Tuesday, July 29, 2014         

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Foreclosures account for 12% of first-quarter Hawaii home sales

By Andrew Gomes


About one out of eight, or 12 percent, of homes sold in Hawaii in the first quarter were foreclosures, according to a new report.

Real estate research firm RealtyTrac said 424 homes statewide that sold in the first three months of the year were either sold by homeowners threatened by foreclosure, sold at auction to third parties or sold by mortgage lenders after they repossessed homes.

The count was nearly double the 219 foreclosure property sales in the first quarter of 2009.

Though sharply higher than a year ago, the share of foreclosure sales in Hawaii was relatively low when compared with other states in RealtyTrac's report. The report said Hawaii's 12 percent rate was fifth lowest among 41 states and the District of Columbia. RealtyTrac said it didn't have sufficient data for nine states.

The report showed that most Hawaii homes are being sold before lender repossession. Of the 424 sales, 245 were sold without lenders taking possession. Lenders sold 179 homes.

RealtyTrac said the average price for all Hawaii home foreclosure sales was $426,911, or 15 percent less than the average price for nonforeclosure home sales in Hawaii during the first quarter. Homes sold by lenders traded for an average $354,895, or 30 percent below the average for nonforeclosure sales, while the average for pre-repossession foreclosure sales was $480,210, or 5 percent less than the average for nonforeclosure sales.

However, it's hard to measure the true effect of foreclosures on property values because average sale prices are influenced by the mix of homes sold.

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