House hunters are being cautious - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

House hunters are being cautious

Paul Kim Paul Kim

By Duncan Armstrong

HONOLULU (KHNL) - A recovering housing market would be a big boost during this recession.

But while housing sales for June were up, experts don't want to seem overly optimistic.

"You see these signs more and more on Oahu.... the competition is stiff to get buyers."

Coldwell Banker Senior Vice President Paul Kim says buyers are being very cautious.

"They don't realize there are affordable properties out there for sale that can be seen as bargains."

One of those looking for a bargain is Chris Burner.

"It's a good time for buying"

Chris has been shopping for a condo for a while, but it's been hard because there is only a limited number of homes - and not a big dip in prices.  Instead, sellers are using different techniques to attract buyers.

"The properties that are selling, the seller needs to add incentive, like a car or a trip to Vegas or really to have an appropriate price on the property."

And it seems to be working, said Harvey Shapiro, Research Economist at the Honolulu Board of Realtors.

In June, single family home sales went up nearly 10 percent from a year ago.

But on the flip side, condo sales tanked compared to a year ago, down over 17 percent.

"Condo purchasers are hard to find that's because the investment market has really dried up," added Shapiro.

Marlene Baldueza sells condominiums, and she says she has seen a change in buyers.

"Many walk in the door already done their home work, you're definitely seeing a more qualified buyer because they know the new value in the market right."

That combined with interest rates historically low, and government tax incentives have some shopping for a good investment.

"If you look at the history, the markets in Hawaii, although there are some dips, it's continuously.  I think this is the safest place to put your money", said Chris Burner, a potential buyer.

"A safe place, that comes with a killer view.  Wow this awesome"

Realtors say homes can't be priced too high in this market.

Ones that are appropriately priced do best during this recession.

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