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Home sales and prices on the rise


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POSTED: Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Oahu's September home sales and prices climbed in tandem for the first time since 2006, but market watchers peg the upsurge to a rush of first-time buyers and not an overall rebound.

Sales on Oahu have stepped up as the Nov. 30 deadline looms near for a federal tax credit that returns as much as $8,000 to first-time homebuyers.

“;Buyers are really moving fast and furious to take advantage of the federal stimulus plan and the really low interest rates,”; said Chason Ishii, president of Coldwell Banker Pacific Properties.

That rush contributed to Oahu's single-family home sales climbing 13.5 percent to 244 in September and the median sales price rising 1.7 percent to $600,000 from the same month in 2008, according to statistics released yesterday by the Honolulu Board of Realtors. Likewise, condominium sales rose 13.1 percent to 345, and the median sales price increased 3 percent to $305,000.

“;We haven't seen a rise from all sectors since 2006,”; said Dan Tabori, Prudential Locations LLC's executive vice president of business operations.

The first-time homeowner tax credit boosted Prudential's sales, Tabori said.

               

     

 

OAHU HOME AND CONDO SALES

        The number of homes sold on Oahu in September with the median price and percentage change from the same month last year:
       

HOME SALES
        September 2009 244
        September 2008 215
        Change +13.5%

       

Median price
        September 2009 $600,000
        September 2008 $590,000
        Change + 1.7%

       

CONDO SALES
        September 2009 345
        September 2008 305
        Change +13.1%

       

Median price
        September 2009 $305,000
        September 2008 $296,000
        Change +3%
        Source: Honolulu Board of Realtors

       

“;Year to date as of Aug. 31, 49 percent of all of our sales involved first-time homebuyers,”; he said.

Lower home prices and mortgage rates also helped, said Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the National Association of Realtors.

“;Consumer psychology appears to be decisively turning for the better as the housing market has been showing signs of bottoming, if it is not already past a bottom point,”; Yun said.

However, Ricky Cassiday, president of Data@Work, said he's not convinced Oahu's rebound will stick.

“;It might follow the pattern set by 'Cash for Clunkers,'”; Cassiday said.

“;Cash for Clunkers”; put 1,850 new vehicles on Hawaii's roadways and caused a 9.2 percent spike in August registrations, but when it ended, sales fell.

“;The velocity and uptick of Oahu's real estate market should continue through November,”; Ishii said.

After that, a lot will depend on interest rates and whether the federal government offers a stimulus, he said. “;We'll have some months that will look a lot better and some that will look more challenging,”; Ishii said.

Climbing unemployment and foreclosures could dampen Hawaii's housing recovery, Cassiday said.

“;People are listing their homes for lower than they did last month, which means lower prices,”; he said.

The median list price for a single-family home on Oahu fell to $679,000 in September from $749,000 in August, Cassiday said. The median list price for a condominium also dropped, to $299,000 from $320,000, he said.

Strong demand for midrange properties has turned that category into a seller's market, Ishii said. Only four months of inventory remain in the $300,000-to-$500,000 range and only three months in the $500,000-to-$700,000 spread, Ishii said.

Multiple offers are becoming common again for well-priced properties, said Walt Harvey, a real estate agent with East Oahu Realty.

Harvey priced a bank-owned tear-down in Aina Haina for $604,000 which generated 14 offers. “;It should close for $670,000,”; he said.

 

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STAR-BULLETIN GRAPHIC

 

NEIGHBORHOOD WATCH

Oahu single-family home and condominium resales data for September by neighborhood with the percentage change from last year:

SINGLE-FAMILY HOMES

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           
NO. NEIGHBORHOOD GROUPSALES PCT. CHANGEMEDIAN PRICEPCT. CHANGE
1Moanalua-Kalihi1011.1%$622,500-4.2%
2Honolulu157.1%$695,000-18.7%
3Kapahulu-Diamond Head1330.0%$665,000-22.0%
4Waialae-Kahala70.0%$1,150,000-4.2%
5Aina Haina-Kuliouou740.0%$1,350,000-57.1%
6Hawaii Kai25257.1%$830,00024.8%
7Kailua-Waimanalo19-5.0%$810,00015.0%
8Kaneohe2123.5%$660,000-9.0%
9Windward Coast433.3%$492,50010.9%
10North Shore5-16.7%$600,000-42.7%
11Wahiawa620.0%$360,000-12.8%
12Mililani11-42.1%$780,00022.8%
13Makaha-Nanakuli12-20.0%$270,500-16.8%
14Ewa Plain35-16.7%$445,0000.0%
15Makakilo1362.5%$510,000-18.3%
16Waipahu1730.8%$493,000-3.5%
17Pearl City-Aiea2460.0%$582,500-4.5%

CONDOMINIUMS

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   
NO. NEIGHBORHOOD GROUPSALES PCT. CHANGEMEDIAN PRICEPCT. CHANGE
18Moanalua-Salt Lake2685.7%$300,0002.7%
19Kalihi-Palama10100.0%$291,500-0.5%
20Downtown-Nuuanu23-20.7%$360,0002.9%
21Ala Moana-Kakaako3881.0%$425,0002.4%
22Waikiki53-5.4%$267,0007.3%
23Makiki-Moiliili36-7.7%$304,7505.4%
24Kapahulu-Kuliouou90.0%$330,000-21.4%
25Hawaii Kai2140.0%$510,000-0.2%
26Kailua-Waimanalo833.3%$426,000-14.3%
27Kaneohe147.7%$345,500-17.7%
28Windward Coast2N/A$211,500N/A
29North Shore3200.0%$207,500-27.2%
30Wahiawa1-80.0%$137,000-21.0%
31Mililani2644.4%$294,000-1.0%
32Makaha-Nanakuli5-28.6%$100,000-31.0%
33Ewa Plain2053.8%$250,000-7.4%
34Makakilo860.0%$275,90811.6%
35Waipahu17-10.5%$275,0003.8%
36Pearl City-Aiea25-16.7%$224,000-27.2%

Source: Honolulu Board of Realtors