Oahu Real Estate Outlook March 2019

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Stats 2019

  • The median price of a single-family home in March was $788,000, which was a 2 percent gain from March 2018, while the median price for the 12-month period from April 1, 2018, to March 31 rose 4 percent to $792,000.

  • The number of single-family homes sold in March declined 8 percent to 286 homes sold, while the 12-month total declined 9 percent to 3,664 homes sold

  • The number of condominiums sold in March also declined by 8 percent, to 469 units sold, while the 12-month total declined by 6 percent to 5,628 units sold. The median price of a condo in March also rose by 2 percent, to $420,000, but the median price for the 12-month period was unchanged at $418,000.

  • 55 percent of single-family home neighborhoods on Oahu and 52 percent of condo buildings have more available inventory than they did last year

So while the number of sales is lowered,

on Oahu the median price has rose.

Conclusion:

So overall with the increase in inventory on the market, condo pricing and sales will likely be affected and possibly increase the number of dates a unit will stay on the market. However, for buyers with enough fund and buying power, it may also be a good time to get a deal because buyers will likely have more bargaining power. At the same time, sellers may be more motivated to sell. With the tightening money regulation from China, we do see an increase in a number of Chinese owners offering to sell their luxury condo unit at a lower price and sometimes even at a loss. However, for most of the sellers, they usually wouldn’t sell at a loss.

One of the most common questions we were asked from the buyers is that with so many new buildings coming up will that affect the value of the existing condos built. The answer is yes and no. Yes, because there are more options to choose at a certain budget range, this means it would likely increase the length of time the unit stays on the market. No, because with the new buildings that are planned, the layout or the style of the buildings may not meet the liking of the buyers. For example, I have clients that like super-luxury 1st line ocean view condo, they wouldn’t even consider Aeo or other new condos that do not have the 1st line ocean view. Another example would be for buyers who like a larger unit, they wouldn’t consider Aalii or Aeo due to their smaller size layouts. So for those particular buyers, their choices are still limited to those that suit their needs and desires. If you have not noticed, in the new buildings the units are getting smaller than before. The 1st line ocean front buildings that will be built later in Kakaako will also likely be more expensive than the current Waiea building.

Another reassuring aspect of real estate in Hawaii is that most buyers that purchased a unit or home in Hawaii, they normally wouldn’t want to sell for less or at a loss. For the developers that are building the condos, they wouldn’t want to affect the previous sales or future development by drastically lowering their prices on the new future condos. This will give more assurance to the buyers that buy now than later. So for buyers with the ability to pay all in cash or get a loan at lower interest rate while it is still at around 4-5%, it may not be a bad time to try get a unit that suits their needs. Many investors from around the world that purchased an investment in Hawaii because they like the fact that the price fluctuation on Oahu is likely smaller than those in the mainland due to limited land space. This was seen in 2007 and 2008 when the US housing market was in crisis. Oahu home value experienced much less impact than those seen in California, Florida, Nevada, or other places on the mainland.

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