Stimulating Real Estate News for Oahu

Real Estate Agent with Robin McCann Realty

There is stimulating news for the Oahu real estate market.  Interest rates are down, loan limits are up and a tax-credit for first-time home buyers is available.  The federal government has implemented its plan to acquire Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac mortgage-backed securities, which has had a positive effect on both Wall Street and mortgage loans.  The announcement is stimulating the mortgage market.  Mortgage loan applications are up (nationally) and mortgage loans are seeing lower interest rates.
The week of January 15th saw an interest rate of 4.96%, an all-time low.  Since then, the interest rate has been hovering at the 5.1% level.  The Mortgage Bankers Association is reporting that, according to its most recent survey, mortgage loans are available at an astounding 4.89% for a 30-year fixed loan and 4.5% rates for 15-year mortgage loans.  I checked their website today; today's 30-year rate is 4.98% and the 15-year rate is 4.61%.
The conforming loan limits were restored to $729,750 when the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 was passed.  The higher loan limits offer a wider selection of home mortgages available to home buyers.  Home owners can also take advantage of the lower interest rates and higher loan limits with refinacing options.  It is a great time to lower your house payment.
First-time home buyers (anyone who has not owned a home in the last three years) are eligible for a tax credit up to $8,000.  The actual credit is 10% of the sales price.  The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 tax credit does not need to be repaid and is refundable.  The 2008 tax credit required repayment, whereas the 2009 credit does not, making the 2009 tax credit more advantageous to home buyers.  The tax credit is also refundable, which means that, if you pay less than the tax credit, the difference will be refunded to the taxpayer.
The tax credit does have an income cap of $75,000 for singles and $150,000 for married couples.  The income cap also has a phase-out program, which means those making more than $150,000 may possibly qualify for the tax credit depending on their adjusted income.  If your income is more than the income cap, you will need to check with your financial/tax adviser to see if you qualify.  The tax credit may be applied to your 2009 taxes or your 2008 taxes by filing an amendment.  You will need to check with your financial/tax advisor to determine which year is the best one for you to apply the tax credit.
Oahu home prices are more affordable than a year ago, with an 18% downward adjustment in pricing.  Interest rates are down almost a full percent (5.87%) from the same time last year.  A tax credit is available for first-time buyers.  These stimulating factors may make taking advantage of the current market and economic times a wise decision for you.
Robin McCann, Robin McCann Realty, LLC


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I am interested in a property in Hauula MLS # 1102024. It seems to be a Homestep property going for 107K which seems pretty inexpensive and an offer cannot be made for 16 days.  Is this so it will be bid up?  Can you tell me more about this property?

Thank you,


Feb 22, 2011 01:05 PM #1
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