The price of a single-family home on Oahu was up again in December, as compared to December 2017, and as of December 31st, year-to-date prices were also up for single-family homes and condominiums.

While prices continue to tick upward, this week’s report from the Honolulu Board of Realtors indicates housing sales have slowed. The board says “We began to see a shift in the market during the last quarter of the year, and as 2019 begins, it appears that trends point toward a more balanced market for buyers and sellers.”

HBR also commented on rising mortgage interest rates. “While current mortgage rates are still relatively low, they are anticipated to rise this year, so those on the fence may want to consider purchasing sooner rather than later.”

Here are some notable 2018 highlights from the Board of Realtors year-end report:

  • Median prices for both single-family homes and condominiums set new records in 2018
  • During 2018, the number of sales declined compared to 2017
  • The Median Sales Price for a single-family home hit a new high of $812,500 in September
  • The Median Sales Price for a condos reached a record $435,000 in March
  • In December, the median days on the market for single-family homes increased by 50% from the previous year — up to 30 days — the highest in two years
  • December’s inventory of single-family homes active listings was up 17.3% from the same timeframe a year ago
  • Pending sales of single-family homes were down 23.7% in December
  • In 2018, sellers netted a higher percentage of their original listing price than in 2017.

While a high rate of rising inventory and a drop in pending sales may indicate the market is slowing, they also may provide buyers more opportunities — and an overall more balanced market.

“The immediate impact of more inventory has been the increase in the Days on Market for listings,” says Kalama Kim, Principal Broker at Coldwell Banker Pacific Properties. “Buyers have more properties to see and choose from so the decision on which home to buy is taking longer. We are also seeing less competing offers on listings, which led to a lower sales price-to-list price-ratio. Buyers now have the opportunity to negotiate price and terms.”

Sales of Single-Family Homes and Condos | December 2018

Source: Honolulu Board of REALTORS®, compiled from MLS data

Single-family homes closed last month fell 28.3% — from 361 closings in December 2017 to 259 last month. Condo sales were fewer as well — down 4.6% year over year — from 461 units closed in December 2017 to 440 last month.

Overall sales volume was down for the year, compared to 2017 figures. At the end of the year, the number of single-family home closings tallied 3,609, down from 3,908 closed in 2017 — a 7.7% drop.

Demand was also less in the condominium sales category. The total number of condos closed in 2018 was 5,679, down 2.5% from 2017’s total of 5,824.

Correspondingly, inventory (or supply) increased in December. New single-family listings were up 8.1% and the total number of active listings up 17.3%. New condo listings were up 17.5% and the total number of active listings were up 12.9%. Yet, even with the increase in supply and the drop in demand, home prices remained stable throughout the year.


Median Sales Price of Single-Family Homes and Condos | December 2018

Source: Honolulu Board of REALTORS®, compiled from MLS data

The MSP for a single-family home was up 5.1% in December — from $750,000 in December of 2017 to $788,000 last month.

Year-to-date, the single-family MSP tally for 2018 was $790,000, compared to $755,000 at the end of 2017. For comparison, the annual MSP was $624,000 ten years ago in 2008, and $590,000 — up $200,000 — in 2005.

The price of a condominium on Oahu was down just slightly in December — from $405,000 a year ago to $398,500 last month. However, overall year-to-date, condo prices were up 3.7% — from $405,000 at the end of 2017 to $420,000 at the end of 2018. The steady climb in prices has been a consistent theme in 2018, as is a more balanced market — one that is good for both buyers and sellers.

According to Kim, the motivation for buyers owning a home continues to be strong.

“In any market, buyers are motivated to purchase a home so they can build equity and have control over the property itself. Ownership allows them to make renovations, have pets and many other benefits renting may not allow.”


HOT MARKETS in 2018!

Home sellers had reason to celebrate in 2018 — receiving an average of 98.8% of their original list price, slightly higher than sellers in 2017.

Our Hot Markets this month are those neighborhoods where sellers received 98% of their list price or higher.

Single-family homes in: % of Original List Price Received
Ala Moana – Kakaako 100%
Ewa Plain 99%
Hawaii Kai 98.1%
Kapahulu – Diamond Head 98.4%
Makakilo 98.8%
Mililani 100%
Moanalua – Salt Lake 100.6%
Pearl City – Aiea 98.8%
Wahiawa 98.4%
Waialae – Kahala 99.2%
Waipahu 100.1%

Condos in:
Aina Haina – Kuliouou 102.8%
Ewa Plain 98.2%
Kalihi – Palama 98.3%
Kaneohe 99.6%
Kapahulu – Diamond Head 98.8%
Makakilo 98.3%
Mililani 99%
Moanalua – Salt Lake 99.1%
Pearl City – Aiea 98.2%
Wahiawa 100%
Waialae – Kahala 101%


*Honolulu Board of REALTORS®, MLS Data, – November 2018