It’s no surprise that homes on Oahu are steadily gaining value, but many homeowners may be surprised to learn that both single-family home and condo median prices have increased in all market areas since 2012. One area in particular has seen huge gains in home equity for both single-family homes and condos: Leeward Oahu.
Leeward and Ewa see big percentage gains
Five years ago, the median home price in Leeward Oahu was $280,000. Today, home values there have increased by 61 percent to a median of $450,944.
“While home equity is on the rise island-wide, homeowners in Leeward Oahu have seen their home values rise substantially over the past five years,” said Scott Higashi, president and CEO of Locations. “With an average gain in home equity of more than $170,000, now is a good time for Leeward homeowners to make their move up the real estate ladder or upgrade their current home while interest rates are still at near-historic lows.”
Leeward condos have fared even better in terms of percentage increase, with a 72 percent gain in median price since 2012.
Neighboring Ewa also saw large gains in median home prices over the past five years. Homeowners who purchased a single-family home at the median price of $460,000 in 2012 have seen an increase in median home prices of 41 percent to $650,000. Condos in Ewa have fared similarly well with a 51 percent increase in median price to a 2017 median price of $465,750. The sharp increase in Leeward and Ewa home values indicate strong homebuyer demand in these neighborhoods.
Other hot spots
Neighborhoods with a heavy concentration of luxury homes — like Waialae-Kahala, Kailua and Hawaii Kai — saw the biggest gains in terms of dollar amounts. In the case of Kailua, homeowners not only saw a large dollar amount gain of $330,500, but also a hefty percentage gain, at 42 percent. On the condo side, Ala Moana–Kakaako saw the largest dollar-amount increase, with a gain of $211,250 more than the median price in 2012. The more valuable the home, the more wealth it will grow over time.
What does this mean for homeowners?
Inventory, or homes available for purchase, is very low island-wide; yet, demand from homebuyers remains high, particularly in lower-to-moderately priced neighborhoods like Leeward and Ewa, as well as sought-after luxury neighborhoods like Kailua or Kakaako.
If you’ve owned your home for more than a few years, chances are, you’ve built up some decent home equity, both from your home’s appreciation and from paying down your loan. Homeowners who are looking to further increase the value of their current homes can draw upon their home’s equity to fund a new kitchen, bath or even a second-story addition. Homeowners looking to make the move from a condo to a single-family home — or from the suburbs into town — need to consider the cost of waiting to buy and sell. A lower-priced home will not build as much wealth over time as a higher-priced home, so waiting to move could end up costing you.
If you’re wondering how much your home is worth, go to locationshawaii.com/homevaluator for the most accurate home value estimate, made specifically for Hawaii’s unique market. For more advice on how to make your home’s equity work for you, contact your Locations agent.