Gary's Blog

Friday, May 6, 2011

Maui's Positive News, and Pick of the Day

Hot Pick of the DAY!

Hokulani Golf Villas rare offering, developer owned unit never before available!!! Spectacular setting at the 18th green with powerful Haleakala, Ocean and Sunset views from this one level custom home.

Despite disaster, Maui's Japanese visitors climb

Although Oahu saw an 18.7% drop in Japanese visitors in March compared with the same month last year, Maui County's Japanese visitors actually increased 17.5% in the same period! Granted, Maui sees more Canadians and Oahu sees more Japanese visitors.

Unemployment Claims Tumbled on Maui

New unemployment claims for Maui and Molokai decreased 42.2% last week, compared to the same week a year ago, according to the state Department of Business and Economic Development. Statewide, initial jobless claims dropped 18% compared to the same week a year ago.

Investors lift home sales

Investors lifted U.S. home sales last month, plunking down cash to grab cheap homes at risk of foreclosure. Sales of previously occupied homes rose in March to an annual rate of 5.1 million, the National Association of Realtors said Wednesday. That's a 3.7% increase from the February pace. Foreclosures and short sales rose to make up 40% of all purchases. Deals paid for entirely in cash accounted for 35% of all resold homes. NAR said that's the biggest percentage since it has been tracking all-cash sales.

New home sales also rose in March, 11% from February to a seasonally adjusted rate of 300,000 homes, according to the Commerce Department. That follows three straight monthly declines. Sales of new homes fell last year for the fifth consecutive year. The median price of a new home rose nearly 3% from February. New home prices are about 34% higher than the median price for re-sales. That's more than twice the markup in healthy housing markets.

Other encouraging statistics

Service companies in the U.S., which employ 90% of the nation's work force, expanded for the 17th straight month in April, according to the Institute for Supply Management.

Consumer confidence, accoding to the Conference Board, rose to 65.4 in March, higher than expected. That's a 40-point increase since its all-time low of 25.3 in February 2009.

The Institute for Supply Management said Monday that manufacturing activity expanded in April for the 21st straight month. The index was at 60.4 in March. Any reading over 50 signals growth.

Unemployment rate fell last month in more than 80% of the nation's largest metro areas. The rate fell in 303 of the nation's 372 largest cities, according to the Labor Department.

The Conference Board said last week that its index of leading economic indicators rose 0.4% for March. The index, which is a measure of future economic activity, has increased for nine straight months.

So much for CNN and all the Constant Negative News!

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