Oahu condo prices set record in January

Oahu condo prices set record in January

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Oahu’s housing market wasted little time this year setting a new price peak after posting three median sale price records in different months last year.

The median price for condominiums sold in January reached a new high of $430,000 off a 13.2% gain over the $380,000 median price in the same month last year, according to the Honolulu Board of Realtors.

“The market is off to a healthy start in 2018,” Scott Higashi, president and CEO of local real estate brokerage firm Locations LLC, said in a company report.

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The record in January followed highs set last year in April ($415,500) and July ($425,000) for the median condo sale price, and in June for the median sale price for single-family homes ($795,000).

Single-family homes sold for a median $772,000 last month. That was up 5.8% from $730,000 a year earlier.

Darryl Macha, president of the Honolulu Board of Realtors, called the median price gains last month notable.

“It’s a strong indication that the demand for housing is still very high, but limited inventory continues to be a challenge for potential homebuyers,” he said in a statement.

Oahu’s housing market has been characterized by moderate price appreciation over the last six years, with annual median price gains between 2.7% and 7.8% for single-family homes and gains between 2.9% and 8.3% for condos. Record annual median prices have been set in each of the last five years.

This year more of the same is expected by local economists, who cite factors including relatively little new home construction, a growing population, relatively low interest rates, low unemployment and rising wages.

Last month the number of homes sold budged only slightly. For single-family homes there were 252 sales last month, up 2% from 247 a year earlier. For condos there were 347 sales last month, down 1.1% from 378 a year earlier.

Higashi said in his firm’s report that he expects to see more condo sales, along with higher prices, throughout the spring based on more listings of previously owned condos as well as new condos on the market. He added that interest rates are ticking up toward a three-year high but remain around a historically low level.

There were 730 additional Oahu condos listed for sale in January. That was the most since 754 new listings in March and compared with 399 new listings in December.

There were 426 more single-family homes added to the market last month. That was up from 234 in December but remained modestly below figures for most months last year.

The Honolulu Board of Realtors data are for sales that were completed in January, which typically reflects sales agreements signed between one and three months earlier. The median is a point at which half the sales were at a higher price and half at a lower price.

Tribune Content Agency

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