Simplifile has announced that Title Guaranty has completed the first-ever e-recording of a Land Court document in the state of Hawaii using Simplifile’s E-recording service
Simplifile has announced that Title Guaranty has completed the first-ever e-recording of a Land Court document in the state of Hawaii using Simplifile’s E-recording service. The document, a mortgage, was submitted into the public record in late July in a process that took only minutes.
Unlike most U.S. states, Hawaii does not have a county recording system. Instead, mortgages, deeds, and other real property documents are recorded through the State of Hawaii Bureau of Conveyances, which manages two systems of recordation: the Regular System and the Land Court System. While Hawaii has allowed e-recording of Regular System documents since 2010, last week’s achievement marks the first time a Land Court document has been recorded electronically in the state’s history.
“As the first title and escrow company in Hawaii, Title Guaranty is excited to now be the first to e-record in the state’s Land Court System,” said Title Guaranty Chief Operating Officer Mike B. Pietsch. “In addition to the many efficiencies it will create, e-recording will also allow clients much earlier access to their original recorded documents. We are proud to lead the way in utilizing technology to enhance a process that is so critical to real estate transactions in Hawaii.”
Paper-based recording can be especially cumbersome in Hawaii, where documents have to be air-mailed from neighboring islands to the Bureau of Conveyances on Oahu at great time and expense. The move to an electronic process represents a major step up in recording security, speed, and savings for Hawaii’s document submitters and recorders.
“Bilateral e-recording in Hawaii is a milestone we have been working toward for more than a decade,” said Simplifile President Paul Clifford. “After seeing first-hand the challenges document submitters must face to manually record in Hawaii’s island geography, we are extremely gratified to bring the convenience, security and cost savings of e-recording to the Land Court.”
As the pilot submitter for the first Hawaii Land Court recording, Title Guaranty worked closely with Simplifile to prepare for the momentous transaction.
“Our experience with Simplifile was excellent,” Pietsch said. “Their collaborative approach during our initial training on the platform, preparation for the pilot, and first batch of submissions to the Bureau of Conveyances made the whole process seem easy and clear to understand.”

HAMB: The Next Generation 26th Annual Conference & CE Class will be held Thursday, Sept. 14 at the JCCH-Manoa Ballroom, located at 2454 S Beretania Street in Honolulu, Hawaii.
7:30a.m.-8:00a.m. Registration, Coffee & Continental Breakfast
8:15a.m.-12:15p.m. David Luna CE Class (Part 1)
12:15p.m.-1:45p.m. Lunch & Trade Show (No Alcohol Please)
1:45p.m.-4:45p.m. David Lun CE Class (Part 2)
4:45p.m.-8:30p.m. After Dark Party & Trade Show. Prizes, Heavy Pupus and Networking (Alcohol allowed)
David Luna is the President of Mortgage Educators, an NMLS-approved provider. As a mortgage professional for more than 30 years, he has instructed thousands of mortgage professionals through live and online course formats, and is a proven mortgage producer having closed over 7,000 loans. He has held several positions in the industry including being a Branch Manager, Vice President of Production, just to name a few. He has also sat on the board of local and national associations, and served as one of his state's mortgage regulators and is active in developing NMLS education on both the state and national levels.
Click here for more information on HAMB: The Next Generation 26th Annual Conference & CE Class.

When it comes to adding apartments to a local housing market, Honolulu is the hardest metro for new rental units, according to survey commissioned by the National Apartment Association (NAA) and National Multifamily Housing Council (NMHC)
When it comes to adding apartments to a local housing market, Honolulu is the hardest metro for new rental units, according to survey commissioned by the National Apartment Association (NAA) and National Multifamily Housing Council (NMHC).
In research conducted by Hoyt Advisory Services on behalf of the trade groups, 50 metro areas were studied on housing-related factors including local regulations and the amount of available land to develop. The study concluded with a new ranking called the Barriers to Apartment Construction Index, which issued scores up to 19.5 for the most difficult market to add apartments (Honolulu) down to -5.9 for the easiest market (New Orleans). Boston, Baltimore, Miami and Memphis were among the most difficult markets for the creation of new apartment housing, while Little Rock, Kansas City, Indianapolis and St. Louis were among the easiest.
NMHC and NAA also released Vision 2030, a set of recommendations for the federal government on how to lower barriers to development and better address the current and future housing shortage of all types of apartments and at all price points. The trade groups noted that the last time more than 325,000 apartments were constructed in a single year was 1989, and they added a new wave of apartment construction would boost the economy in the coming years.
“While the number of new apartments built each year has been rising, it hasn’t been enough to meet current demand and make up for any possible shortfall at certain price points in the years following the recession,” said NAA Chairwoman Cindy Clare. “This imbalance between high demand and limited supply options has driven down affordability and reduced housing options for renters. Rents tend to be particularly high in areas with the greatest barriers to new development, such as California, where there’s a significant shortage in available land for building new apartment homes. This makes it more expensive to build.”

Castle & Cooke Mortgage has announced the launch of its new Consumer Direct team
Castle & Cooke Mortgage LLC has announced the opening of its new branch on the Hawaiian island of Maui. This new location will expand the company's footprint in Hawaii, complementing its sister branch in Mililani, with a focus on purchases and refinances of existing homes.
"Castle & Cooke Mortgage has long-standing roots in Hawaii,” said Castle & Cooke Mortgage President and COO Adam Thorpe. “Castle & Cooke was founded in Hawaii in 1851 as a small general store that has since grown into a worldwide leader in the food, transportation and real estate industries. We are very pleased to grow in a place so rich in personal and historical significance to our company.”
The new branch will be led by Ray Beltran and Kara Beltran (pictured right), and will include a team of employees, all of whom are industry veterans with 100 more than years of combined experience serving the homebuying needs of the local community. While based in Maui, the team can assist prospective and existing homeowners with their financing needs throughout the state of Hawaii.
"With low inventory, rising home values and the economy stabilizing in our area, a lot of homeowners will be looking to upgrade this year," said Kara. "With that in mind, we're here to help them get prequalified for their new purchase, as well as walk them through the transition from listing to buying. We have always been passionate about homeownership. We're well-versed in all facets of mortgage financing, from FHA, VA and USDA loan programs to condos to niche programs for buyers with diverse needs. But the one thing we do extremely well is educate and nurture first-time buyers."
Real estate agents looking for the best market to make a living may want to pack their bags and head across the Pacific
Real estate agents looking for the best market to make a living may want to pack their bags and head across the Pacific. According to the 2017's Best Places to Be a Real Estate Agent report from WalletHub, Honolulu is best place for real estate professionals to ply their trade.
WalletHub’s compared 150 of the largest U.S. cities using 14 key indicators of a healthy housing market, ranging from “sales per agent” to “annual median wage for real estate agents” to “housing-market health index.” The conclusion placed Honolulu as the best market for real estate agents, followed by Seattle; Denver; Boston; Aurora, Colo.; Madison, Wis.; Reno, Nev.; San Francisco; Irvine, Calif.; and Austin, Texas. Mississippi’s capital city of Jackson ranked last among the 150 cities in the study.
Among the specific market characteristics studied by WalletHub, Oxnard, Calif., has the most homes sold in the past year per real estate agent (114.09) and the lowest real estate job density 1.28, while San Francisco has the highest median house price ($799,600) and listings with the fewest days on the market (47). Bakersfield, Calif., has the highest annual median wage for real-estate agents ($89,890) and Yonkers, N.Y., has the highest average ratio of home sale price to home list price (2.03), while Henderson, Nev., has the highest home turnover rate (9.87 percent) and Sioux Falls, S.D., has the lowest unemployment rate (2.3 percent).
The Aloha State is in danger of saying “aloha” to housing unless a new wave of units comes to the market

The Aloha State is in danger of saying “aloha” to housing unless a new wave of units comes to the market.

According to an Associated Press report, Hawaiian housing experts are warning that their state will need between 65,000 to 80,000 new units by 2025 in order to keep up with the current demand for new housing. This is especially acute for affordable housing, as single-family homes cost a median of $750,000

“We’ll continue to see increasing median household prices which will continue to essentially squeeze out individual—especially local residents—from being able to afford a home,” said Luis Salaveria, director of the state Department of Business, Economic Development & Tourism.

Ramping up home construction would also benefit the Hawaiian economy, according to Carl Bonham, executive director of the University of Hawaii Economic Research Organization.

“If we actually built enough houses to satisfy growth in population and existing shortfall, it would add one percent to our total jobs, one percent to our total income over the whole time period, so every year we’d have one percent more jobs than we would otherwise,” said Bonham. “It’s by no means a small issue.”

When it comes to closing costs on mortgages, the Aloha State is also the most expensive state

When it comes to closing costs on mortgages, the Aloha State is also the most expensive state.

According to new data from Bankrate.com that analyzed closing costs on a $200,000 home loan, Hawaii had the highest average closing costs with $2,655—more than a few dollars above the national average of $2,128. The other states with high closing costs were all along the Atlantic coast: New York ($2,560), North Carolina ($2,409), Delaware ($2,358), South Carolina ($2,322), and Connecticut ($2,313).

In contrast, Pennsylvania’s closing costs were $1,837. Low closing costs were also abundant in Wisconsin ($1,863), Kentucky ($1,874), South Dakota ($1,904), Oklahoma ($1,911), and Missouri ($1,926).

“Thanks to the new and improved mortgage disclosures that the CFPB introduced last October, closing cost estimates have become more accurate because they mandate that lenders include all costs ahead of time,” said Holden Lewis, Bankrate.com’s senior mortgage analyst. “This is great for consumers who can now comparison shop with more confidence.”

The HAMB 25th Annual State Conference "Get TRID Fit With HAMB" will be held Wednesday, Sept. 14 at the Japanese Culture Center of Hawaii, located at 2454 South Beretania Street (Manoa Grand Ballroom) in Honolulu, Hawaii. This year marks the 25th year of the annual Association of Mortgage Professionals (HAMB) State Conference. Don't miss this opportunity to earn your eight education credits while recharging your mortgage network. Keep your NMLS registration healthy with HAMB.

Click here for more information or visit HAMB.org.

So, who is buying homes in Hawaii? The Aloha State’s Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism was curious to find out, so it analyzed data compiled by Title Guaranty for a new report that tracks home sale activities from January 2008 to September 2015.

According to the newly released “Residential Home Sales in Hawaii,” a total of 139,998 homes were sold during this period—or, roughly 18,064 homes sold per year and 1,505 homes sold per month. The data incorporates resales of existing homes and new developments, and both single family homes and condominiums in its statistics.

Nearly two-third of the homes sold statewide during these years (72.5 percent) were purchased by Hawaiian residents, with 23.5 percent sold to Americans coming over from the mainland and four percent sold to foreigners. Californians represented the majority of mainland buyers (38.4 percent), followed by Texans (10.5 percent) and Washington State buyers (8.5 percent), while Canadians made up 44.1 percent of foreign buyers, followed by Japanese buyers at 37.9 percent.

But wherever the buyers came from, they needed to have plenty of U.S. currency to secure their transactions. The average price for homes purchased by foreign residents was $785,604, while U.S. mainland buyers paid an average of $630,390 and Hawaii residents averaged at $478,189. Buyers from across the Pacific paid the most for Hawaiian residential properties: those arriving from Hong Kong had the highest average home price at $1.05 million, followed by Chinese buyers shelling out an average of $936,738 and Korean buyers paying an average of $882,894.

Cathy Lee is currently taking her second go-round as president of HAMB–The Hawaii Association of Mortgage Professionals. A senior mortgage loan originator at Hawaii Lending Specialists LLC–a brokerage specializing in residential, commercial and government-assisted lending programs–Lee spoke with National Mortgage Professional Magazine about her work with the association and discussed the state of the Aloha State’s housing scene.

How did you first get involved with the association?
I first started in mortgage banking after I was laid off from the Dean Witter stockbroker firm. I started as a loan processor, but at the time, there was no one teaching anyone how to be a mortgage professional. It was one of those things you learned as you go. I stumbled across HAMB and they had classes, so I joined and started going to different seminars. I first became involved in 2003, helping out at conferences, and later joined the board. I served as HAMB president in 2011 and again in 2015.

You are now in your second term as the association’s president. What brings you back to this role?
Everyone is a volunteer and it takes away from everyone’s day-to-day work activities. But the way I see it is this: If you can give little, that’s great. If you can give a little more, that’s fantastic.

What is the association’s input in the state legislative process? And what issues are currently on your plate?
We have a lobbyist that helps when an industry-related bill is introduced. We have the opportunity to sit with the Commissioner of the Division of Financial Institutions and see if we can work things out.

We are the only profession in Hawaii that requires the posting of your office hours. You need a sign that says you are open from eight to four, etc., and you have to be at desk from eight to four. For a mortgage professional, that is really hard because much of our business takes place outside of the office. I have clients on other islands, so I have to fly to these other places and be out of the office all day.

We are trying to see if the state can include language that says, “By Appointment Only,” on these signs. I’m hoping we can compromise on something. For a one- or two-person shop, to have someone sit there for eight hours is difficult—and they cannot answer questions or even open my drawers because they are not licensed.

How does the association keep its members up to speed on industry-related issues?
We offer classes that keep everyone updated on issues, such as the new TRID regulations. We’ve asked lenders and people in escrow to put together presentations, and we’ve asked real estate agents to attend to make sure they are notified and involved.

As a state affiliate of NAMB, how do your members benefit from its connection with the national group?
NAMB does a lot for the industry. They keep us updated on all issues and, as a state affiliate of NAMB, we’re lucky to have them.

Thanks to NAMB, I went to Washington, D.C. in 2010 and 2011. Going to Washington is a long trip for me–I have to fly out two days head of the meeting. Going to the West Coast is a little easier–in a short period of time, I can be there. But if you are able to make it to Washington, D.C., it’s a great experience. They have great speakers and you meet with your legislators and speak to them; I have been able to sit at table with reps from the CFPB and have conversations with them.

In your opinion, what can be done to bring young people into careers in the mortgage profession?
I am not seeing much of the younger generation coming through. My opinion is that the younger generation is looking for careers with fast-earning capabilities. This profession requires time–you have to meet your clients, know their needs and figure out ways to help them. Some young people are not patient enough to do that, but I am hoping to see new faces.

What is the current state of Hawaii’s housing market?
Our housing is crazy in parts. In downtown metro Honolulu, a condo studio can go for $300,000 or $400,000, while a one-bedroom can go for $500,000-$600,000 and up. We have affordable housing on the outskirts of the Main Island on rezoned agricultural land. But, now, because of that new housing going up, our farming community is getting smaller.