Tiny Hawaii Real Estate Office Closes Over $40 Million In Sales -- Home Sales Data Shows Prices Still Rising in Hawaii

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Hawaii real estate office reaches sales milestone amid the booming Hawaii market. The Honolulu Board of Realtors released home sales data on Tuesday, which showed Hawaii Real Estate sales prices remaining strong in spite of the slowing real estate market around the country.

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I wanted to buy my retirement home in Hawaii, before prices get too high

It's crisis time for real estate agents around the country, with homes sitting on the market for months on end and mortgage lenders collapsing nearly every week. But while many markets are seeing the bursting of their housing bubbles, a small RE/MAX office in the middle of the Pacific Ocean is setting sales records and enjoying the booming Hawaii Real Estate market.

"It's amazing, I'm so proud of our agents reaching this milestone. $40 million is a huge number," says Tony Kawaguchi, a REALTOR® with RE/MAX 808 in Oahu. "Everyone thought the Hawaii Real Estate market might go down a little this year like the mainland, but so far it hasn't. Prices are up in many areas, and the numbers show that homes are selling faster now than they were six months ago."

The Honolulu Board of REALTORS® reported Tuesday that the August median sales price for single family homes in Oahu was up $10,000 from July to $650,000, though it's down from the all time high reached in June. Condo prices were down ten thousand dollars, but matched the third highest median price on record at $325,000.

The average single family home in Oahu takes just 44 days to sell, while homes in other real estate markets around the country are sitting on the market for up to a year. Hawaii condos are taking just 38 days to sell.

The lack of inventory is driving the price of homes upward. With only 4,245 properties on the market for an island of over 900,000 people, Hawaii real estate remains a seller's market in many areas.

When asked why Hawaii real estate seems to be the exception to the bursting housing bubble, Kawaguchi answers without skipping a beat, "Retirees, Boomers. They love Hawaii and they have money from the real estate they've owned on the mainland over the last 10 years. Boomers want to retire in Hawaii."

Indeed, boomers are retiring at an incredible pace, with an estimated 14,000 new retirees a week.

"I wanted to buy my retirement home in Hawaii, before prices get too high," says Ed Kemprud, who recently bought a home in Oahu through the RE/MAX office. "We want to retire soon and slow down our lifestyle. We love Hawaii, doesn't everyone?"

Nationwide, the mortgage crisis is weighing on REALTORS® minds, including in Hawaii. Charter Funding, one the largest mortgage lenders in Hawaii, closed their doors last week.

"That could have an effect on us, but I'm not sure. We have a lot of local Hawaii banks and lenders that have plenty of money to lend. Besides, a lot of people retiring in Hawaii are paying all cash. I'm anxious to see next month's numbers, which will be more representative of the buyers who bought after the mortgage mess started. I think we'll be surprised on the upside," said Kawaguchi.

RE/MAX 808 sells real estate on Oahu and the Big Island of Hawaii. For more information visit Hawaii Realtor.

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Tony Kawaguchi
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