In the wake of news that former “Friends” star Jennifer Aniston just sold two of her New York City condos at a loss of over $500 million, we’re sometimes reminded that the drop in housing affects everyone. Now, I’m sure none of us are crying for Jennifer or other celebrities like Nicholas Cage and Jennifer Lopez who are being foreclosed upon or losing money on their mega-mansions. In fact, I’m sure there are more than enough people overjoyed to see the rich folks take their share of the housing mess!
However, watching the big guys take a fall doesn’t really do more for those of us in Hawaii than provide a nice diversion and maybe an “I told you so”. So with that being said, let’s look at the March foreclosure info for Hawaii.
Looking at the data, it’s no surprise that most of the foreclosures were on Oahu. However, the Big Island had the highest foreclosure rate with 1 out of every 460 housing units in foreclosure, mostly in Kona. Maui was right behind with Lahaina and Kihei contributing to the 1 out of 514 foreclosure rate. Statewide, bank repossessions (REO) more than doubled from 102 to 214!
Yet at the same time, inventory is dropping under the 6-month mark and prices have creeped upwards. It remains what will be done when the statewide moratorium on non-judicial foreclosures comes up for renewal in July , but it seems obvious that this will have a tremendous affect on the future of Hawaii housing and real estate.
With Bank of America, a major provider of home loans to Hawaii residents, revamping their short sale process this past week, now might be the best time to get out from an over-leveraged mortgage if it’s crippling your family’s budget, especially with the 2007 debt forgiveness act still in effect through the end of the calendar year.