Is Cash Really King on Oahu?

Real Estate Agent with Harcourts Island Properties RB-20368

Haven't you heard the term before that says, "cash is King?"

Cash Home

I've often bought into that theory and do have to agree there's nothing like doing a cash transaction with a quick closing. We all know that financing these days is not what it used to be. Banks are more stringent on their underwriting. It's also hard to get comps in slower markets.

I had an interesting discussion with our Kauai Broker in Charge, Anthea Adair, a few months ago. She was asking what percentage of transactions on Oahu are cash. I knew that certain products such as vacant land, construction loans, and condotels were a borrower's worst nightmare as banks don't want to touch them with a 10 foot pole. I wasn't sure off the top of my head, however, had to do a little digging.

As we wrapped up 2010, here are the latest numbers of cash sales on Oahu:

  • 12% (369 out of 3,050) of single family home sales sold for cash
  • 33% (1,293 out of 3,936) of condo sales sold for cash
  • 70% (71 out of 102) of vacant land sales sold for cash

What does this say? It confirms my belief in that vacant land is still hard to finance, however, when I ran this search a few months back, the number came out at 78% of land sales were cash. Buyers are either starting to get loans, or sellers are considering seller financing.

These numbers are also telling me that 88% of home buyers on Oahu are still obtaining some sort of financing for their purchases. It will be interesting to see if the banks ease up in 2011, or will cash remain "King?"


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Andy Kress
Rental Solutions Oahu - Honolulu, HI

I do property management in Honolulu, Hawaii and many people are renting due to challenging home financing

Jan 27, 2011 09:26 AM #1
Brandon & Grace Yee
Chase International - South Lake Tahoe, CA
Lake Tahoe Real Estate

Hi David,

Nice job on getting your info.  Here in Lake Tahoe, most land buyers are cash buyers, because the banks aren't touching it.  Most land sellers usually do not do seller financing.  The buyer's other option to get a hard money loan.  Thanks for the post.

Cheers from Lake Tahoe,
~Grace Yee

Jan 27, 2011 09:31 AM #2
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