Foreclosure-related sales rise 23%
HONOLULU - A real estate research firm says foreclosure-related Hawaii home sales increased 23 percent in the third quarter compared to a year earlier. The 486 repurchased properties represented 8.8 percent of all transactions in the third quarter.
RealtyTrac says lenders sold 369 Hawaii homes in last year's third quarter from July to September, up 63 percent from 226 sales in the same quarter in 2010.
Lenders who stopped out-of-court foreclosures in Hawaii last May because of a controversial new law still have significant inventory of repossessed homes to sell.
Because of the new law, lenders have gradually been filing more foreclosures in court, which take longer.
RealtyTrac says there were 117 so-called short sales in the third quarter, up 31 percent from 89 a year earlier.
Rail project legal bills top $1.87M
HONOLULU - Legal bills for Honolulu's rail project have totaled more than $1.87 million with seven law firms hired.
The $5.27 billion, 20-mile rail project is facing a federal lawsuit by opponents including former Gov. Ben Cayetano, who has announced he'll run for mayor as an anti-rail candidate.
There's also a suit before the state Supreme Court to stop work until an archaeological survey along the route is completed.
On Wednesday, the City Council approved $400,000 for anticipated new legal costs, despite objections from Budget Chairwoman Ann Kobayashi who calls the spending "out of control."
Towers to be cooled by seawater system
HONOLULU - Twin 45-story Honolulu residential towers will be using a seawater air-conditioning system.
One Waterfront Towers near downtown signed an agreement to be the first residential building customer to use Honolulu Seawater's cooling system.
The agreement was announced Wednesday.
Honolulu Seawater Air Conditioning, LLC plans to suck 45-degree water from 1,800 feet deep, circulate frosty water into the buildings' existing A/C systems and then dump it back into the sea.
The company will rent a parcel in Kakaako from Kamehameha Schools for a pumping station. Construction is expected to begin this year, with service to customers to begin next year.
Oahu man indicted; fraud alleged
JACKSON, Miss. - Federal officials say a man in Hawaii has been charged by a grand jury in connection with an investment scheme related to rebuilding projects in areas of Mississippi affected by Hurricane Katrina.
A Justice Department news release from the Jackson FBI office identifies the man as 54-year-old Dan Doyle, a resident of of Oahu.
The indictment alleges that Doyle promoted investments in Mississippi projects financed through the federal government's Gulf Opportunity Zone program.
Seventeen people used wire transfers or mail to send more than $890,000 to Doyle for investments in GO Zone projects that were never built, according to the indictment.
- From The Maui News and its news services