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Honolulu Magazine Details Oahu’s Hottest Neighborhoods

A recent Honolulu Magazine article entitled, “How Much is Your Home Worth Now?” provided insight into the current state of Hawaii’s real estate market. According to the article here are the hottest and coldest neighborhoods in Oahu.

“Hottest” Neighborhoods – Hawaii’s Five Hottest Neighborhoods in terms of real estate values are Wahiawa, Mililani, Ewa Plain, Aina Haina–Kuliouou, and Kapahulu–Diamond Head. The Top Five Condominium Areas are Kalihi-Palama, Kaneohe, Moanalua-Salt Lake, the Ewa Plain, and Waipahu.

“Coldest” Neighborhoods – Hawaii’s Coldest Five Neighborhoods are Waialae/Kahala, Pearl City-Aiea, Moanalua-Kailua, the Windward Coast, and the North Shore. The Coldest Five Condominium Areas are the North Shore, Wahiawa, Makaha-Nanakuli, Kapahulu-Kuliouou, and Ala Moana-Kakaako.

Here is a Summary of What The Article Says:

  • Dual Market – The current sales slump is primarily in the high-end luxury segment of Hawaii’s real estate market – about three-fourths of home sales are less than $800,000, and three-fourths of condo sales are under $400,000.
  • Selling Your Home – Be realistic when setting the price if you are eager to sell your home.  Make sure you beat the prices of similar homes in your area, and make sure your property is in good condition.  In the current market fewer people interested in fixer-uppers.
  • Price Declines – During the last year, some Oahu neighborhoods have seen price declines of up to 37% from the previous year, and sales declines of more than 34%.  Many local economists see this as a cyclical process, as median prices in Hawaii more than doubled between 2000 and 2007.
  • Inventory – There is a relatively high inventory for Hawaii homes above $1 million, but homes in the $500,000 range have normal inventory levels. Currently there are relatively low levels of inventory on Oahu, about the same as the previous year, and this will serve to protect prices from any further steep declines.
  • Hawaii is unlike many mainland areas where massive overdevelopment has caused a glut of available homes.  Many home Buyers in Hawaii bought their homes to live in them and this signals a long term commitment that will tend to protect prices.
  • Buyers in Hawaii are generally more conservative in terms of their intent and financing, which will also help keep Hawaii real estate prices from further steep declines.
  • Honolulu Most Stable – Homes in neighborhoods near Honolulu – such as Nuuanu, Manoa, and Aina Haina – have maintained their value better than most other locations on Oahu.
  • Interest Rates – The low interest rates that are currently available are helpful to Hawaii’s real estate market, though more stringent lending requirements – including higher FICO credit scores and bigger down payments – have made it much harder to qualify for a mortgage.
  • Refinancing – Some Hawaii mortgage companies have seen Refinancing loans increase by more than 30% in the first quarter of 2009. However, Refinancing requirements have also become more stringent due to declining property values.
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