As most of you already know, Hawaii ranks among the top in the nation when it comes to rent we pay and housing costs we pay. However, we dwell near the bottom of the barrel in home ownership. Not surprising, seeing as how the median price of a home in Hawaii is $525,400, compared with the national average of $179,900, you can see why it is so tough to even own a home in Hawaii.
Rent is also another area in which Hawaii leads the nation. This is not good, as rent fees are astronomical in our state. The state’s median rent ranked first in the country at $1,291, compared with West Virginia, which came in last at $571. The median rent in the U.S. was $855. Across the state, Oahu had the highest monthly rent at $1,363, while Hawaii County had the lowest at $972. The percentage of multigenerational households in Hawaii was the highest in the nation at 7.2 percent.
Rent and home prices in Hawaii will always be high, however the newest rent numbers are simply staggering. One could go to almost any other state and rent a nicer place for less than half the price of what residents pay here.
Rent prices are all the more reason to try and buy a home, as a mortgage would be only slightly more (depending on how you worked it) and at least that money would be going to something you owned.
The problem is that it is so hard to get into a home now, that most of us can’t buy. The major stepping-stone is not the mortgage payment, it is getting qualified for the type of loan needed to get yourself in a home. So it is basically a catch 22, damned if you do, damned if you don’t.
The percentage of Hawaii residents living below the poverty level was low, 10.7 percent, ranking the state among the bottom 10. Mississippi ranked at the top in the category at 22.4 percent. In Hawaii, Honolulu County had the lowest poverty rate at 9.1 percent, and Hawaii County had the highest at 18.4 percent.
TO be honest, the only redeeming part about trying to purchase a home these days is that mortgage rates are at an all-time low. If you can manage to get qualified, then you can at least lock yourself in with a rate that is excellent.