The Building Industry Association of Hawaii’s annual Parade of Homes, which at one time had as many as 40 entries, was canceled last year and has just seven entries in 2014, a reflection of the inventory-strained housing market in Hawaii, especially on Oahu.
The Parade of Homes, which is in its 57th year in Hawaii and happening this month on Oahu and Maui, is a showcase of new homes on the market.
But Gladys Quinto Marrone, the new CEO of the BIA-Hawaii, told PBN this week that there’s just not enough product on the market these days.
“Our big picture goal [at BIA-Hawaii] is finding a way to encourage the building of housing at all levels,” she said. “There’s not a whole lot of housing for the middle class. People can’t sell because there’s really no place to go.”
For Marrone, the concern is personal — she and her husband, who live in a condominium in Makiki, are currently looking to upgrade, but just can’t find what they’re looking for.
“I’m driven because I feel the direct impact of the housing situation, and having lived in the Mainland and seeing the different costs up there and having come back here and seeing what it costs here, is just not fair,” she said. “I’m motivated to make it better. Education is key, to both policy makers and consumers.”
With thousands of residents moving to the Honolulu neighborhood of Kakaako in the next decade or so in one of at least a dozen new condos to be built, and with the master-planned communities of Hoopili in Ewa and Koa Ridge in Central Oahu set to add some 15,000 homes, the product seems to be there, but just not built out yet.
Marrone wants BIA-Hawaii to be able to be the organization that helps with Hawaii’s housing issue.
“We are home builders and we want to encourage that,” she said. “We have to be able to educate legislators about why home prices are so high and of all the lack of supply issues. Hopefully going into the next session, they will be more supportive of our proposals or at least refer to us for information.”
Duane Shimogawa Reporter – Pacific Business News