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Pace of Oahu home sales may be sign of consumer confidence

By Dave Segal

LAST UPDATED: 11:51 a.m. HST, Feb 8, 2011

The pace of Oahu single-family home sales picked up last month and exceeded those of condominiums, an indication that consumer confidence is returning to the market, the Honolulu Board of Realtors said in a report today.

Sales of single-family homes rose 11.2 percent to 199 from 179 a year ago while condo sales increased 9.5 percent to 265 from 242. However, the board said single-family homes closed at a brisker pace last month than in the year-earlier period.

Single-family home sales closed at an average of 38 days compared with 43 a year ago. Condo sales, however, closed at a slower pace of 49 days, up from 36 in the year-earlier period.

"Oahu's real estate market got off to a strong start this year and we've very encouraged by January's numbers," said Brian Benton, immediate past president of HBR. "We're seeing a shift to more single-family home sales over condominiums, which is a good indicator of returning consumer confidence."

Benton said that single-family home purchases are typically made by local residents looking to move up in the real estate market rather than by investors.

Median prices, however, slipped in January for both single-family homes and condos. The median price of a single-family homes fell 4.2 percent to $570,000 from $595,000 while the median for condos dropped to $291,000 from $299,000. 


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