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Buyer Interest High In Pearlridge-Aiea

By Lisa Scontras

If you need proof that the housing market is looking up, spend a day with Atau Sakuma, Realtor Associate with Prudential Locations. Sakuma, who has closed several million dollars in real estate transactions since the boom in the Pearlridge-Aiea area, says that despite the economy’s woes, his business isn’t really slowing down. In fact, it seems quite the opposite.

“I’m currently working with investors looking to park their money in more secure real estate investments instead of the stock market,” Sakuma says. “I have a first-time homebuyer taking a very close look at several of the very well-priced townhomes in the area.

“I just closed on an amazing older, remodeled single-family home in the Enchanted Hills neighborhood, where we had four offers and four very different types of buyers,” he says. “There was a young family buying their first home, a retired couple looking to downsize, a multigenerational family and an investor.”

Sakuma credits the broad range of buyer curiosity to the diverse mix of home types available at stable prices and steady interest rates.

“This area has some of the most diverse inventory of property on the island,” says Sakuma. “I’ve helped clients purchase and sell oneto three-bedroom units in high-rise, ocean-view condos, three-bedroom townhomes in serene golf course settings, and affordable three-bedroom, two-bath singlefamily homes on up to large 3,000-square-footplus luxury view homes on large manicured lots. There really is something for everybody.”

In addition to finding exactly what they’re looking for, homebuyers like the value.

“Buyers get quite a bit more house for the money if they are OK with being just outside of Honolulu,” he says.

High-end homes can be found in Royal Summit in Aiea. There, you’ll find gorgeous views, spacious four-bedroom floor plans, and two or three-car garages everything you would find in the more prestigious Honolulu neighborhoods but with a more palatable price point. Current average sales prices in Royal Summit are “just under a million,” according to Sakuma.

Homes in Aiea and Pearlridge are highly sought after because of the quality of public schools and parks, as well as for the convenience of nearby services, shopping and restaurants. Also, there is a real sense of being part of a strong community.

“You see it in the small yet thriving mom-and-pop stores in the area and the overwhelming participation in the public schools and neighborhood sports organizations,” says Sakuma. “It’s very evident. From oldtimers to new transplants, all are welcome.”

The current median sales price for a singlefamily home in the Pearl City-Aiea area is $640,750, down slightly from the peak of $678,000 in 2008.

“I would characterize the Aiea-Pearlridge housing market as strong and steady,” says Sakuma. “Properties here are on the market for a median of 30 days, which is about 20 percent fewer than Oahu’s median and unheard of in most markets on the mainland.”

Currently, there are 51 single-family homes listed for sale in the surrounding neighborhoods, with a median list price of $650,000, compared to a median list price of $725,000 Oahu wide.

“Comparing the list price to the sales price on average, sellers are getting 98 percent of list,” he continues. “All of this means that as a buyer, you have the assurance that your investment is sound, and as a seller, you know that you can get top dollar and won’t have to sit on the market for months and months on end.”

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