Condo resales
surge on Oahu

June is another boom month
as both prices and sales volume rise

By Russ Lynch

A surge in condominium sales made June another boom month for Oahu's real estate industry, with both sales volume and prices for previously owned homes soaring above year-earlier levels.

Logo Condo resales were up 20.4 percent compared to June 2001 and the median condominium price, the level at which half the units sold for more and half for less, was up 13.7 percent from the previous June, the Honolulu Board of Realtors said today.

While the resales volume for single-family homes just squeaked ahead of last year, the median single-family price was up 8.2 percent, good for sellers who often are offered more than the listing price as buyers shop in a market of shrinking inventory.

"It's a chance to make more money or unload and take less of a loss," said Chickadee Moniz, a broker at Century 21 Realty Specialists at 1585 Kapiolani Blvd. And buyers are doing all right as well, she said, in today's environment of low mortgage interest rates.

People who held on to homes for a while are finding out that they can get a good price and that means some really nice properties coming on to the market, she said.

But they don't stay there for long, Moniz said. "They are moving really fast."

The inventory of properties for sale is shrinking and mortgage costs are at historic lows, said Guy Tamashiro, chairman of the Board of Realtors, a 3,600-member real estate trade association.

"Price trends are clearly rising for both single-family homes and condominiums," Tamashiro said.

Through the first half of this year, the median price among existing single-family homes that were sold was 10.5 percent above the level of the first half of last year, and there was a year-over-year increase in the median for condominiums.

"We expect to see this price trend persist as the demand for properties continues to escalate," he said.

There were 413 condominium resales last month, 70 more than the 343 sales in June 2001. Last month's condominium median price was $158,000, up $19,000 from the year-earlier month's $139,000.

There were 339 single-family home resales last month, just one more than the 338 sold in the previous June, but the single-family median sales price rose $25,000, to $330,000 from $305,000.

Total resale dollar volume for the first half of the year, counting both apartments and houses, was $1.15 billion, up 20.4 percent from $953 million in the first half of 2001.

The Board of Realtors monitors sales of previously owned properties, not newly built houses or condominiums. Industry reports say new units are selling well too, and developers are speeding up projects and adding more homes than they originally planned.

There at least nine significant new-housing projects under way on Oahu.

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