Category: hawaii

Discovering the Hawaiian Islands

Norwegian Cruise Lines Pride of America in Hon...

NCL America, Norwegian Cruise Line’s American brand operates a single ship, the Pride of America, exclusively on inter-island cruises.  The brand was created in 2005 to provide 7-day cruises that start in Honolulu and visit Nawiliwili, Kauai; Kahului, Maui; Hilo, Hawaii; and Kona, Hawaii.  To this day, the Pride of America is the only ship offering 7-day cruises in Hawaii without a foreign port of call, a large competitive advantage over other cruise lines that begin voyages in California and include Mexico in the itinerary.  For travelers with only a short time in Hawaii, the inter-island cruise is perhaps the best way to be exposed to all of the state’s major islands.

Not only will tourists be able to travel by night and sightsee by day, they will also be able to experience the extraordinary food, delectable food, and exquisite pampering the cruise ship passengers have come to expect.  The cruise line also operates several shore excursions while in port.  These trips, while sometimes a bit pricey, are pre-planned half- or day-long journeys throughout the island’ spectacular sights and attractions.  Travelers who go on an excursion in each port will surely get a flavor of all Hawaii has to offer.

Hawaii Real Estate Market

Hanauma Bay

As the only island state, Hawaii real estate has for many years commanded some of the highest prices in the country, as sellers compete for the coveted oceanfront island property. Since the changes in the U.S. housing market took effect after the fallout from the greater recession, Hawaii has seen a struggling market. Housing prices plummeted in some areas and foreclosures also skyrocketed in some areas.

Though the market has seen some real struggles over the past couple of years, signs of optimism seem to be just beyond the horizon. According to a March article in the Honolulu Star Bulletin, there were 972 foreclosure filings in the month of February, a more than 25% drop from January and an improvement of 81% year-over-year.

The Hawaii foreclosure average bested the national rate as well: In Hawaii, the average accounted for one foreclosure for every 528 properties; the national average was one foreclosure for every 418 homes.

Hawaii homes for sale show a general trend of rising as well. The Star Bulletin reported that prices for single-family homes rose almost 22% year-over-year on Oahu, with condo sales up 0.3% from the same time last year but up in volume by nearly 50%. And according to Hawaii News Now, the most recent Case-Schiller home prices report showed that median prices in most American cities have risen year-over-year but are still below their highest medians; In Honolulu, on the contrary, prices are stronger, economist Paul Brewbaker said.

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