you have now. In these cases, refinancing may very well end up costing you more than you save in your monthly payments.

The Ugly About Refinancing Your Home:

While refinancing your home in some instances might make sense for you. However, that doesn't always mean that refinancing your home is a natural or pleasurable thing to do. Some of the ugly that can sometimes come with refinancing includes the following:

  • You may end up extending the amount of time you are paying on your home. Even if you are saving money on your monthly payment, you may end up paying more in the long-run.
  • You may find yourself stressed out if you end up paying more than one lender at a time. You are paying off one loan before focusing on another, especially if both payments combined end up costing you more than you paid before the refinance.
  • Some lenders may deny you for refinancing if your credit score is not high enough (most lenders require a score of at least 620 or higher) or you may not even get considered for their program.

There can be an "ugly" side to refinancing your home even if you have good intentions and would save money by refinancing your mortgage. These reasons can include a poor credit score, a poor payment history on your current loan, or you not having the cash to pay the fees that are necessary to refinance your home.

Conclusions:

In the end, it's up to you to understand what you will lose or gain if you refinance your home. It can be a smart move in certain situations where you may save money, but if you are doing it to lower your payments to use that money for something else you might want to rethink your refinancing options before you make your final decision. 

Posted in Mortgages
July 31, 2017

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You can sign up here to receive your own market report, delivered as often as you like! It contains current information on pending, active and just sold properties so you can see actual homes in your neighborhood. You can review your area on a larger scale, as well, by refining your search to include properties across the city or county. As you notice price and size trends, please contact us for clarification or to have any questions answered.

We can definitely fill you in on details that are not listed on the report and help you determine the best home for you. If you are wondering if now is the time to sell, please try out our INSTANT home value tool. You’ll get an estimate on the value of your property in today’s market. Either way, we hope to hear from you soon as you get to know our neighborhoods and local real estate market better.

Posted in Market Updates