Hawaii’s real estate market is doomed…or so the pundits would have us believe.
By “pundits,” I’m not referring to Realtors, of course (if you listen to most Realtors, then everything is fine, the market is rebounding, and these aren’t the droids you’re looking for). No, I’m referring to the likes of the:
- New York Times – their article yesterday, Housing Woes Bring a New Cry: Let the Market Fall
- National Public Radio – reported on The Post Mortgage Meltdown
- Business Coaches -Â even Tony Robbins is warning that an economic collapse is coming (that one comes with a great two-part video of Tony himself preparing us for the impending collapse).
Of course, the list goes on…finding media coverage of the real estate market’s national crisis isn’t difficult. The statistics are intense. The post Homebuyer Tax Credit slump is definitely visible (on a national level), and it sounds as though the government is out of attempted remedies.
Hawaii may be a different story, though. Local economist Paul Brewbaker, the former Chief Economist for the Bank of Hawaii, has announced that the recession is over for Hawaii, and that a “double-dip” in the economy is unlikely. The statistics from the Honolulu Board of Realtors also aren’t as dismal as the national picture.Â On Oahu, compared to last year, inventory is down, pending home sales are up, the percentage of list price received is up, median prices are up, days on market are down, etc. (Of course, I’m a Realtor, so everything is rosy and optimistic).
Economists and other experts love to say that Hawaii trails behind the west coast of the U.S. mainland by 12 to 18 months… which is a gross generalization and difficult to document. On the downside, though, an incredible number of transactions in Hawaii are either REOs or Short Sales (over 50% of the market on Maui, for example), and most banks and asset managers are still expecting extraordinary increases in their REO inventory throughout Hawaii. As foreclosure filings continue to rise, the increase in aggressively-priced REO inventory will bring values down. For sellers in Hawaii’s real estate market, aggressive pricing is the name of the game… to stay ahead of the REO inventory and compete for the next buyer(s).
Tony Robbins, if you’re out there, now might be a great time for you to buy property in Hawaii. Grow your own food, don’t worry (as much) about heating and air-conditioning, and spend more time outdoors and less time stressing out about the economy. On that note, I’m going to the beach….