A Bounty of Opportunities in 2010!
For the Oahu Real Estate Market this past year was filled with drastic and unprecedented changes. And as we know, with change comes opportunity. This new year promises to be filled with opportunities for both buyers and sellers. We just need to keep our eyes open and be decisive. Here is what to look for:
- One of the biggest reasons why buyers didn’t purchase a home & take advantage of the low rates and tax credit during the end of 2009 was because of a lack of inventory for sale. At the end of the year there were only 1100 homes for sale. That is the lowest we have seen in over 5 years. That said, every January homes for sale flood the market because the holidays are over & sellers are ready to move on. Anyone in the market to buy in 2010 should keep a close eye on new listings for sale in January. One may find just the right property at the right price.
- Prices are down! In December of 2008 the median sales price of a home was $626,500. Last month, we ended the year with a median sales price of $550,000. Sellers will react to that news and price their homes to sell.
- Last month, President Obama announced the details of his Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternatives Program. This program will allow short sales to close much sooner than the 4 months it took on average during 2009. Since short sales sold for 79% of their tax assessed value in 2009 the opportunity will be there to buy a home for a lower price prior to the tax credit deadline in April.
- There are less than 1100 homes for sale on Oahu. If we continue at the same rate of sales for homes as last month (265) 24% of the active inventory will sell. That is the best ratio for sellers in years. Property owners should not wait if planning to sell this year. Taking advantage of the situation now could make the difference between being successful or not!
- The tax credit extension and expansion should repeat the same frenzy of buying we experienced during the 3rd quarter of 2009. Buyers jumped off the fence in droves as demonstrated by the drastic raise in the number of sales in those months compared to the rest of the year.
Monthly Market Synopsis
2009 ended with a bang! Single family home sales were up 36.6% as compared to the previous year (December 2008) while condo sales also surged forward with a 43.6% increase. We may see that trend continue into January & February as the number of new escrows (accepted contracts that haven’t closed yet) were up by 55.2% for homes and 62.5% for condos. December saw homes “flying off the shelf” with an average # of days on the market of 34 for single family homes and 36 for condos . It was certainly a positive way to end 2009!