Thursday, August 5, 1999

Oahu home sales
rebound continues

By Rob Perez


Homes on Oahu sold last month at the fastest pace in more than five years, yet another indicator that the resale market is strengthening, the Honolulu Board of Realtors says.

The trade group also said yesterday that the number of existing homes sold topped year-earlier totals for the 25th consecutive month and that prices were higher as well.

art "With the expansion in sales and the prices stabilizing, the Oahu housing market appears to be healthier now than at any time since 1994," said Peter Freeman, the board's president.

Single-family homes sold in July were on the market an average of only 45 days, the quickest pace since 1994. Condominiums were on the market a little longer, 60 days, but that also was the best showing in more than five years.

The board said sales of single-family homes were up 8.9 percent from July 1998 and that the median price rose 2.1 percent to $289,000. Median means half sold for more than that price, half for less.

Condo sales jumped 15.5 percent, selling at a median of $125,900, up 7.6 percent.

Freeman also noted that higher-priced homes represented a larger chunk of the market. House deals above $700,000, for instance, accounted for 7.9 percent of sales, the highest level in 12 months, he said.

For 1999 through July, 1,591 houses were sold on Oahu, up 16.7 percent from the same period last year. Year-to-date condo sales totaled 1,811, a jump of 29.8 percent. A recent rise in interest rates, however, could slow the market's recovery. Interest rates are hovering near 8 percent. The board's figures are for resales and do not include new home and condo sales.

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