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Hawaii Kai real estate market

Hawaii Kai, from atop Koko Head
Image by Joel Abroad via Flickr

The Hawaii Kai real estate market, a portion of the larger Oahu housing market, saw several signs of improvement in the most recent tracking period. According to June 8, 2010 article in Pacific Business News, “Home sales on Oahu rose considerably in May, while prices for single-family homes and condominiums posted modest gains compared to the same month last year. The median price of a single-family home in May was $606,000, which was a 12 percent boost over May 2009, when the median price was $542,000, according to statistics from the Honolulu Board of Realtors.” The report went on to say that “That was based on 284 home sales, which was a 31.5 percent increase over 216 sales in May 2009. Condo sales on Oahu soared 35.5 percent in May to 355 units sold, up from 262 units sold in 2009.”

The increase in the median price of a Hawaii Kai home for sale, along with the rest of the island, was also mentioned in a June 3, 2010 article from Pacific Business News. This piece noted that “Oahu home prices are up 5.1 percent on average over the past year, according to a report released Thursday by a provider of real estate valuation and risk assessment for financial services companies.” The article, based on a report by Clear Capital, continued to say that “Comparing the three months ended May 31 with the same period last year, California-based Clear Capital ranked Oahu as the seventh-highest performing major market nationally, with a 2.2 percent price increase, behind Dallas, Pittsburgh, San Diego, San Francisco, Houston, and Minneapolis. The number of bank-owned properties on Oahu – 7.5 percent of the total – remains modest.”

Combined with other factors, these indicators seem to suggest a recovery for the Hawaii Kai and Oahu housing markets. According to a June 8, 2010 article from Hawaii News Now, “Honolulu home sales are picking up, prices are mostly higher, and two other metrics show the strength of the market is growing. In May on Oahu, 284 homes went to closing, about a third more than in May of last year, for a median price of $606,000 that was up $64,000 from back then.”

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Ko Olina Real Estate

Ko'Olina Beach
Image by andy castro via Flickr

A mostly resort community on the leeward coast of Hawaii’s Oahu island, Ko Olina is a fast-developing community full of beachfront five-star resorts, first-class golf courses and some of the island’s finest and most desirable homes. It is not officially a city but is a part of the community of Kapolei. The market for Ko Olina real estate features generally higher-priced luxurious homes and condos, many of which are on or near the beaches, which offer some of the most beautiful vistas on the island.

According to statistics from the Honolulu Board of Realtors, the market in which Ko Olina lies saw a total of 14 new single-family homes listed for sale in March, down by more than 36% from 2009, when 22 new listings were posted in March. These new postings brought the monthly total inventory at the end of March to 65 single-family homes, down 22.6% from March 2009. There were four sales of single-family homes in March, down from six last year, which closed with a median sales price of $667,000, up 46% from last year. The average sales price came in at $664,645, up more than 31% from last year’s price.

Ko Olina homes for sale in the condo market showed similar trends during the month of March. There were 10 new condos listed for sale, down from 13 new listings in March 2009. The total inventory of condos for sale at the end of the month was 48, down 9.4% from one year ago. The median sales price of condos in the area was $251,000, up 4.1% annually, while the average price stood at $280,500, up more than 11% year-over-year. The one category where condos did not show improvement annually was in average number of days on the market until sale, which in March was 117, 14.6% higher than it was in March 2009.

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Hawaii Boaters

View of Diamond Head, pool, and beach
Image via Wikipedia

About Hawaii Boaters Launched in March 2004, HawaiiBoaters.Org forms the basis for a grassroots (barnacles up) organization to lobby for the improvement of the state-managed harbors of Hawaii. If you are unfamiliar with boating in Hawaii or the state-managed small boat harbors, then here are a few of the problems: * Waiting lists for a slip in most harbors span years to decades. * Maintenance backlog for the harbors may be $200 million or more. * Harbors have abandoned slips and entire piers due to lack of maintenance. * Harbor bathrooms are notoriously bad. (Beyond description) * Law enforcement is minimal on state harbor property. * Homeless, drunks, druggies, & bums live in harbor parking lots. * Liveaboards are allowed in only two state harbors. *

There are few private marinas – all on Oahu. There are many reasons why the harbors have deteriorated. Beyond instances of corruption, fiscal ineptitude, and fees that haven’t changed since 1994, the Hawaii State Auditor wrote in her 2001 report: “Inadequate management of state boating facilities has been a recurring problem.

Our prior audits in 1993 and 1998 reported on these deficiencies. In our present audit, we found that little had changed in the poor conditions of these state boating facilities.

The boating program’s mismanagement and neglect have deteriorated facilities to the point where their continued use threatens public safety.” Earlier this year I attended two Legislative committee hearings. In neither hearing did DLNR nor DOBOR present a plan to resolve the situation. Instead, they salivated over a $10 million bond request submitted by the Governor. Had that request been approved, half of it was targeted to correct EPA violations – not harbor repairs or improvements. In his February 14 Honolulu Star-Bulletin Water Ways column, Ray Pendleton discussed the dysfunctional state marinas. Dysfunctional is a perfect description of the state managed marinas of Hawaii. Under existing laws, regulations, staffing, and funding, neither the Department of Land and Natural Resources nor its Division of Boating and Ocean Recreation has the ability to repair let alone improve the small boat harbors of Hawaii. With HawaiiBoaters.Org, our goal is to motivate a vocal contingent of boaters to press the state to privatize many of the state harbors. Where privatization is impractical, the Legislature must fund the maintenance and improvement of the remaining harbors. Over the next few months, we will develop a detailed plan for this goal. So who are we? We started as me, my mouse, and a mentor, but since launching the website, a growing number of dissatisfied boaters around Hawaii have contacted me. Boaters, a notoriously independent lot, are fed up with the crappy boat harbors of Hawaii.

Please wander about the website. If you are as dissatisfied with the harbors as we are, then please get involved. We need everyone to speak up.

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