November is traditionally a pretty quiet month for home resales, so last month’s unimpressive numbers come as little surprise. Overall, the numbers for single-family home resales stayed the course while condo sales fell flat.
According to RealtyTrac, an online marketplace for foreclosure listings, as of October this year, Hawaii had nearly 3,600 REO (real estate owned), or foreclosed, properties. “Any time you hear the word REO, a lender has foreclosed on the property and is putting it on the market for sale,” says Century 21 All Islands realtor and REO specialist Mathew Ngo, who says that the greatest concentration of foreclosures on Oahu is on the island’s leeward side.
The famous-person-stayed-here sales strategy is always tricky because, as any high-school teen could tell you, popularity is a fickle thing. For instance, I highly doubt that “house once rented by actor Charlie Sheen” would be a strong selling point. Whether “President Obama vacationed here” is an enticing enough tagline depends, these days, on where you fall in the red-and-blue divide.
Several luxury condominiums in The Pinnacle Honolulu will be open this weekend, a boon for anyone thinking of buying in the luxe building. The Pinnacle, which was built in 2008, is an in-demand address largely because of its downtown location and unique design. There are 36 floors with no more than two private residences per floor for a maximum of 50 residences. With the exception of the expansive two, two-story penthouses, units range between 1,545 square feet for a half floor to just over 3,000 square feet for an entire floor. Another unique feature is the biometrically keyed elevators that open directly into private foyers in each half-floor residence.
This column has afforded me an all-access pass to some of Oahu’s most rarefied homes, a privilege I thoroughly enjoy and am happy to share with you. And while I’m glad to pass on the backstories of homes across the island, I’m even more pleased when you, the readers, have the chance to see it for yourselves. Which is why all of you with even the slightest interest in local architecture need to reserve a private tour of the Liljestrand House, which is considered to be one of Vladimir Ossipoff’s finest residential designs.
With 700 feet of water frontage on three sides of the property, this Vladimir Ossipoff-designed home’s dominant architectural feature is the ocean itself. Built in 1964, the Paiko Lagoon estate is surrounded by conservation lands, the lagoon as well as the ocean, offering panoramic views from just about every room.