Blog contributions are provided exclusively from Luxury Real Estate members throughout the world.
By Cedric Choi
SEPTEMBER 2008 STATISTICS FOR SINGLE FAMILY RESIDENCES – HONOLULU, HAWAII
Honolulu Board of REALTORS’® Monthly Statistical Report for September 2008 (released October 1, 2008). Each month, the Honolulu Board of REALTORS® issues a statistical report analyzing residential real estate activity on the island of Oahu. In addition to the general island-wide statistics, following is information for select individual neighborhoods:
Waialae/Kahala – See page 8 of Monthly Statistical Report
The statistics for this month are significantly different from last month, it is amazing! Comparing September 2007 to September 2008, the median price for a home in 2008 was down 33.3% (the same comparison for August 2007 and August 2008 showed the median price was up 37.8%). For the year-to-date statistics for January through September of 2007 versus January through September 2008, the median price for the neighborhood was up 7%.
Diamond Head – See page 8 of Monthly Statistical Report
The statistics are not specific (as provided by the Honolulu Board of REALTORS®), since the Diamond Head area (a high-end neighborhood) is mixed into the Kapahulu area (a moderately priced neighborhood). For the Kapahulu-Diamond Head area, the median price decreased by 3.3% compared to the same month in 2007. For the year-to-date (January through September of 2007 compared to 2008), the median price decreased by 3.3%.
Kailua-Waimanalo – See page 8 of Monthly Statistical Report
September 2007 compared to September 2008 had a -14.1% increase in the median price. Comparing January through September 2007 and the same period in 2008 shows a decrease of 4.9% in the median price.
Other Specific Neighborhoods – There is no substitute for market information from people who are qualified and who know your market. The best way to view a specific neighborhood is to have your agent prepare and review a Comparative Market Analysis with you. For example, the MLS service permits us to do searches within very discrete Oahu neighborhoods, including Kahala/Black Point, Diamond Head, Ala Moana/Kaka’ako, Waikiki/Gold Coast, Hawaii Kai/Portlock, Hawaii Loa Ridge, Kailua/Lanikai and the North Shore.
It has been our experience that the neighborhoods that we concentrate on are less volatile than the market as a whole, which is down about 10%. Part of that involves the worldwide demand for spectacular luxury properties in outstanding locations.
Relative to the overall Oahu market, according to Harvey Shapiro, the Research Economist for the Honolulu Board of REALTORS®, “It appears that the Oahu housing market is reacting to the economic crisis that has been affecting financial markets worldwide.”
Cedric Choi is the Vice President and Administrative Manager of Choi International, a member of the Luxury Real Estate Board of Regents. As a practicing attorney for more than 25 years, Mr. Choi has principally concentrated in areas involving commercial matters. Very interesting blog entry. Every one I post on the Luxury Real Estate Blog seems completely distinct in both tone and voice from every other. You can see similarities and fun little patterns when you read one person’s blog entries over a period of time, but it’s also fun to get a breadth of styles and information from a bunch of different sources, as well. Be sure to visit www.ChoiRealty.com for more resources on buying a luxury home in Hawaii.
By Jason Leach
From his blog: What’s the market doing? And the Russians ARE coming
There are a lot of mixed signals out there and different people have different angles on the French property market at the moment. The Brits are still buying, but not in the numbers that they used to. But then again July and August are generally quiet months for the Brits to buy.
On the other hand, there is still, and increasingly more so, lots more interest from the Dutch, German, Belgian, Swiss and Scandanavian countries, but more than ever it’s the French.
France hasn’t really been affected by the credit crunch due to the fiscal regulations that exist. We did see some small protests when the fuel prices were increased but even that’s come down again now to a more reasonable level.
Strangely, we’ve seen lots of clients with budgets of 1 million-plus euros and are just starting to see the spread of Russians starting to come across from the cote d’Azur and they’re really holding up and maybe inflating the prices at the top end of the market, saying that there are lots of properties on the market, and we are seeing stronger negotiating from buyers, but within reason.
With Languedoc becoming the fourth biggest in France for industry the prices should still see some rise and figures have been quoted at approximately 7 percent by a respected body of real estate agents which is up from last year’s figures. Personally, I think this might be a little on the high side and we should wait and see what the third quarter of the year brings us.
Jason Leach is with www.simplylanguedocproperties.com, a subsidiary of R. CHAYLA Immobilier in the United Kingdom. Founded in 1991, R. CHAYLA has a multilingual team, agencies with cutting-edge technology and exposure on dozens of Web sites. They are known across France, and their international exposure grows daily. They are members of the Who’s Who in Luxury Real Estate network. Wow! This blog entry is in English. It’s a good idea to keep informed on what’s going on with global luxury property markets. Thanks for the great information, Jason.
By Simon Turner
From his blog: How Google Maps can be used to make solar power decisions for your home
As energy prices continue to climb, the idea of utilizing solar energy is common sense. The process of getting solar panels installed, however, is quite the opposite.
RoofRay, a new Californian business, aims to give homeowners better information to enable them to make more-informed environmental decisions for their luxury home. Using the site’s modeling tools, consumers can estimate how much solar energy a home could capture and how that would affect their monthly bills.
The data provided is based upon historical weather conditions, current power usage charges, the gradient of the property, and the maximum amount of solar paneling the roof can hold. One tool uses Google Maps to let users calculate the size of their roof and build virtual panels. RoofRay then estimates the output potential of the solar panels as well as financial considerations like costs of installation, upkeep and return on investment.
Whilst not yet available in Australia, such a tool would be a welcome addition to our growing eco-conscience and our excessive reliance on fossil fuels. Furthermore, it would be useful for would-be real-estate buyers in making purchase decisions, something that the Marquette Turner team is increasingly finding is a factor in how and where buyers buy.
To find out the latest information available in Australia, a good start is the federal government’s portal www.climatechange.gov.au and Marquette Turner’s Clear the Air site
Simon Turner is the co-Founder and Director of Marquette Turner Luxury Homes, a member of Luxury Real Estate in East Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. Founded on Australia Day 2007 by Turner and Michael Marquette, Marquette Turner is a property consultancy company covering the Australian states of New South Wales and Victoria. Born in England, Turner traveled much as a child, finally settling in Australia. He joined the Australian Defence Force Academy and graduated with a degree in Politics and History as an Intelligence Officer in the Royal Australian Air Force. This is a very fascinating topic. Jean-Yves Piton actually wrote a blog entry on “green” luxury real estate a little while ago, too. I just finished writing an article on “green” luxury properties for the winter 2009 issue of LuxuryRealEstate.com Magazine.
By Michael Edlund
The Luxury Lounge is an exciting project we’ve been busy working on over here at Luxury Real Estate.
The Luxury Lounge is a gated social-networking community for professionals within the LuxuryRealEstate.com affiliate network to make connections with quality peers all over the world. Initially, you will be able to search and connect to people, send private messages and write public comments to others, write and comment on blog posts and discuss topics in forums.
We’ve also implemented online purchasing of Luxury Real Estate conference tickets and the Luxury Lounge will over time grow in to a hub for everything related to Luxury Real Estate. From managing your listings and exposure on LuxuryRealEstate.com to tracking your leads and much more. Rain or shine, noon or midnight. In the lounge, luxury professionals can utilize the full power of their Luxury Real Estate affiliation at the time and convenience of their choosing.
We have already started sending out invitations to a limited number of members, but will expand their reach over the coming weeks to the whole LuxuryRealEstate.com network. When you see an email with the subject “Invitation to Luxury Real Estate’s VIP Lounge” you know what it is all about. It is about embracing and empowering your interaction with the global Luxury Real Estate network.
Thank you for your participation!
Michael Edlund is the Director of Technology with LuxuryRealEstate.com. He is in charge of all of LuxuryRealEstate.com’s Web projects, including website creation, software updates and implementation, and much more. Big changes are afoot here at Luxury Real Estate. The Luxury Real Estate Blog is gaining in popularity on Google, Yahoo and MSN searches, and now the Luxury Lounge is gaining momentum! With the rise of social-networking sites like Facebook, LinkedIn and Naymz, many people are starting to see the possibilities opened up through them. This is a great chance to build relationships in creative ways online. Happy networking!
By Jean-Yves Piton
Are you presently offering “green” luxury homes to your clients?
With the growing concern for global warming and the depletion of energy, there is an ever-rising enthusiasm for eco-friendly alternatives worldwide.
Clearly, both energy efficient products and organic goods are in high demand with rapidly increasing market shares vis-à-vis other traditional and commercial goods.
For instance, in the automotive industry, Toyota clearly sets the tone vis-à-vis other car manufacturers by pursuing the very successful, environmentally friendly niche market with its world-renowned hybrid vehicle, the Toyota Prius.
Are you embracing the emerging interest in green real estate and responding to the specific needs of a nature-conscious and educated client base?
According to www.whatgreenhome.com, eco-developers and eco-brokers offer green properties with sought-after features like zero-carbon, zero-waste, sustainable water, local and sustainable building materials and sustainable transport at premium prices around the globe.
Just recently, new green luxury properties are also automatically delivered with a Toyota Prius in the garage at a minimum cost of $2 million USD!
The trend is here! And it will keep on growing as governments around the planet are rethinking policies for nature-friendly communities.
Jean-Yves Piton is the Global Services Membership Manager for LuxuryRealEstate.com. He assists Bente Madtsen, the Director of Global Services, in expanding the LuxuryRealEstate.com brand into even more countries around the world. I’m actually writing an editorial for the winter 2009 issue of LuxuryRealEstate.com Magazine on “green” luxury homes. Jean-Yves brings up some good points in this blog entry. It’s always nice to save money on energy, especially since energy prices are quite high at the moment. I’d like to make one point, though. In the spirit of healthy debate, I would like to offer the following link to the 2008 International Conference on Climate Change. I highly recommend listening to these scientists. They have strong evidence that human activity accounts for just a small fraction of global warming, and reducing our carbon emissions will likely have little, if any, effect on the well-being of our planet while costing far too much money. The photo of the green apartment is from www.flickr.com/photos/papalars/375415219 and it is the copyright of papalars.
By Allyson Metters
Like many of my friends, the most important thing in a home for me is the kitchen – not that I am a great cook, but there is something about that room that appeals to me. Every time I see a property listing, I always take a look through the photos for the kitchen shots.
According to an article entitled “What Luxury Looks Like in the New Kitchen and Bath” in Custom Builder magazine, multiplicity is a trend in luxury kitchens – multiple islands, sinks, appliances – even multiple kitchens.
The article also covers luxury trends for master baths – including showers equipped with steam, sound therapy, and aroma therapy.
As she mentioned, Allyson Metters is the Relocation Manager for LuxuryRealEstate.com. She helps people who are moving to find a perfect broker to meet their needs in their new area. Allyson makes an interesting point about amenities and what people are looking for in a luxury home. Keep an eye on changing tastes.
By Kimberly Fulwyler
At the prospect of writing another blog entry, I was drawing a big blank. So I decided to search the Web for interesting real-estate trends. I then stumbled upon an article on RealEstateJournal.com entitled “I’ll Buy Your House If You Buy Mine.” I found this story both interesting and unsettling. This article was about the small, but burgeoning, trend of trading houses. Basically, there are Web sites where sellers go and look for suitable trades. For instance, if you’re in Arizona and you want to move to Florida, then you post your house in Arizona, and in your profile you mention that you’re willing to trade for a home in Florida.
This trend is rather disturbing to me for a myriad of reasons. First of all, where has the America’s optimism gone? I realize that the market is going through a rough patch, but a little bit of patience and hope goes a long way. Secondly, haven’t you ever heard of the phrase, “A man’s home is his castle”? A home is a deeply personalized thing, and to buy a house that isn’t what you really want will almost certainly be a mistake in the end. When the market does turn around, there will be quite a few people out there who will regret their choices. So until your house sells, keep thinking positive.
Kimberly Fulwyler is an Account Manager with LuxuryRealEstate.com, so she provides customer service and marketing materials to a variety of LuxuryRealEstate.com members. When I was a child, my family was trying to move from Texas to Washington, and I remember asking my mother why we couldn’t just trade houses with the people who were selling us their home in Washington. My mother just smiled and said, “No one ever does that.” I guess that’s not always the case. Hopefully, people won’t be too desperate to find a home that they’ll be willing to take something that doesn’t meet their needs. This is a buyer’s market! You can always find a great broker in a new area through Luxury Referral Services. Contact Allyson Metters, the Relocation Manager with LuxuryRealEstate.com, for more information: firstname.lastname@example.org.
By Jim Walberg
We have just ended the first month of 2008 and my January 3rd Predications are being confirmed every day regarding the trends of Caribbean real-estate buyers! The deeded fractional ownership is having a dramatic impact on the buying patterns of Baby Boomers, Brits, Europeans and Canadians. Their appetite for full ownership of second and third homes/condos in the Caribbean is being refocused on the fractional-ownership resorts being developed by BIG international companies!
Buyers seeking Caribbean properties are recognizing that they are not going to live there full-time, so why have the responsibility of full ownership when there is an excellent resort management company in place to maintain and even rent a deeded fractional-ownership property as part of the purchase? An example of this trend can be witnessed in Aruba. There are more than 2,000 fractional-ownership units planned for this island by international developers cashing in on waves of buyers! (There are always exceptions to this thinking when the price point and the product are too good to pass up for full ownership, such as South Beach – Belize)
What does all this mean for the sellers and buyers of Caribbean real estate? If you are a seller, get your home on the market NOW with the most experienced international REALTOR® you can find who understands this market and has an effective Internet-based marketing strategy in place. As a buyer in 2008 for Caribbean real estate, you are going to have your pick of some great bargains, and ones that have huge upside appreciation that are available to those who know where the values are.
Some of the real-estate “hot spots” are St. Kitts, St. Vincent, Anguilla, Belize, Dominic, and the Dominican Republic. The outlook for buyers and sellers in the Virgin Islands and the Caribbean is “bullish” for 2008!
Deeded fractional ownerships will continue to gain market share away from the fully owned homes and townhomes/condos products. Those who have Euros, Pounds or Canadian dollars will have the best buying power for any real estate connected to the U.S. dollar. Again, be sure to find the best REALTOR® you can to represent you in all of your international real-estate transactions. A great resource for top-quality international REALTORS® is Luxury Real Estate!
What an enthusiastic endorsement! To contact Jim Walberg, email Jim@JimWalberg.com or visit www.CaribbeanIslandsRealty.com. Fractional-ownership resorts have a lot of advantages as second homes and vacation spots. In fact, I recently wrote a four-page editorial on fractional-ownership resorts, which are also known as Private Residence Clubs, for LuxuryRealEstate.com Magazine. The story will be appearing in the Spring 2008 issue of the magazine. Click the following link to read the Winter 2008 issue of LuxuryRealEstate.com Magazine.
By Robert Lockard
I’ve been talking a lot about the media lately, but my thoughts just keep dwelling on this topic. When I see headlines talking about how many people believe we might be in a recession, I start to wonder if that is simply reflecting the fact that everyone hears and reads predictions of future downturns and problems in the news. However, sometimes we can find small morsels of hope buried under all of the sour gloom.
For example, I recently spotted a short but wonderful article, entitled “’07 home prices not so bad after all,” in The Seattle Times. It’s just a few short paragraphs long, but at least it shows another side of the real-estate industry in the Pacific Northwest, at least. Local newspapers and other media sources should do more of this kind of reporting in their areas. Even if national statistics don’t look particularly strong, I’m sure that many local real-estate markets are doing just fine. I would like to hear more about local trends, rather than national trends.
I would have liked to see more discussion in the Seattle Times article of possible reasons why prices still increased in the Puget Sound, despite increases in inventory. Perhaps luxury real estate markets helped maintain home values in the region or maybe some other factor contributed in a way that I haven’t considered, yet. I shouldn’t complain too much about the shortness of this article; it’s nice just to hear some good news mentioned. Speaking of which, I have more good news that I’d like to share soon. I’ll hopefully be able to write more on Monday.
Robert Lockard is the Public Relations & Media Specialist with LuxuryRealEstate.com. Actually, I’m Robert, so I don’t really have anything to add to my own story. However, I do want you to know that just because I’m working hard to edit everyone else’s blog entries, that doesn’t mean that I intend to shirk my responsibility to include great content of my own on the LuxuryRealEstate.com Blog.
By Robert Lockard
“The drop in house prices is a good thing.” So says a recent editorial, entitled “Relief for home buyers,” in The Seattle Times. Exactly. Thank you, Seattle Times editors, for succinctly stating a fact that cuts to the heart of this matter. If prices are always rising, then that is certainly not a good thing for buyers, who have to pay more for the same home. Trends that are good for sellers will not be so good for buyers, and vice versa. Prices have been reaching all-time highs in the past few years, so the price dip that is occurring in several markets is by no means a catastrophe. In fact, it is probably a good thing since it will allow buyers, seeking first homes or luxury homes, to receive more property for their money.
This editorial reminds us of an important fact that is sometimes lost in these endless debates of dollars and deals. The truth is that the housing market primarily exists to provide houses to individuals and families, not to give them money. Certainly, there are numerous advantages to homeownership, including the personal equity and stability they can offer over the long term. But that is not what houses are designed to do. Prices have historically always risen on properties across the United States, but that doesn’t mean that they can never fall in the short term. If people would think of their homes as where they live first, and an investment second, a lot of unforeseen troubles probably would have been averted.
Robert Lockard is the Public Relations & Media Specialist with LuxuryRealEstate.com. I am Robert. I create all of Luxury Real Estate’s newsletters, write the editorials in LuxuryRealEstate.com Magazine and much more. Let me know your thoughts on this topic.
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