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Regional Spotlight: Retirement of Baby Boomers Drives Hawaii Real Estate

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RISMEDIA, April 18, 2007-Despite the "buyer's market" that much of the United States is currently facing, Hawaii real estate continues to be a "sellers market" as an increasing number of baby boomers are retiring in Hawaii and the housing inventory has been down for 10 straight months. In addition, with property taxes being extremely low and very high conforming loan limits, real estate sales in Hawaii are booming.

In 2006, the first of about 75 million baby boomers began retiring, marking this as an important year for Baby Boomers and for the American economy. Over the next 20 years the remaining baby boomers will be looking for a place to retire, and as a result will be shaping the way the real estate market and many other aspects of our economy fluctuate.

Hawaii Realtor Tony Kawaguchi with RE/MAX 808 Realty on Oahu states, "I get calls every day from people who want to buy their retirement home in Hawaii. It's like a dream for them to live in paradise, and it's amazing how much money some of these boomers have, and how easily they will buy a million or $2 million house. I've sold a $2 million house sight unseen!"

With a single family median home price of $643,500, Hawaii Real Estate isn't exactly cheap, but extremely low property taxes and very high conforming loan limits are helping to propel home sales in Hawaii, despite a slowdown in real estate for the rest of the country.

"Hawaii Real Estate is still going strong, and will probably go even higher with all the baby boomers moving here. They love the climate and the slow pace," says Kawaguchi.

Meanwhile, the Hawaii condo market is also hot. In some areas of Oahu, condo prices are up 46% since last year. The average Oahu condo is on the market only 40 days, making it difficult for some buyers to find a decent property. The median price of condos in Oahu was $321,000 in March.

But the most telling data is the inventory. With inventory down for 10 months straight many sellers are seeing their properties appreciate very quickly, and some have even increased list prices.

"If even 1/10 of 1% of the boomers moved to Hawaii to retire, it would create a massive boom in Hawaii real estate. It's a small island state and we only have about 1700 single family homes for sale right now in Oahu, so even a few hundred buyers a year makes a massive difference in our market," says Kawaguchi.

The retiring boomers will be changing and driving many areas of the U.S. economy and desirable areas like Hawaii are likely to see a huge influx of them over the next several years.

For more information, visit http://www.alohatony.com or call (808) 395-5776.

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