HONOLULU (KHON2) — For many, becoming a homeowner has been a goal that is out of reach, a lawmaker said it is time for the state to build more affordable housing and look into laws that may be getting in the way.
The price for single-family homes is soaring. The March report from the Honolulu Board of Realtors said prices for single-family homes increased by 21.1%, compared to last year. The median sales price is currently at $1,150,000.
Real Estate Agent Daniel Ulu said some buyers are eager to own property and are looking for other options.
“Are shifting to condos because it’s less competitive, but now we’re seeing more competition in condos because everyone wants to move into condos,” Ulu said. “Which is unfortunate because a year ago you could get into a condo like that.”
But it will also cost buyers more to get into a condo, with a median sales price of $515,000, which is up by 14% compared to last March.
Still, some are not losing hope in finding their dream home, but it can be luck of the draw for newly built homes.
Alissa Bautista has been in search of a single-family home for several months. She said at least five offers have not been accepted, often outbid by other buyers.
Bautista said, “you get seven to eight — nine homes getting released and there are 200 people that are trying to get those homes so it’s really, it’s really difficult.”
Bautista is finding there are not enough homes for the type of demand.
Senator Stanley Chang who chairs the Senate Committee on Housing said building more affordable housing should be a priority.
Chang said, “the counties have done a lot of things to make it easier to build more housing on our existing stock. The question is does it go far enough? And I think the results that we’re seeing are clear.”
Senate Concurrent Resolution 161 proposes to build a task force for reviewing permitting processes for affordable housing is advancing through the legislature.
Senator Chang knows it could take time to find a solution that many need to resolve now.
Chang said, “We have to start somewhere Max, and I think that it is important for us to start laying the groundwork today so that we can bring these programs to full fruition in a few years from now.”
For now, realtors said the rise in interest rates could help alleviate the overcrowded field of homebuyers.
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Ulu said, “We can see in the past when rates go up, the market kind of cools downs and I think it’s exactly what we need right now.”