Gary's Blog

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Hawaii Economy on Rebound

The University of Hawaii Economic Research Organization (UHERO) is predicting recovery this year. Hawaii economic growth was negative 1.3% in 2008, negative 0.4% in 2009, and expected to be negative 0.2% for 2010.

Hawaii visitor growth has been encouraging in recent months.

Nationally, the GDP growth was just announced yesterday to be 5.6% in the October-to-December quarter, and Hawaii's growth typically follows the national figures by about six months. So we should be seeing that growth occurring beginning this quarter or next. The national figures are the best we have seen in six years!

Unemployment in the state of Hawaii has been considerably lower than nationally. The national rate just dropped again to its lowest level since September 2008, when the financial crisis intensified. Initial jobless claims dropped by over 30,000 last month, a bigger drop than analysts' estimates. Hawaii state unemployment is predicted to peak out at 6.9%, vs. the 9.7% nationally.

Another positive sign for Maui real estate values is the increased air traffic to Kahului from the mainland. I have reported multiple airlines' increased flights to Kahului from Chicago, Alaska, Orange County, LAX, and others. Alaska airlines just landed their first new flight from Sacramento to Kahului yesterday, just further evidence that the airlines are predicting the good 'ole days of tourism coming to Maui.

Buy the real estate now at the lowest prices we have seen in almost a decade, and watch your values and income rise as the economy does. And with some of the lowest interest rates we have seen in forever, and the strongest foreign currencies we have seen in decades, 2010 bodes to be a great year for Maui real estate investors!

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