Aloha family and friends. I hope you are doing well. Wow, 2020 was a year to remember! I am happy we all can turn the page and move forward.
Although the vaccine is being distributed, experts are predicting that it will take time for our economy to recover. Although the state has reopened, tourism is still lagging. Due to that, businesses are struggling and closing and people are being laid off or furloughed.
According to the University of Hawaii's Public Policy Center, a survey revealed that half of Hawaii restaurants would close for good in April 2021 if tourism does not recover sooner of later. Per the report, there were 3,665 restaurants in Hawaii as of 2018.
One thing I am really interested in seeing is a (longterm) report on out of state buyers. Although's COVID cases are high in Hawaii, our COVID situation is not out of control like other states. In addition, one of the new trends is working from home. If one can work from home and since Hawaii can be viewed as a safe haven, I can see an increase in out of state buyers and renters.
The big tech industry were one of the first to allow their employees to work remotely. If people are leaving the cities, where are they going? They are relocating to the suburbs. During a pandemic, living in the dense urban corridor is not desirable; people craving detached, single-family homes.
The pressing question is, "Will Honolulu be the next Seattle, San Francisco, and New York City?"
Hawaii is paradise. I can see people packing their bags and heading to the islands. If I was in their shoes, I would do it too — especially after living through 2020.
Howard Hughes is moving full steam ahead in developing Ward Village. Castle & Cooke and DR Horton are still building in West Oahu. The Kapiolani area will be the next live-work-play neighborhood. Who will buy these homes? We will have to wait and see.
Last month was extremely hectic. Greg, Robin, and I had seven closings in December! This ranged from helping a tenant negotiate an office lease deal, to helping a client buy a storage unit at her condo, to an off market singe-family home in Ahuimanu. Greg reclaimed his thrown as our company top producer and I was humbled to get second place.
In addition to these closings, we listed a residential vacant lot in Makaha and a split level townhome at Windward Estates. Also, we're prepping for a new split level single-family home in Kamehameha Heights. As the three of us did a juggling act, we have also been doing showings from Kahala to Kapolei.
Inventory is always low, especially during the holidays. It is common for sellers to received 20+ offers! Crazy, right?
The detached, single-family market is super competitive. I just took a client to an open house and there must have been 10 groups snaked out the door. The condo market is sluggish because people want to avoid common area spaces. If you are thinking of buying, please contact us.
Most importantly, thank you to our buyers and sellers for giving us the opportunity to help you with your real estate needs!
According to a report from the Department of Planning and Permitting (DPP), Oahu still has a severe affordable housing shortfall. If people are smart enough to identify the problem, why cannot we build enough homes to have an oversupply?
When speaking to people who work in the construction industry, it appears the problem lies within the DPP. I often wonder why the DPP allows monster homes, but yet no one has taken advantage of Bill 7.
Bill 7 has passed with much excitement in 2019. According to an article written by local developer, Marshall Hung, there are still "bureaucratic roadblock(s)" in the permitting process. I think two benefits of Bill 7 was to streamline and simplify the permitting process for developers. It seems like that has not happened. I understand the government works slow, however, we need to solve our housing situation now.
Interestingly, Hawaii News Now reported that there is a federal corruption investigation at the DPP. Are you shocked to hear this? Probably not. Those who are in "the know" often joke about how the DPP could be a pay-to-play organization.
Stay safe and healthy.