Oahu home sales show more signs of slowdown
The median price in the third quarter barely beat the year-ago level
Oahu's residential real estate market continued to cool in the third quarter, with single-family home and condominium sales falling. However, condominium prices set new records as more buyers were edged out of the single-family market.
The number of transactions involving single-family homes and condominiums drastically declined year-over-year, according to statistics released yesterday by the Honolulu Board of Realtors. Nearly 18 percent fewer single-family homes changed hands in the third quarter of 2006 as compared to the year earlier, while condominium resales fell 31.8 percent, the report said.
The median price paid for a single family home, $635,000, declined by 0.8 percent from the second quarter of 2006, but was 3.3 percent higher than the third quarter of 2005, according to the Board of Realtors.
Condominium buyers, however, paid more for their units as the median price soared to a record $315,000 during the third quarter of 2006 -- that's up 3.3 percent from the second quarter of 2006 and up 12.5 percent year-over-year, the report said.
Still, there's wide variation in market activity from one part of the island to the other, according to Prudential Locations' most recent Oahu Real Estate Report.
Overall, Oahu saw a drop in the number of sales in most areas as compared to the near record level sales volume at this time last year, Prudential Locations researchers reported. However, prices of single family homes in West Oahu continued to appreciate, outpacing the overall price appreciation on Oahu, they said.
Since Hawaii's residential real estate market is constantly varying, navigating market conditions successfully requires a keen understanding of the big picture as well as specific area trends, said Scott Higashi, executive vice president of sales for Prudential Locations.
"Right now, buyer and sellers need to pay close attention to their specific neighborhood," Higashi said. "Prices and sales volume differ widely from one area to another across Oahu, so it's difficult to generalize about the real estate market right now."
According to the Honolulu Board of Realtors, the median single-family home price of $865,000 paid by North Shore buyers boosted that neighborhood to the most expensive on Oahu. Diamond Head, Hawaii Kai and Kailua neighborhoods were close behind and all posted a median price above $800,000.
The most affordable single-family homes continued to be found along the Leeward Coast, a neighborhood that posted a median price of $361,000. Median prices in the Ewa Plain, Central Oahu and Waipahu all came in below $600,000.
Diamond Head and Hawaii Kai condominiums continued to rival single-family home prices elsewhere.
The median price paid for a condominium in those neighborhoods topped the market at $562,500 during the third quarter of 2006.
The Leeward Coast also was the most affordable place for condominiums. Leeward buyers paid a median $179,000 for a condominium, which was far below Pearl City's $290,000 median.