As we enter the summer season, demand remains high at all price points on Oahu, according to statistics released this week by the Honolulu Board of REALTORS® (HBR).
The HBR monitors Months of Inventory Remaining — the time it would take to sell the current number of listings (supply) at the current rate of sales (demand). Less than six months of inventory indicates there is insufficient inventory to meet demand. Kalama Kim, principal broker at Coldwell Banker Pacific Properties, says that market conditions are very similar to last year at this time.
“This year is almost a mirror image of last year,” says Kim. “During the month of May, the Months of Inventory is the same as it was last year — 3.1 months of inventory for single-family homes and 3.4 months for condominiums. We continue to see multiple offers on listings and short days on market before homes are sold.”
That combination of market conditions has pushed sales prices and volume up again in May.
What is different this year, according to Kim, is the strength of the market leading into the summer months.
“This year, the pace of sales has been unusual in that sales have been steady since mid-January,” says Kim. “However, I still expect to see the number of buyers shopping for homes increase soon, just like we have seen in the past few years.”
One of the ways sellers benefit in this fast paced market, is the lessened need for home staging.
“Since there is a great demand for homes in today’s market, the seller just needs to be sure they fix the items that would prevent buyer’s from getting a loan on the property,” says Kim.
In May, 309 single-family homes closed escrow, compared to 305 a year ago — up 1.3%. And while the number of active listings is down slightly from last year, the 1,259 homes on the market is the third highest number in the last 24 months — perhaps offering more homes for buyers to choose from, yet at the current sales pace, this inventory is still not keeping up with demand.
Condo sales fell slightly. In May, 450 condos closed, compared to 457 that closed in May 2014. Year-to-date figures are also slightly off in 2015 as compared to 2014. But the number of active listings in this segment is up, with 1,865 condos currently listed for sale, as compared to 1,793 in May 2014 — perhaps offering hope to condo buyers.
“Buyers are desperately searching for a home to buy where they are not competing with others,” says Kim. “Many have been in the market for a long time and have lost out to other buyers time and time again.”
The median sales price of a single-family home is up again to $698,000, from $682,000 in May 2014 — up 2.3%. The number of new listings last month was down 10.3%, from 465 a year ago to 417 new listings last month. That’s a pretty significant reduction of supply. Year-to-date MSP is up 4.3% from $655,000 in May 2014 to $683,000 last month.
The median sales price of a condominium is also up 5.6% — from $355,000 in May 2014 to $375,000 last month. Year-to-date MSP is up 4.3% from $350,000 to $365,000 respectively.
This month’s hottest markets include neighborhoods where sellers received 100% (or more) of their original asking price.
Single-family homes trending hot in April:
Downtown – Nuuanu: 101.9%
Kailua – Waimanalo: 103.6%
Kapahulu – Diamond Head: 104.1%
Windward Coast: 102.8%
Hot neighborhoods where Condo sellers received 100 percent or more of their asking price:
Aina Haina – Kuliouou: 100.0%
Kalihi – Palama: 100.2%
Moanalua – Salt Lake: 104.3%
Waialae – Kahala: 101.4%
Worth noting, single-family homes in Kapahulu – Diamond Head posted an all-time high median sale price of $1,040,000 last month.