February of 2009 continued right where January left off. We had 129 single family homes and 160 homes close last month. Our year to date volume is down 53% from last year. In order to find similar numbers, we have to go back to around 1995-1996 which many can argue was the bottom of the previous down market. Our median sales price was $555,000 for single family homes and $297,000 for condos. The last time we had these prices were early 2005 for homes and mid 2006 for condos. Our days on market for homes are 69 and 70 for condos, which isn't that bad still compared to most of the mainland US. I'm surprised as to how many buyer inquiries I've had over the past several weeks where the home they're inquiring on is under contract. Even though the numbers of sales are down significantly, well priced homes are selling.
When broken down per region, Waialae-Kahala led the market w/ numbers of sales up 18% from last year and prices up 8% for single family homes year to date* For the biggest buying opportunities, Pearl City-Aiea home prices are down 33% from last year. On the condo front, Kalihi condos were up 33%. Perhaps the best buying opportunity could be Kapahulu-Kuliouou which was down 62% (part of reason was some leasehold sales drug down the prices). Outside of that, Ala Moana to Kakaako was down 43% and could create some opportunity there as well.
On a bright note, amid all the doom & gloom in the news, real estate has held its price well as an asset class. Recently, the S & P 500 index is now worth the same as it was in 1996. If you invested $100,000 then, it would be worth $100,000 today, 13 years later. If you invested $100,000 in Oahu real estate then, you would be far better off! With no financing or leverage involved, you would be up 50% on average. When you add in leverage/financing, tax incentives, etc. you would could have increased your returns exponentially!
*It was also Waialae-Kahala's appreciation that led us out of the last down market.