Business In Brief For February 9, 2011

Business / In Brief • Feb. 9, 2011
* Hawaii

Excerpts from: Maui News

Oahu single-family home sales increase

HONOLULU – Oahu home sales increased in January while prices fell slightly compared to a year ago, the Honolulu Board of Realtors reported Tuesday.

There were 199 single-family homes sold during the month, up 11.2 percent from January 2010. There were also 265 condo units sold during the month, an increase of 9.5 percent, the board said.

The median price of a single-family home dipped 4.2 percent from $595,000 to $570,000, while condos fell 2.7 percent to $291,000.

Brian Benton, immediate past president of the Honolulu Board of Realtors, said he’s seeing a shift in sales from condos to single-family homes, which is a good indicator of returning consumer confidence.

Single-family homes were listed for an average of 38 days, down from 43 days a year ago. However, condos are taking longer to sell, with an average listing period of 49 days, up considerably from 36 days in January 2010.

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Hawaii enrolls more kids for insurance

HONOLULU – The federal government is reporting that Hawaii has one of the sharpest increases in children enrolled in the Children’s Health Insurance Program and Medicaid.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services said Hawaii child enrollees rose nearly 15 percent between the 2009 and 2010 fiscal years, the fifth-highest increase in the nation.

That represents a jump of 18,000 additional children signed up for the CHIP and Medicaid programs.

In all, nearly 142,000 children were enrolled in either of the programs in 2010.

Only Alabama, Montana, Oregon and North Carolina had larger yearly increases.

The enrollment data were included in the annual report of the Children’s Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act of 2009, which is designed to give states more opportunities to improve program access.