Second quarter marked by rising home prices, declining sales
Honolulu's mid-year residential real estate market is following a pattern of declining sales and rising prices, in keeping with nationwide cooling trends and local economic forecasts, according to second-quarter statistics released yesterday by the Honolulu Board of Realtors.
While the number of sales in the quarter declined from recent highs, the median price for a single-family home set a record. About half of the single-family homes on Oahu changed hands for more than $640,000, a year-on-year price gain of 10.8 percent. The median price for a condominium in the second quarter rose to $305,000, an 18.7 percent increase over the year earlier's $257,000.
As prices continued to push higher in the second quarter, sales continued declining. The number of single-family homes sold in the second quarter dropped 12.3 percent to 1,074 and the number of condominium resales declined 14.8 percent from 2,149 to 1,830.
Declining sales have caused the total dollar volume for Oahu's residential real estate to decline 5.1 percent to $1.47 billion, about $79 million below last year's performance.
"The jury's not out, but we are seeing an adjustment off high sales prices and the market become more normal," said John Riggins of John Riggins Real Estate, who specializes in West Oahu properties.
Riggins, who has started to see sellers offer buyer incentives such as paying for closing or points, anticipates that Oahu's market will continue leveling off through the rest of the year.
Homes will continue to take longer to sell and more real estate listings will expire or be withdrawn from the market as sellers fail to get their asking prices, he said.
"We're heading into a tougher market, and it's going to change the way that we do business," he said.
According to the Honolulu Board of Realtors, Hawaii Kai prices led the market during the second quarter as about half of the buyers in that region paid more than $965,000 for a single-family home and $605,000 for a condominium.
The North Shore, which recorded a median price of $909,000 for a single-family home, and Diamond Head, with a median price of $905,000, were the next most-expensive areas.
The other top condominium markets were Diamond Head, with a $432,500 median price, and Kailua, which recorded a median price of $425,000.