Hawaii foreclosures soar
The rate surges 115 percent, with Maui and the Big Island seeing huge increases and Oahu faring much better
By Gene Park
POSTED: 01:30 a.m. HST, May 13, 2010
Oahu remained well below the national rate of foreclosures in April, but the Big Island and Maui markets took large hits.
There were 1,474 Hawaii properties that received foreclosure notices last month, according to RealtyTrac, an online foreclosure marketplace.
That was a 115.5 percent increase over April 2009 foreclosure numbers.
Hawaii’s April foreclosures, which equated to one in every 348 households, added up to a higher rate than the national rate of foreclosures, which was one in every 387.
Oahu fared the best, with one in every 580 homes. But Maui and the Big Island saw a high rate, with one in every 187 and one in every 179 homes, respectively. There was one foreclosure in every 313 homes on Kauai.
“I think we’re just gonna see more inventory hitting every day,” said Big Island and Maui Realtor Howard Dinits. “The foreclosure process takes a long time in Hawaii.”
Nationwide the number of homes facing foreclosure fell 2.4 percent from a year ago in April. James Saccacio, chief executive officer of RealtyTrac, said the April national numbers indicate a plateau in foreclosures, but “at a very high level that will not drop off in the near future.”
The number of borrowers losing their homes is still rising. Banks seized a record 92,000 homes last month.
And there are millions more potential foreclosures ahead. Nearly 7.4 million borrowers, or 12 percent of all households with a mortgage, had missed at least one month of payments or were in foreclosure as of March, according to Lender Processing Services Inc., a mortgage data research firm.
As the economy turns around, “you will see an improvement in housing markets and in foreclosure activity,” said Rick Sharga, a RealtyTrac senior vice president. “The problem is that there’s such a backlog right now.”
Among states, Nevada posted the highest foreclosure rate in April, with one in every 69 households receiving a foreclosure notice.
Foreclosures there were up 10 percent from March, but virtually unchanged from a year earlier. Next on the list were Arizona, Florida, California and Michigan.
Hawaii landed in 11th place. The top five neighborhoods in the state with the most foreclosures were Kailua-Kona, Kihei, Ewa Beach, Lahaina and Waikoloa.
Dinits said Waikoloa and Kihei foreclosures are due to a large number of owners who own second homes.
“It’s an investment for them,” Dinits said. “That’s the real reason for the high numbers in those areas.
“If you gotta make a choice between your house or your vacation house, you’re gonna keep your house.”
Dinits said he is currently working on a foreclosure at an Ewa Beach home. He said the military community there might be experiencing transfers, routine changes in duty stations.
But David Kucic, a Realtor who specializes in Ewa Beach sales, said many of the Ewa Beach homes might be short sales, where sale prices are lower than the balance owed on the property’s loan, being counted as foreclosures.
“It’s not like you have 89 foreclosures,” Kucic said, referring to RealtyTrac’s statistics on Ewa Beach. “A property would actively be trying to sell as a short sale, but it will get reported as a foreclosure.”
Kucic said he is seeing a lot of activity in Ewa Beach, a sharp contrast to last year’s slow market.
“Last year, you could find a property no problem,” Kucic said. “But the competition is stiff right now.
“Even though the first-time homebuyer’s tax credit is gone, there are still a lot of buyers looking for properties.”
OUT OF THE HOUSE
Kailua-Kona had the most foreclosures in April, according to RealtyTrac, an online foreclosure marketplace. Below are the state’s foreclosure hot spots last month:
|ZIP code||Neighborhood||Foreclosures||No. per household|
|3. 96706||Ewa Beach||89||155|
NO PLACE TO CALL HOME
Hawaii’s monthly foreclosures over the past year, including the year-over-year percentage gain: