August 2020 Oahu Real Estate Market Update

Oahu’s housing market sees mixed activity amid ongoing pandemic

Single-family home market marks new record and steady recovery, while condos continue to trail 2019 activity

According to resales figures released today by the Honolulu Board of REALTORS®, O‘ahu’s single-family home market continues to make a steady recovery, while condo activity struggles to regain momentum as the pandemic stretches on. Most notably, sales of single-family homes in August marked a new record-high median sales price of $839,000, climbing from $790,000 this time last year and representing a year-over-year increase of 6.2%.

Using data collected from its computerized Multiple Listing Service (MLS) system, the Board reported the following statistics:

*Median price means half the prices were above and half below the given price.
**Condominiums also includes townhomes.

“A lack of inventory coupled with high demand from buyers looking to capitalize on historically low interest rates is driving a very competitive market for single-family homes on O‘ahu,” said Tricia Nekota, president, Honolulu Board of REALTORS®. “This is an opportune time for sellers to list their properties as housing values continue to rise, and buyers are on the hunt for their forever homes.”

Single-family home closed sales continued to slowly regain momentum month-over-month and marked a 2.8% year-over-year increase. However, the lack of inventory is exacerbated by the falling numbers of new listings with 20.0% fewer listings than last year. Single-family homes are selling 44.4% faster than last year, with these properties spending a median of just 15 days on the market.

The condo market’s recovery cannot match pace with single-family homes as condos saw neither a year-over-year nor a month-over-month improvement in closed sales. In August, condo sales dropped 20.1% compared to last year and dipped 4.0% compared to July. However, the median price ticked up 2.5% since last year from $419,500 to $430,000. New listings saw a slight month-over-month increase of 5.9%, but total new listings still trail 19.0% year-over-year. The median days on the market remained steady year-over-year with condos spending 23 days on the market.

During the past three months and within the market of single-family homes, 43% of sellers received their full asking price or higher compared to 35% of sellers during this same period last year.

Following Mayor Caldwell’s Stay-at-Home Work-From-Home order that went into effect on August 27, real estate activity is remaining steady compared to the steep drop in activity following the first Stay-at-Home order in March. Over the past few weeks, new listing activity is relatively level, while new escrow volume marked a year-over-year increase last week.

“REALTORS® have reemployed new technology and shifted how we serve our clients to ensure we keep O‘ahu’s real estate market moving. We continue to observe strict social distancing, use of face masks and sanitation to keep one another and our communities safe,” added Nekota.

In observance of the mandate, the Honolulu Board of REALTORS® suspended all in-person public or broker open houses. As an essential business, real estate remains open with modifications, and REALTORS® continue to serve the housing needs of their clients, buyers, sellers, and landlords. In addition to social distancing, sanitizing, and wearing a mask, REALTORS® have reverted to virtual showings and open houses using innovative technology tools.

The information contained in this report is provided to the National Association of REALTORS® and the Hawaiʻi State Department of Economic Development, Business and Tourism for its official reports. This report reflects information about resales of existing properties only and does not include new home sales. All of the MLS information is compiled from sales reported during the cited months; this data is known only after closing of escrow.

The public is encouraged to visit to see what’s happening in the housing market. Consumers have the ability to browse Oahu single-family home and condominium listings, available for sale and for rent, and to see a comprehensive guide of homes that will be open to visit this Sunday. All searches can be done by geographic location and/or price range, and provides useful information about buying and selling real estate in Hawaii.

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