Gary's Blog

Thursday, August 27, 2009

New Home Sales Surge!

Up 9.6% in July, new home sales are rising in all parts of the U.S. and Hawaii, including Maui. This is the fourth month in a row that new home sales have risen. Sales haven't risen so dramatically since February 2005. Maui real estate buyers should not hesitate, Maui sellers are sure to start realizing the bottom has been realized, and it will only get better from here.

Economists are almost unanimous in their projects that we can stop worrying about the housing market, and start paying closer attention to other issues, such as when credit will start flowing more freely.

The Dow Jones Industrial average just had it's seventh record high for the year in a row yesterday.

Durable goods orders also surged last month, home, car and equipment sales soared by the largest amount in years in July.

Economists are predicting that the economy in the July-to-September quarter is poised to grow strongly.

Today the Labor Department will release it's jobless claims report. That report will likely determine if we see the Dow reach it's eight high for the year in a row!

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Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Consumer Confidence Soars!

Consumer confidence index rose to 73.5 in August, from 63.4 in July. That's a 16% increase in just one month!

With home prices at 2003 levels, what a great time to buy. Such as Wailea Elua #2110. Gorgeous ocean views, for $1,590,000. Just two years ago, the identical unit next door sold for $2.1 million!

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Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Cruise Industry Adds Cruises to Schedule

The cruise business here rose and peaked in 2007. It was great for merchants, and our economy in general. Since then we have watched the number of cruise ships visiting the islands slowly decrease. Princess Cruises just announced that they will be adding four or five sailings for the 2010-11 season, which will account for about a 30% increase! Hopefully Princess will be the leader in increasing ships to Hawaii.

In other good news, we saw the Dow rise 370 points last week, on the heels of Chairman Ben Bernanke's declaration that the economy is on the verge of recovery.

At Coldwell Banker Island Properties, we just had our best week since 2007, 27 new escrows in one week! One year ago, we were doing 2-3 escrows per MONTH! This is exciting news for those of us who own real estate here, and for buyers with cash. The sellers are negotiating more than we have seen in 10 years, interest rates are at record lows (below 6%!), and prices are at 2003 levels.

When is the best time to buy? When we are at the bottom of the market, but the sellers don't know it yet! Could we be there today?

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Saturday, August 22, 2009

Bidding Wars for Houses!

Lots of good news today!

Federal Reserve Chairmani Ben Bernanke yesterday gave his most optimistic outlook since the financial crisis began, saying the economy is on the verge of growing again.

July home sales surge for the fourth month in a row, posting the largest monthly increase in at least ten years. Sales jumped 7.2% to an annual rate of 5.24 million units. This was the strongest month since August 2007.


Demand for entry- and mid-level houses has led to bidding wars in Southern California, as buyers are shopping for homes again, optimistic that values have been beaten down about as low as they will go and triggering the highest sales levels in more than two years. A report released Tuesday shows a sharp rise in home purchases and an increase in median prices for a third straight month -- suggesting that the two-year decline in home values may finally be over. The complete article can be viewed at:
http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-home-sales19-2009aug19,0,5419938.story

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Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Hawaiian Airlines Hiring 170 New Workers

Good news for Hawaii travellers. Over 170 new Hawaiian Airlines positions will be filled soon, after having hired 100 new workers in recent months.

Economists say that employment growth follows the economic growth. Could this mean...

Hawaiian is about to add a new long-range Airbus, with a range of close to 7000 miles, to its fleet. That will give Hawaiian the ability to fly nonstop to all of North America as well as points in eastern Asia.

The world is getting smaller, and Hawaii is getting closer to everyone in the process!

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Thursday, August 13, 2009

Home Prices Up in 39 States

According to the National Association of Realtors survey, existing home sales prices are up! Check out the survey from NAR or cut and paste this link into your browser:
http://www.realtor.org/press_room/news_releases/2009/08/2nd_Helped?LID=RONav0021
These results were released yesterday, 8/12/09.

Plus, the Fed announced they are leaving the Federal Funds rate unchanged at the 0% to 0.25% range. You can't get much better than free money!

Good times ahead!

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Saturday, August 8, 2009

Jobless News Surprisingly Strong!

The first time that the jobless rated dropped in 15 months happend in July. A net total of 247,000 jobs were lost last month, while the average workweek and wages went up in the newest figures. Economists are overwhelmingly in agreement that the recession is in transition to recovery.

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Friday, August 7, 2009

Another Sign of Recovery on Maui

Pacific Business News just reported that airlines flying to Hawaii from the mainland will wincrease seat capacity by 2.1% through October. And October is one of our slowest visitor months!

On a national scale, company layoffs shrank about 6.5% last week vs.the week before, according to the Labor Department, as companies prepare to ramp up production to replenish their depleted stockpiles of goods.

Although retail sales are still sluggish, apparel discounters like Ross, TJ Maxx and Marshalls chains all had sales gains in July that well exceeded Wall Street estimates.

I'm looking forward to a robust winter '10!

Oahu Prices UP!

For the second month in a row, we've had an uptick in single-family home resales prices. Through July, $1.5 billion in real estate transactions have closed, not bad for what Maui News likes to call "the worst recession since..."

Median prices were up from June on condos and single family residences. SFR's were up a whopping 4.6% in just one month!

The positive news just keeps rolling in...

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Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Still More Good News!

Well folks, I know good news doesn't sell. But if you want to find it, here it is!
U.S. Manufacturing activity is expected to actually grow next month for the first time since January 2008.
Construction spending rose for the second time in three months in June, as residential building increased. The 0.3% increase is a far cry from the expected 0.5% drop!
The S&P index is back to 4-digit territory, closing over 1000 yesterday for the first time since 11/4/08. That puts the index up over 48% since March.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose for the fourth day in a row today.
Real estate prices are holding steady, inventory is decreasing nationwide, and public optimism is growing.

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