Tuesday, October 5, 1999

Oahu home
sales gain again

The median price rises to
$305,000 while the condo market
also records a strong month

By Russ Lynch


Home sales on Oahu surged nearly 24 percent in September, making it the 27th month in a row in which sales volume was up from the year-earlier month.

Prices were up too, in what the Honolulu Board of Realtors said looks like the end of a deflationary period.

Art It was the highest September sales volume for single-family homes in 10 years and the highest September volume for condominium sales since 1991, the real estate association said today in its monthly report.

The association, which reports only on resales of existing homes and not on new homes, said 249 single-family homes changed hands last month, a 23.9 percent increase from 201 in September 1998.

The median price among the single-family homes sold last month was $305,000, up 10.1 percent from the $277,000 September 1998 median, the price at which half the homes sold for more and half for less.

The board reported 310 condominium unit sales last month, up 21.1 percent from 256 a year earlier. Last month's median condominium price of $127,800 was up 2.2 percent from $125,000 in September 1998.

"We had another very strong month in resales in the residential housing market," said Peter Freeman, president and chief executive officer of the 3,500-member association.

Freeman said sales prices were on the decline throughout the 1990s, with the biggest drops starting in 1994.

"Over the past year, however, it looks like this deflationary trend is broken and there are signs that housing prices have stabilized and may even be turning the corner," he said.

However, Freeman said that prices are still below what they were in the early 1990s.

Through the first nine months of this year, single-family home sales totaled 2,110, up 18.5 percent from 1,781 in the first nine months of 1998. Condominium sales through the first nine months of 1999 totaled 2,419, up 28.5 percent from 1,883 in the year-earlier nine months.

Freeman said an increased demand for properties has reduced the inventory of properties for sale.

"Since the beginning of summer, there are fewer than 1,700 single-family dwellings for sale on Oahu and less than 2,500 condominiums," he said.

The condominium inventory is less than half what it was in 1991, he said.

Properties are selling faster and many of them are getting several offers, creating a market quite like that of a decade ago, Freeman noted.

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