Wednesday, July 7, 1999

Oahu home
sales surge 58%

Single-family house prices are
down and sales are the best in
more than nine years

By Russ Lynch


June was the best month since May 1990 for the number of single-family, previously owned homes sold on Oahu, showing a 58 percent increase from June 1998, the Honolulu Board of Realtors said today.

Art Condominium resales were up sharply too last month, a 53.9 percent increase from a year-earlier. Last month saw the largest condominium resale volume in any month since June 1994.

The boost in sales came from lower prices and attractive mortgage interest rates, the 3,500-member trade association said.

"It's clear that the factors responsible for the sales continue to be the lowest housing prices of the '90s and very favorable financing," said Harvey Shapiro, the organization's research chief.

"For the short term it looks like mortgage costs will remain low in spite of last week's action by the Federal Reserve board," Shapiro said.

The Fed made a quarter-point hike in the federal funds rate, the interest banks charge each other on overnight loans.

The median price of Oahu single-family homes sold last month was $300,000, down 3.1 percent from the $309,500 June 1998 median, the price at which half the homes sold for more and half for less. Last month's condominium resale median, $125,000, was down 6 percent from $133,000 in the year-earlier month.

A total of 297 single-family homes were sold last month, compared with 188 in June 1998, and last month 297 condominium units changed hands, compared with 193 in June 1998.

"This marks a two-year milestone in which resales have exceeded the same month in the prior year," said Peter Freeman, the organization's chief executive.

In the first half of 1999, a total of 1,323 single-family homes were sold, an 18.4 percent increase from 1,117 in the 1998 half-year.

Six-months sales of condominium units totaled 1,505, up 33.2 percent from 1,130 last year.

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