Thursday, February 4, 1999

Home, condo purchases
up in Honolulu

By Russ Lynch


Sales of existing homes and condominiums on Oahu were up last month compared with January 1998, according to the monthly report from the Honolulu Board of Realtors.

Info Box While condo units continued to show bargains with lower prices, the median price among single-family homes was up and the inventory of for-sale apartments and houses dropped, leading to possibly higher prices in the future, the trade group said yesterday.

Single-family homes changing hands last month totaled 200, up 8.1 percent from 185 in January 1998, the 3,700-member trade association said.

The median price in single-family homes last month was $293,800, up 4.9 percent from the $280,000 January 1998 median, the price at which half the homes sold for more and half sold for less.

The number of condominium sales rose 17.5 percent to 208 last month, from 177 in the year-earlier month, but the median sales price was down 5.4 percent at $130,500, from $138,000 in January 1998.

For 19 straight months sales volume has been higher than it was in the year-earlier month, said Peter Freeman, president and chief executive officer of the Realtors' organization. "The dollar sales volume in January topped $100 million and was 13.2 percent ahead of last year," he said.

The condominium market is tightening up, with fewer units listed for sale that at any time since the middle of 1990, Freeman said.

The inventory of single-family homes for sale is less than half what it was in 1995, he said. The association does not report on sales of new homes.

Some areas of Oahu have an inventory shortage, Freeman said.

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