Owning a home on Oahu can be one of the best longterm investments you can ever make. Unlike other locations, land is very scarce on Oahu -- this explains why prices have steadily increased.
Becoming a homeowner has become more difficult for first time homebuyers since mortgage rates have doubled from last year. Although the increase in mortgage rates have made owning a home more expensive, it is important to look at our current situation from a different lens.
I was in college when the 2008 financial crisis occurred. I vividly remember watching the news about how the housing market was tanking. I had a relative who lived Arizona and he told me there were tours were prospective buyers could purchase foreclosed homes.
For the past decade, we have had low mortgage rates. Current buyers are having sticker shock since they were used to rates being in the 3-4% range. Personally, my wife and I bought a condo last year and we locked 3.2% at zero mortgage points. Unfortunately, these days are long gone.
Looking back at historical data, you will notice that mortgage rates were "high" prior to the 2007 financial crisis. Here is some data from Freddie Mac:
Average Mortgage Rate
Experts have said mortgage rates are normalizing. What does this mean? Could rates go back down? Maybe. Could rates continue to increase? Maybe. Although no one has a crystal ball, it is important to know that we have experienced 6-7% mortgage rates before.
Despite the 2008 financial crisis, the single-family median sales price on Oahu barely fluctuated. In 2008, the median sales price was $624,000. In 2009, the median sales price was $575,000; this was a 9% decrease from the year before. By 2013, the median sales price increased to $650,000.
Currently, the median sales price is over $1,000,000. Regardless of the past and current economic chaos, Oahu real estate has remained resilient. Just at the end of 2021, mortgage rates were at 3%. Currently, that number is closer to 7%. With prices and rates both rising, purchasing a home will become more expensive. If you are a first time homebuyer, perhaps getting an adjustable rate mortgage might might be better since the rate is lower. Most importantly, let us not forget that owning a home, via a fixed rate mortgage, is the perfect way to hedge against inflation. Why? If mortgage rates go up, your rate is fix rate. If mortgage rates go back down, you can always refinance.
Timing the market is a very difficult strategy. Rather, you should focus your attention to your time in the market. Historically, Oahu single-family home prices have always increased over the longterm. That's why your Popo and Gung Gung's house is worth over a million dollars when they bought it for tens of thousands of dollars decades ago.
Enjoy the endless opportunities this multi-purpose property in Makaha has to offer! Sitting on 1-acre, the lot's first gated entrance opens up to a 3-bedroom 2-bath home renovated in 2010 with a fully fenced, landscaped and sprinklered yard adorned with various fruit trees. A second gated entrance leads to a 6,000 square foot steel warehouse built in 2016, 60 feet wide x 100 feet long x 20 feet high with a 1,200 square foot concrete parking area. Lastly, a finished container home/office equipped with a bedroom, full bath and wet bar provide a great space for additional rental income or extended family. With so many options, this property is a must-see!
Robin, Austin, and I recently closed on a 3-bedroom condo unit at Mott-Smith Laniloa. The unit featured two lanais, breathtaking views of the city, a fully remodeled kitchen, newer appliances, paint, flooring, and more. Most importantly, our client paid less than list price!
Did you know Mott-Smith Drive is named after John Mott-Smith? John Mott-Smith was the first dentist to set up a practice in the Kingdom of Hawaii.
Do you need to patch drywall? Don't worry because it is not as difficult as it looks. This is one of my go-to reference videos.
If you prefer to hire a vendor, contact my friend, JC Chow, of J2 Services. She and her crew will take care of you.
On October 4, 2022, Mayor Bangiardi signed the deed to transfer the ownership of Leahi Avenue back to the City & County of Honolulu. A few years ago, the road was privately bought by Mary Moriarty Jones.
With mortgage rates normalizing to 6-7%, will lenders see an increase in adjustable rate mortgage (ARM) applications? Locally, First Hawaiian Bank and American Savings Bank are marketing their 10 year ARM products.
An ARM might be beneficial to:
- Owners who will sell in a few years.
- Owners who are house flippers.
- Owners who want a smaller monthly payment.
According to Civil Beat, "Maui voters this year will also be asked to decide if their local government should have a standalone department dedicated to creating housing." Currently, Maui has a Department of Housing and Human Concerns. However, voters will determine if it is best to have a separate department to focus only on housing issues.
Stay safe and healthy.