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  • Ryan O.

January Updates



 

In 2020 and 2021, the United States Government rolled out massive economic stimulus to help combat the financial crisis that COVID-19 caused. Although the economic stimulus was much needed -- and it helped millions of Americans -- many economist feared the long term repercussions of flooding the market with more money.


According to Investopedia, inflation is defined as the "decline of purchasing power of a given currency over time." For example, what your dollar could buy last year might not be enough to buy this year, i.e. a gallon of gas or a gallon of milk.


Inflation often gets a bad reputation. However, inflation is often the result of a growing economy. The opposite of inflation is deflation. Investopedia explains that deflation "occurs when the purchasing power of money increases and prices decline." More so, when too much inflation happens too quickly, is known as hyperinflation.


At its simplest form, inflation can be caused by supply and demand. During COVID-19, the government provided stimulus checks to people to encourage spending. By creating more money, the value of the dollar declined. In addition, let's not forget the Federal Reserve and the Federal Government decided to cut interest rates.


In the summer of 2021, Federal Reserve Chair, Jerome Powell, said it is "very, very unlikely" that we will see the 1970s-type inflation again. Should we still be concerned?


Although we might not see hyperinflation, inflation is still affecting our real estate market. In a recent AP news article, "wholesale prices for a category of homebuilding components that includes windows, roofing tiles, doors and steel, increased 22% over the last 12 months, according to an analysis of Labor Department data conducted by the National Association of Home Builders. Before 2020, it was typical for such aggregate prices to rise a little over 1% annually." Also, since the start of the pandemic, we have had supply chain distruptions. This has driven up the cost of goods as well.


How can you build wealth in our COVID economy? One of the best ways is to buy real estate. A matter of fact, real estate is an inflation hedge.


When you purchase a home via a mortgage (assuming your mortgage is not adjustable), your mortgage rate and payments are fixed for the life of the mortgage. For example, if your mortgage is $2,000/month, it will be $2,000/month until your very last payment. Let's think about this for a second. Over a long period of time, the costs of goods will probably increase. However, your mortgage payments stay fixed -- this makes it unaffected by inflation. Over time, as inflation affects your money, you pay your mortgage back with ninety cents dollars, eight cents dollars, etc.


Here is another perspective on the fixed rate mortgage. Let's say you own an investment property. Your mortgage payments are fixed, however, you can increase your tenant's rent every year. The result is an increasing yield, while your mortgage payments stay the same.


COVID-19 has created a very competitive housing market on Oahu. In addition, inventory is still low. Despite these conditions, I have been able to help numerous buyers. Our team has a pulse on the market and we know what needs to be done to get your offer accepted.


Having safe housing is important to all of us. Why rent and pay someone else's mortgage when you can own? There are so many benefits to owning a home. You can build equity, you can refinance, you can take out a HELOC, and it can increase your credit score.


JUST SOLD

A few years ago, my friends had relocated back to Honolulu. After looking at a bunch of properties, we found this single-family, detached home in Mililani Mauka. The property was a longterm rental and the home needed a full remodel.


Flashback to a few months ago. With a growing family, my friends decided to list since they were purchasing a larger home. We had received multiple above asking offers!


The sale of the home went smoothly. A large reason was the home was in excellent shape. During my friends' ownership, they did a top-down remodel. This included a new kitchen and new appliances, luxury vinyl plank flooring, interior and exterior paint, and a new roof. They saved on cost since they did a lot of work themselves. Plus, they used quality materials/products and their craftsmanship was outstanding too.


Are you looking to sell your home? Sometimes a new coat of paint and flooring can work wonders. If you do remodel before you sell, don't cut corners.


Home Maintenance

I was visiting a relative and noticed they had a leaky water faucet. I cringed...Changing a water faucet is not difficult. Before you start, you want to make sure your angle valves work.


If you are thinking about selling your home, upgrading your water faucets to a quality brand can make your home more attractive. Let's be honest. I bet you always wanted one of those fancy kitchen faucets.


Ramblings


Hotel

A new hotel and senior housing are being proposed in Chinatown. Chinatown should have more senior house. However, it will be interesting if a hotel can survive. According to Pacific Business News, the hotel will be 17-story building consisting of 240 rooms.


Monster Homes

Hawaii News Now reported in December that a monster home is being constructed in West Oahu. How can our politicians stop the spread of monster homes in our community?


Tourism

According to the Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism (DBEDT), visitors to Hawaii spent a total of $1.18 billion in November 2021. A total of 613,391 visitors arrived by air service to Hawaii in November 2021.


Although tourism is still making a recovery, COVID-19 has caused many cancellations.


Stay safe and healthy. Happy New Year!


-Roda