Oahu’s more affordable option for homeownership is climbing in cost as median sales prices for condominiums hit historic highs, as evidenced in July.
Previously owned Oahu condos sold for a median $425,000, increasing 6.3 percent from $400,000 in July 2016, according to resale figures released Sunday by the Honolulu Board of Realtors. The July median sales price for Oahu condos exceeded the previous record high of $415,500, set in April.
“Median sales prices for condominiums are the highest we’ve seen as prices have continued to soar,” Sue Ann Lee, president of the local Realtors trade association and a broker with Properties of the Pacific, said in a statement. “Condos and townhouses at midrange price points are a likely alternative when there is a lack of affordable single-family home inventory, causing the median sales price to shift up.”
The number of homes sold on Oahu in July with the median price and percentage change from the same month last year:
SALES MEDIAN PRICE
July 2017 335 $750,000
July 2016 322 $746,000
Change 4% 0.5%
SALES MEDIAN PRICE
July 2017 475 $425,000
July 2016 444 $400,000
Change 7% 6.3%
Source: Honolulu Board of Realtors
The median sales price for Oahu condos, which also include town homes, has been at $400,000 or above for five straight months. The median price is a point at which half the homes sold for a higher price and half for a lower price.
In July the sales of 475 Oahu condos closed, a 7 percent increase from 444 in the same month last year. As the number of sales rose, median days on the market declined. Sales of condos closed after 14 days on the market, a 22.2 percent decrease from 18 days on the market in July 2016.
Year-to-date, condos make up 60 percent of home sales, with 3,272 sales closed on condos, compared with 2,124 single-family homes.
The area with the most condo sales in July was Waikiki, with 77 sales, followed by Ewa, with 55. There were 45 condos sold in Ala Moana-Kakaako, according to a Wednesday report released by Locations, a major Hawaii residential real estate brokerage firm.
The median price of those sales in Waikiki was $370,000; in Ewa, $387,000; and in Ala Moana-Kakaako, $695,000, according to Locations. The median price in Ala Moana-Kakaako for July spiked 88 percent from $370,000 in July 2016.
As Oahu’s median sales prices for condos broke records, median sales prices of single-family homes saw a modest change. Single-family home prices rose slightly over the same month last year but came in below recent highs.
Single-family houses on Oahu sold for a median $750,000 in July. The July median price inched up 0.5 percent from July 2016’s $746,000.
“It’s like an escalator. It’s going up and up and up at a really constant rate. It has been doing that for about five years here on Oahu,” said Paul Brewbaker, principal of TZ Economics. “These numbers don’t seem to be that much out of bounds with what we’ve seen for a long time, at least since the summer of 2011.”
Despite increasing over the year-ago price, July’s median sales price of $750,000 pales next to the record $795,000 hit the month before. June’s record median sales price was $35,000 higher than the previous record of $760,000 exactly a year earlier. Brewbaker said the difference fits with current seasonality patterns, noting June prices are higher than July and May prices.
The number of single-family homes sold was up 4 percent, with 335 homes sold in July and 322 a year prior.
In July the area with the most single-family home sales was Ewa, with 70, followed by Mililani with 25. Tied for third was Pearl City-Aiea and Leeward with 22, according to Locations.
The median price of those sales in Ewa was $681,875. The median price in Mililani was $731,500. In Pearl City-Aiea it was $745,000, and in Leeward it was $517,500.
While the number of single-family home sales saw a slight increase in July, the number of days a home was on the market during that time surged. The number of days a home was on the market spiked 25 percent in July, with sales closing in an average of 20 days, compared with 16 days in July 2016.
In July, 481 new listings of single-family homes were added to the market. Only once in the last 24 months has the number of new listings been higher: in March, when there were 492 new listings. In comparison, the condo market last month saw 674 new listings.
According to Locations’ Wednesday report, the firm said it expects Oahu condo and single-family home prices to continue a steady climb as demand continues to outpace available supply.
“An uptick in new listings for both single-family homes and condos is welcome news for prospective homeowners; however, demand continues to outpace available inventory,” Scott Higashi, CEO of Locations, said in the report.