Oahu median home price hits record high

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Oahu’s housing market hit another record in September with the median price of single-family homes climbing to $812,500.

That’s a 6.9% spike from the median price in September 2017 and a slight bump up from the previous record of $810,000 set in August, according to a Honolulu Board of Realtors report released Saturday. Median sales price means half of the homes sold during the month went for below that number and half were more expensive.

Darryl Macha, president of the Honolulu Board of Realtors, said surging home prices notwithstanding, now is the time to buy because mortgage rates remain below 5% and the housing inventory is increasing.

He said the consensus from the mortgage industry is that rates will continue to rise as the year ends.

In September, the number of active listings on Oahu was up about 11% for both single-family homes and condominiums, to 1,361 and 2,053, respectively.

Oahu, Hawaii

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Macha said some potential homebuyers may be discouraged by the eye-popping median price, but “it’s not the starting price. Where inventory is coming online is below the median price.”

He said a lot of the listings in September were in the more affordable range of $600,000 to $800,000 for single-family homes.

Of the 309 single-family homes sold on Oahu last month, 58 were in the $700,000-to-$799,000 range. Forty-eight homes went in the $600,000-to-$699,000 range and 19 homes sold for $2 million or more.

At the same time, the number of homes sold dropped about 17% percent from the previous September, the data show.

Macha said the latest statistics mark the beginning of a shift in Oahu’s housing market with the decline in sales of both single-family homes and condominiums combined with a growing inventory.

It is not clear what caused the uptick in inventory, but Macha said if prospective buyers are “sitting on the fence” about buying a home, then they should begin looking, because with more properties to choose from they are more likely to find something.

Many of September’s listings were in the Ewa plain, which includes Ewa Beach and Kapolei, and also in pockets of Pearl City.

Macha noted the increase in inventory may have prompted single-family homes and condos to stay on the market for an extra two days, at 14 and 19 days, respectively, compared to August.

“They’re trying to see everything,” he said of buyers.

While buyers may be taking more time to see what’s available, properties are still moving quickly, with a majority of condos moving at above the asking price, Macha said.

The median price of condos crept up 0.7% to $428,000, but condo sales overall were down, with 511 units sold last month, about a 3% drop from the previous year. Of the units sold, 123 went for between $300,000 and $399,999, the most popular price range.

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