Condos fuel sales
of new homes


Friday, June 11, 2004

There were 331 condominium sales at Moana Pacific during April. A story on Page C1 in Tuesday's late edition and yesterday's early edition incorrectly said 351 units had been sold.

The Honolulu Star-Bulletin strives to make its news report fair and accurate. If you have a question or comment about news coverage, call Editor Frank Bridgewater at 529-4791 or email him at

The number of new homes sold on Oahu leapt in April as high-rise condominiums in the Kapiolani-Kakaako area remained the top source of new inventory in a housing-starved market.

Sales of new single-family homes and condominiums more than doubled to 495 compared to April 2003, when 225 units were sold, according to a report by real estate analyst Ricky Cassiday compiled for Hawaii HomeLoans.

Most of that figure came from sales of just one project, the Moana Pacific high-rise condo development, which sold 351 units in April.

The Moana Pacific's first tower sold out in seven weeks after sales began in late March, illustrating the intense buyer interest stoked by a handful of high-rise condominiums in various stages of development in the area, including the Hokua, the Koolani, the Lanikea and 909 Kapiolani.

Besides the slow rate at which new single-family homes were being added to the market, Cassiday said buyers were drawn to the high-rise condos due to their combination of good location and attractive pricing compared to existing homes on the market.

"There are single-family homes being resold for $400,000 to $700,00 and they're of spotty quality. That's turning a lot of buyer sentiment toward new product. These new projects are providing that and in a good location for a lot of people," he said.

Condos should continue to drive new sales in coming months. Moana Pacific developer KC Rainbow LLC plans a lottery this month to help choose from what is expected to be a huge pool of buyers for the project's 353-unit second tower. In addition, 909 Kapiolani is accepting applications for its 113 remaining units.

The average list price of new homes sold in April rose slightly to $404,734 from April 2003's $399,032, a gain of 1.4 percent.

That's a smaller gain than seen in the past, which Cassiday attributes to the relatively cheaper prices of Moana Pacific units -- $300,000 to $700,000 -- compared to the luxury condos in the Hokua, which began selling in early 2003.

Elsewhere on Oahu, however, not much new inventory has been added to the market, and without the Moana Pacific's sales, overall figures would have been lower than April 2003, Cassiday said.

"It would have been a pretty weak month. Not stellar at all, but not terrible," he said.

New single-family home sales came in at 122 for April, an increase over March's 96 sales. More product went on the market as the effects of the concrete strike earlier this year wore off, Cassiday said. But the number was down from the same period last year.

The biggest selling condo and townhome projects in April were the Moana Pacific, followed by Castle & Cooke's Ii Vista in Mililani with 13 sales, and Brookfield Homes' Coconut Plantation at Ko Olina with 10 sales.

The largest-selling single-family projects were Castle & Cooke's Island Classics in Mililani with 22 units sold, Haseko's Oceanpointe with 14 and Castle & Cooke's Renaissance in Waipahu, which sold 12 units.


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