Wednesday, May 5, 1999

Isle home sales
jump as prices
decrease again

A 45% gain in Leeward purchases
brings down the median cost

By Russ Lynch


Art Sales of previously owned houses on Oahu were up substantially in April but prices were down, creating some opportunities for buyers, the Honolulu Board of Realtors said today.

A total of 238 single-family homes changed hands during the month, up 20.2 percent from 198 sales in April 1998, the real estate trade association said. Condominium sales were up 36.1 percent for a total of 275 units, compared with 202 in the year-earlier month.

The median price among single-family homes, $285,000 last month, was down 7 percent from $306,500 in April 1998. The condominium median was $118,000 last month, down 15.4 percent from $140,000 in the year-earlier month. The median is the price midway between the highest and the lowest prices.

P.J. Moore, chairman elect of the association, said the median price figures don't tell the whole story because of the price differences in various locations around the island.

"For instance, 45 percent of April single-family sales were in Leeward Oahu, the least expensive area, compared with just 37 percent last April," Moore said. "This change in market share alone would lower the overall median sales price even if no individual property prices declined," he said.

Nevertheless, prices did favor buyers, he said.

The 3,700-member association's survey, through its computerized Multiple Listing Service, showed that April was the 22nd consecutive month of higher sales volume compared with the year-earlier month.

Year-to-date sales of 787 single-family homes were up 12.1 percent from 702 in the first four months of last year. Sales of condominium units in the first four months, 915, were up 25.2 percent from 731 in the same period last year. The board's figures do not include sales of new homes.

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