For those of you buyers who want to use your tax credit before it expires Nov. 30, now is the time to start looking! After 2 months of gains in numbers sold, single family home sales on Oahu decreased in August, by just a small percentage. The median home price, which is the point at which half the sales were for more and half for less, fell 10.9 percent to $566,000 in August from $635,000 a year earlier. As of August this year, the median single-family home price is down 9.4 percent, to $570,000.
In the Oahu condominium market, sales were up 1.7 percent, to 351 last month from 345 a year earlier. The last time condo sales rose year-over-year was in March 2006. However, the median condo sale price in August fell 11.6 percent, to $290,000 from $328,000 a year ago. The last time the median was as low was in October 2005. For the first eight months of this year, the condo median price was $305,000, down 7.6 percent from the same period last year.
Many Realtors and market followers believe the Hawaii real estate market has just about bottomed, in terms of volumes. Sellers are now reviewing multiple offers and inventory has started to decrease.
Last month on O'ahu, there were 1,624 single-family homes for sale. That was the lowest level for any August since 2005, near the peak of the market, when inventory was at 1,060. Inventory in August 2008 was 2,119 homes, and has ranged between 1,653 and 1,928 during the first seven months of this year. If no new homes were added to the market, it would take 6.1 months to sell the current inventory, which is down from 8.4 months a year earlier, 6.5 months in July and - a high for any month this year - 15.8 months in February.
Condo inventory last month was 2,140 units, which was the lowest for any August since 2005, when there were 1,097 condos for sale. Inventory in August 2008 was 2,743, and has ranged between 2,279 and 2,582 earlier this year.
While there are many variations in real estate sales by area on Oahu, these trends generally hold true in Hawaii Kai. We have a more stable market than some areas, and a limited supply, unlike Ewa, where there are still new developments.
There are many factors in our Oahu and Hawaii economies which will adversely affect our real estate market, such as possible wage cuts and furloughs for state workers, rise in unemployment, and flat personal income. But prices are low, rates are low, and buyers - you can get government help to purchase. Don't lose this opportunity. Contact me for details on our Hawaii Kai real estate market.
(resources: Honolulu Board of Realtors, Honolulu Advertiser)