The biggest challenge for a buyer in this market is finding a home to purchase. At the end of January 2010 there were only 1,202 homes for sale on the island of Oahu. That is the lowest level in more than half a decade.
Even though the number of homes for sale are higher than the number of buyers each month, the homes which are not selling are not attractive to buyers because they are not in livable condition (no financing is available for those homes) or those sellers have priced their homes above the appraisal value. This creates a situation where the homes for sale which are in good condition receive multiple offers and are able to sell at a price close to asking. Last month homes sold for 94.9% of their asking price compared to Dec. 2008 when they sold for 90.8% of the asking price. For the average home on the island that means the seller gets to pocket an extra $24,497.
In the last 6 days, I have been on the road logging in over 300 miles on our little island with buyers, trying to find their perfect little island home. They are not familiar with all of the neighborhoods, so I made it a point to take them to all the places that they wanted to consider. We looked at many homes & made 2 offers. The second one is awaiting reply as I write this. My clients from the mainland are only here for 10 days & "time is of the essence" to find them a place to call home.
It was quite a challenge to set up viewing appointments:
On a certain listing of interest, I made 6 phone calls & 3 e-mail requests & never received a reply from either the listing agent or the co-listor! grrr!!!!
5 of the listings my clients liked had received multiple offers, and yet the listing still showed "Active". grrr!!!
The few that were still available were in such condition that we had to forego the Hawaiian tradition to remove our shoes inside. What was described as "fair condition" "just needing cosmetic upgrade"... turned out to warrant a full gutting of the kitchen & baths, fumigation & most likely rewiring etc ... It is such a shame to see homes priced at almost half a million dollars fall in such a state of disrepair!
But with all of this, I am still optimistic that I will find my clients their Hawaiian Dream Home! My only question is where are the sellers???