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Thursday, July 6, 2000

Housing market
keeps rolling

Prices move up again in June
as condo sales gain 6.7% while
home purchases fell slightly

By Russ Lynch


Sales of previously owned single-family homes on Oahu slipped slightly last month compared with the previous June, but condominium sales soared and prices continued their upward trend, according to a survey released today.

Art Total resales of residential properties of all types were up from the year-earlier level for the 36th consecutive month, the 3,500-member Honolulu Board of Realtors said today in its monthly report.

Single-family home sales totaled 293 last month, down 1.3 percent from 297 in June 1999. The median price among the single-family homes changing hands was $311,500, up 3.8 percent from the $300,000 June 1999 median, the level at which half the homes sold for more and half for less.

Condominium resales totaled 326 last month, up 9.8 percent from 297 a year earlier, and the condominium median price last month was $133,400, up 6.7 percent from $125,000 in June 1999.

"Housing market conditions are clearly better this year," said Peter Freeman, Board of Realtors president and chief executive officer.

Noting the gain in sales prices, Freeman said that factor is encouraging more people to list their homes for sale so the inventory of for-sale properties has grown slightly, although it is still at historically low levels.

Harvey Shapiro, the Realtors' research chief, said homes are selling faster than they did this time last year. "The market time for residential properties has decreased from the two months required last year to just six weeks," Shapiro said.

Market time is defined as the time between listing a property for sale and reaching a sales agreement. The time it takes to go through escrow and close the sale is not included.

The June figures brought total sales of single-family homes for the first half of this year to 1,573, a 22.6 percent increase from 1,283 in the first half of 1999. Half-year sales of condominium units on Oahu totaled 1,885, up 25.2 percent from 1,505 in the year-earlier six months.

Freeman said the total dollar volume of resales of houses and condominiums in the first half of the year was $914 million, up 25 percent from $731 million in the first six months of 1999.

The Board of Realtors gathers its monthly data from its computerized Multiple Listing Service, which does not include sales of new homes.

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