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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Friday, January 29, 2010

Sale restrictions on condo project lifted

by Andrew Gomes
Advertiser Staff Writer

A Waipahu condominium project that had been reserved for moderate-income homebuyers has been opened up to the general public to help boost sluggish sales.

Authorities also removed a provision that had required buyers at the Plantation Town Apartments to share any gain on resales with the state.

The restrictions were eliminated for the 138 unsold units in the 330-unit project that will be remarketed tomorrow by Hawaiian Island Homes Ltd.

Fee-simple prices range from $146,500 for 362-square-foot one-bedroom units to about $300,000 for 643-square-foot three-bedroom units.

The project, developed by a company led by local developer Michael Kimura, initially went on sale in 2006 before construction.

At the time, O'ahu's real estate market was approaching the end of its hot run.

By early 2007, about 170 people had reserved units or signed purchase contracts.

But, by the end of 2007, the developer obtained approval from the Hawai'i Housing and Finance Development Corp. a state agency governing affordable housing projects built on state land to raise the income limit to 140 percent of the median income. The City Council also approved the change.

Construction was completed in July 2008, but the subsequent recession further inhibited sales. That led to the latest changes, also approved by the HHFDC and the City Council.

The HHFDC said that declines in property values have narrowed the gap between market prices and Plantation Town unit prices to the point where the income limits and resale restrictions turned away buyers.

The resale restriction provided the state with a share of any capital gain for a unit resold within 10 years.

The only restrictions that remain on the unsold Plantation Town units are that buyers must be an adult resident of Hawai'i and may not rent out the unit.