Gary's Blog

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Homebuyer Credit Extension Proposed

Majority Leady Harry Reid and Sentate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus are trying to extend the $8000 tax credit - which expires November 30 - through March 31. Then it would go down by $2000 per quarter through the rest of the year, until it is phased out by the end of 2010. Homebuyers have really taken to that credit, as we have seen a nice jump in home sales this most recent quarter.

Maui real estate buyers and Realtors should be happy to see this happen!

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Monday, October 26, 2009

Corporate America Profits UP

81% of the first 199 companies companies listed on the Standard and Poor's 500 index that reported earnings in the 3rd quarter came in above analysts' expectations. More positive news for Maui real estate!

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Saturday, October 24, 2009

HUGE Gains in Home Resales

After jumping 9.4% in September, home resales are up nearly 24% from the bottom in January, according to the National Association of Realtors. Sales increased last month by the largest amount in more than 26 years!

In another positive sign, the inventory of unsold homes on the market fell almost 8% to 3.6 million. That's less than an eight-month supply at the current sales pace, and the lowest level since March 2007.

The competition for low-priced foreclosures has become fierce in places like Las Vegas and Southern California. Aldo Martin of Covina, CA, had to put offers on 16 houses before having one accepted this week.

Maui buyers- what we see in So Cal, we see on Maui. Get your checkbooks ready, the race will begin on 12/15 when high season hits the Hawaiian Islands.

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Friday, October 23, 2009

Leading Indicators Index Up Again

The index of leading economic indicators rose 1% last mont after a 0.4% gain in August. Wall Street economists only expected a 0.8% gain, according to a survey by Thomson Reuters.

Economists expect the economy grew about 3% in the 3rd quarter, after falling for a record four quarters.

The indicators' 5.7 growth rate in the six months through September was the strongest since 1983!

We are still seeing weekness in the California and Nevada economy, but nationwide, things are looking good.

What a time to buy Maui Real Estate. Prices are down, the future is bright, but many sellers are still in a position where they must sell soon.

I have compiled a current list of over 50 below-market south maui real estate bargains!

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Saturday, October 17, 2009

Interest Rates Below 5%!

At 4.89% on 30-year home loans, refinance applications climbed 18% last week, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association. With extra cash lining their pockets each month, homeowners could help the economy recover.

Another positive statistic is the new jobless claims report, down for the fourth month in a row in September.

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Maui is #1 Island in the World!

For the 15th time Maui was voted by Conde Naste travel magazine as the #1 island in the WORLD! Of the top 20 resorts in the state of Hawaii, Maui is the home of 9 of them!

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Thursday, October 15, 2009

Pelosi Hints $8000 Credit to be Extended

The first time homebuyer tax credit may be extended, and even expanded, according to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

The $8,000 credit is set to expire Dec. 1.

“Yes, there is under consideration whether we extend the first time homeowners credit,” Pelosi said at a news conference Thursday. “And the question is, would that be just first time homeowners or would you open it up to other purchasers of homes.”

Great news for entry level Maui real estate buyers!

See the full article at:

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Dow Tops 10,000!

Mauians should be happy to hear that Americans are feeling wealthier again, and have positive expectations for the future of our economy. The last time the Dow Jones Industrial Average saw 10,000 was on its way down in October of 2008. The index is up 53% since early March.

What a great time to buy Maui real estate! Negotiable, some desperate sellers, at a time when the rest of the country believes we are at the bottom. Buy low, sell high, right?

And interest rates literally below 5%!

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Tuesday, October 13, 2009

China Direct Flights to Hawaii

China's Hainan Airlines just received approval to fly direct from Beijing to Hawaii. Service will begin early next year. While the Chinese are buying our T-bills, they are also spending more time here. We have seen Chinese visitor count in Hawaii go from 10,000 per year in the early 90's to about 30,000 in '98, to 60,000 last year.

Is Chinese is the new Japanese? And we here in Maui welcome them!! As a Maui Realtor, I look forward to our newest hot market in Maui real estate.

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Saturday, October 10, 2009

Stocks post best week since July

Maui real estate prices should soon reflect the feeling of increased wealth of prospective buyers, as the stock market continues to set new highs for the year. Stock prices rose 4% just this week!

I know Coldwell Banker Island Properties here on Maui is seeing much better activity this year compared to last. As a matter of fact, we had 63 new escrows opened in September. That compares to 3-4 escrows per month a year ago (October and November '08)! A large majority of those escrows were out of the Wailea offices, showing the strongest demand on Maui is in Wailea and Makena.

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Friday, October 9, 2009

Best Sales Report of 2009

Americans are finally spending a little more- A tally of sales at top stores posted a gain in September for the first time in more than a year, according to Goldman Sachs' International Council of Shopping Centers.

New jobless claims fell to the lowest mark since January. Also, the Labor Department said yesterday that the four-week average of new claims for unemployment insurance is the lowest since January 17.

One more positive item: Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke plans to keep the Federal Funds rate, still at a record low near zero, and was quoted as saying they will keep it there for "an extended period of time". These super-low rates will entice people and businesses to spend more, nurturing the budding recovery.

Folks, when is the best time to buy real estate? When the market is low. Sellers are hurting right now. Many of them cannot wait for the rebound. If you have cash on the sidelines, now is the time to put it to work. Ten years from now, everyone will know you as the "visionary" of the family!

The California Association of Realtors is reporting a strong sales rebound taking place as we speak. And as we all know, Maui real estate follows shortly after the California market.

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Thursday, October 8, 2009

Hawaii Economy Stimuli

It is great news to see that Continental Airlines is adding daily flights from LAX to Honolulu, and four days per week they will be flying from Honolulu to Orange County! Apparently Continental Airlines is bullish on the Hawaii economy!

Australia's Central Bank apparently believes the worst is behind us, as they just raised their key lending interest rate. They are the first major economy to do so since the financial crisis worsened last fall. Still many economists do not expect the U.S. Federal Reserve to do the same any time soon.

One more positive note: Consumers cut their borrowing by $12 billion in August, the seventh straight month of reduced borrowing by consumers. In the short run, it does not help with consumer spending, but in the long run, less debt means more disposable income for consumers, since they don't pay all that money in interest expense!

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Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Is the FDIC Killing Short Sales?

A mind-blowing article!

Usually I only like to publish happy uplifting positive news.

But like Jim Rohn says, an orchestra doesn't only play high, happy notes. You have to have the low notes, the bass notes, the low booms, to make it interesting.

Well, if this article doesn't make you steaming mad, you have a very calm composure!!

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Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Housing Sales Up Again!

The Honolulu Board of Realtors reported that Oahu's existing housing market showed ROBUST movemement in September. 244 SFRs sold last month, at a median price of $600,000. Thats up from 215 homes with a median price of 590k one year earlier.

Condos had a similar story. 345 condo sales in September, median price was 305k, up from 305 condos at a median price of 296k one year ealier.

It appears that consumer confidence is definitely taking a turn for the better!

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Monday, October 5, 2009

Maui Hotel Occupancy UP!

Maui County hotels were two-thirds occuipied in August (66.2%), an improvedment from the all-time lows of 55% in May!

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Thursday, October 1, 2009

Recovery for 4th Qtr. Estimate

Well, the Maui News would like you to think this is bad news. GDP growth for the 4th quarter is project to be around 2.5% in the U.S. Why is that bad news? I'll take 2.5% growth from here to forever, thank you very much. I'm sure Maui would rather see long-term sustainable growth, rather than the fits and starts we have seen over the past decade. These estimates, by the way, are according to analysts at IHS Global Insight, Moody's and Wells Fargo.

In other positive economic news, the Standard and Poor's/Case-Shiller home price index of 20 major cities rose 1.2% from June to July. Though home prices are still 13.3% below July a year ago, the annual declines have slowed in all 20 cities for the sixth straight month.

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