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Oahu real estate sales sluggish

Single-family homes dropped to their lowest price in more than two years at $548,500

By Kristen Consillio

POSTED:
LAST UPDATED: 01:45 a.m. HST, Apr 08, 2011


Oahu's housing market is off to a lackluster start this year.

The number of sales decreased in March as did the median price for single-family homes, according to a report released yesterday by the Hono­lulu Board of Realtors.

There were 249 sales of previously owned single-family homes, down 2.4 percent from a year earlier, while condo sales dropped 8.1 percent to 331, the report showed.

The median price for single-family homes was $548,500 — the lowest since January 2009's median of $539,500. The March median was down 8.6 percent from $600,000 a year ago. The median is down 5.5 percent so far this year.

The median price for condos climbed a modest 1.6 percent to $315,000 from $310,000 in March 2010. It is up 2.5 percent year to date.

Realtors say the limited number of quality homes on the market has much to do with slow sales and lower prices.

"It's getting a little bit of a slower start than the previous year, but inventory is very low — it's the lowest it's been in years," said Jon Yama­sato, a Realtor at Prudential Locations LLC. "There's a lot of people who bought in 2006, 2007 and 2008, and now they either want to sell but can't because if they sell they don't have the cash to buy something else, or they're upside down so they're choosing to stay where they are."

HOME SALES

The number of homes sold on Oahu in March with the median price and percentage change from the same month last year:
HOMES
  SALES MEDIAN PRICE
March 2011 249 $548,500
March 2010 255 $600,000
Pct. change -2.4% -8.6%
CONDOS
  SALES MEDIAN PRICE
March 2011 331 $315,000
March 2010 360 $310,000
Pct. change -8.1% +1.6%
Source: Honolulu Board of Realtors

Single-family home inventory totaled 1,401 at the end of March — 12.1 percent less than 1,593 the year before — while condo inventory totaled 1,948, a 5.3 percent reduction from 2,056.

In addition, sales closed at a slower pace last month compared with a year earlier, with single-family homes on the market for 41 days, compared with 34, and condo listings for 46 days, up from 36.

Although product is limited, there is still great demand for quality inventory that's ready for occupancy, Yama­sato said.

The Ewa Plain, Oahu's largest submarket, saw the most single-family home sales last month — 48 compared with 42 a year ago — for a median $445,000 versus $440,000, respectively. Meanwhile, condo sales were the highest in Waikiki, totaling 68 for a median $296,000. That compares with 66 sales in March 2010 for a median $318,500.

"Demand is still there if you have a good product," he said.

"It's really neighborhood-dependent. There are areas in town where there's very little inventory and still multiple people that want it, while other neighborhoods have an abundant supply of houses on the market. The gist of it is there's still demand out there, it's just that buyers are more picky."

Cautious buyers also want more for their money and are willing to wait for better product, he added.

If no additional homes were put up for sale, it would take 5.4 months to exhaust Oahu's inventory of single-family homes, compared with 6.6 months in March 2010. For condos it would take 5.8 months to deplete the inventory based on the pace of last month's sales versus 6.3 months the year earlier.

"The Oahu median prices for both single-family homes and condominiums are still constant, while the sales volume for the market has slowed," Joyce Naka­mura, president of the Hono­lulu Board of Realtors, said in a press release. "The tightened inventory levels and low mortgage interest rates make it an opportune time for well-qualified buyers to purchase a home."

Realtors expect the market to get busier after tax season as consumers seek investments and look to settle into new homes before the summer and the start of the new school year.

 

NEIGHBORHOOD WATCH

Oahu single-family home and condominium resales data for March by neighborhood with the percentage change from last year:

SINGLE-FAMILY HOMES

No. Neighborhood group Sales PCT. change Median price PCT. change
1. Aina Haina-Kuliouou 9 80.0% $1,060,000 35.9%
2. Ala Moana-Kakaako 0 -100.0% $0 -100.0%
3. Downtown-Nuuanu 8 14.3% $722,500 -26.9%
4. Ewa Plains 48 14.3% $445,000 1.1%
5. Hawaii Kai 9 -55.0% $910,000 16.7%
6. Kailua-Waimanalo 16 -11.1% $750,000 -13.7%
7. Kalihi-Palama 11 22.2% $527,500 -12.1%
8. Kaneohe 18 -50.0% $697,500 12.5%
9. Kapahulu-Diamond Head 13 -40.9% $675,000 -4.9%
10. Makaha-Nanakuli 16 6.7% $265,000 -18.5%
11. Makakilo 9 125.0% $445,000 -33.3%
12. Makiki-Moiliili 12 71.4% $892,500 7.9%
13. Mililani 16 77.8% $543,750 -11.6%
14. Moanalua-Salt Lake 4 0.0% $771,250 14.7%
15. North Shore 4 -33.3% $501,000 14.5%
16. Pearl City-Aiea 16 6.7% $572,500 0.4%
17. Wahiawa 8 100.0% $347,500 -6.1%
18. Waialea-Kahala 4 -20.0% $1,170,000 -19.3%
19. Waikiki 0 ---- $0 ---
20. Waipahu 21 -4.5% $498,000 -3.8%
21. Windward Coast 6 50.0% $318,500 -33.4%

 

CONDOMINIUMS

No. Neighborhood group Sales PCT. change Median price PCT. change
22. Aina Haina-Kuliouou 1 -50.0% $493,000 11.3%
23. Ala Moana- Kakaako 31 10.7% $399,500 5.8%
24. Downtown-Nuuanu 23 9.5% $337,500 -7.1%
25. Ewa Plains 28 21.7% $325,000 1.6%
26. Hawaii Kai 13 0.0% $575,000 5.5%
27. Kailua-Waimanalo 7 -12.5% $465,000 23.5%
28. Kaliihi-Palama 6 -14.3% $302,000 6.3%
29. Kaneohe 10 -28.6% $350,000 -1.6%
30. Kapahulu-Diamond Head 9 -10.0% $502,500 6.9%
31. Makaha-Nanakuli 7 -61.1% $89,900 -5.4%
32. Makakilo 11 175.0% $227,000 -9.6%
33. Makiki-Moiliili 36 -25.0% $318,000 9.7%
34. Mililani 18 5.9% $277,000 -5.1%
35. Moanalua-Salt Lake 12 -33.3% $280,000 2.8%
36. North Shore 2 100.0% $399,000 66.3%
37. Pearl City-Aiea 27 -20.6% $240,000 -19.3%
38. Wahiawa 0 -- $0 --
39. Waialae-Kahala 2 100.0% $367,500 4.4%
40. Waikiki 68 3.0% $296,000 -7.1%
41. Waipahu 18 -30.8% $277,500 -4.3%
42. Windward Coast 2 100.0% $185,150 -39.8%

Source: Honolulu Board of Realtors Star-Advertiser






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