Oahu’s median home price jumps 2.4%
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Oahu's residential real estate market defied the mainland downturn again in August, posting increases in median prices for both single-family homes and condominiums over the same period last year.
The number of sales also increased for homes, but not for condos, according to data released yesterday by the Honolulu Board of Realtors.
"Single-family home sales during August were not only the highest in 2007, but also the best since March 2006 when there were 392 sales," said Berton Hamamoto, president of the board.
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The median price of a home on Oahu jumped to $650,000 in August, 2.4 percent higher than it was the same time last year. Compared to July, the price was 1.6 percent higher.
Despite the jump in prices, 381 existing homes traded hands, 30 more than during the same period last year, according to data released yesterday from the Honolulu Board of Realtors.
For condominiums, the outlook was also bright for sellers, with a jump in median prices to $325,000, up 6.6 percent from the same time last year. However, that was balanced out by significantly lower sales, recorded at 495 in August, down 14.7 percent from the same time last year.
Despite downturns in many mainland markets, Berton Hamamoto, president of the Honolulu Board of Realtors, said that Oahu housing market has remained relatively stable.
"Single-family home sales during August were not only the highest in 2007, but also the best since March 2006 when there were 392 sales," said Hamamoto. "Prices have been stable as well, with both single-family home and condominium pricing staying within a very narrow range."
The total dollar sales volume generated from Oahu's housing market for the first eight months of the year was recorded at $3.6 billion, down 6.2 percent from a year ago, when it was recorded at $3.8 billion.
Board economist Harvey Shapiro said mortgage rates have dropped significantly over the last month, especially for 1-year adjustable-rate mortgages, which historically leads to increased demand in the housing market.
"Additionally, there are expectations of a Federal Reserve rate cut at their Sept. 18 meeting, an event that could bolster demand for housing nationwide," said Shapiro.
On the Big Island, meanwhile, home sales have slowed down, with only 152 trading hands, 35 fewer than last year, at a median price of $398,250 -- 5.5 percent higher than last year.
Condos on the Big Island fared even worse, with only 44 trading hands, down 26 from a year ago, as the median price slid 15 percent to $345,000.
On Kauai, the median home price slipped 23.2 percent to $599,000 compared to $780,000 a year ago.
Despite the markdown in prices, real estate agents on the island sold only 20 homes in August, 16 fewer than a year ago.
The median price for Kauai condominiums was $589,000, up 30.3 percent from August 2006, while the number of transactions slid by 30 percent to 23.