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Isle home prices level off

Oahu housing prices, after rising at a blistering pace during the past few years, are showing signs of cooling.

The median price for a single-family home dropped more than 3 percent in September to $380,000, from $392,000 in August. The decline was the first month-to-month decrease since May, according to the Honolulu Board of Realtors.

Condominium prices also appear to be stabilizing, with the median price edging up 2.5 percent last month to $205,000 from $200,000 the previous two months.

"We aren’t in the insane period that we were in a few months ago where 5 or 6 people would put in offers for the same house at once," said Dot Mason, president of the Honolulu Board of Realtors. "It’s just more rational for both buyers and sellers our there," she said yesterday. …

…"The stabilization in residential prices that we’ve been predicting is borne out by the September sales figures," said Mason, who forecast a marketwide leveling more than two months ago.

In addition, she said, "… we believe that we will continue to see somewhat level sales prices for the next few months because of our increasing inventories and a marked lessening in the number of sales."

On average, she added, it takes about 10 months to sell a single-family home and 7.3 months to sell a condominium.

By contrast, during the busy January period it took half as long to sell a home and about 4 months to sell a condominium.

The lengthy inventory period is reflected by a low sales volume.

Last month only 219 homes were sold on Oahu.


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