COVID-19 has had a significant effect on the number of new listings on Oahu — with double-digit drops from July 2019. The overall number of active listings has also dropped.

“Fewer people are moving off-island and fewer people are moving intra-island during this pandemic causing a significant drop in the number of homes for sale,” says Kalama Kim, principal broker at Coldwell Banker Realty.

Yet, surprisingly, median prices are performing at near-normal levels. Year-to-date, the median sales price of a single-family home is actually up 0.6% — from $785,000 after the first seven months in 2019, to $790,000 over the same seven-month period in 2020.

Condominium median prices are up 1.2% year-to-date — up from $425,000 a year ago, to $430,000 as of July 31.

“The market is in dire need of homes for sale,” adds Kim. “Listings are receiving multiple offers and while sellers are enjoying this market, buyers are frustrated as they are competing with other buyers and only one of those buyers gets chosen. We are back to a market where competition is driving up prices above appraised values.”

New listings for single-family homes are down 18.8% — from 520 in July 2019 to 422 last month. New condo listings are down 15.6% for the same period — from 778 to 657.

The year-to-date number of new listings for each category also saw double-digit drops — single-family homes down 22.3%, and condos down 20.6%.  This is a good time to list your home.

The continuing stability in median sales prices illustrates how low inventory really can also motivate buyers. The very real likelihood of losing a choice property to someone else as well as concert they may not find another property to their liking is prompting buyers to take action.

Low mortgage interest rates sweeten the pot for both buyers and sellers.

“The largest benefit to a buyer in today’s market is that monthly housing costs have been driven down by low mortgage interest rates,” says Kim. “Buyers can enjoy lower monthly payments or afford more for their money when using a mortgage to buy a home.”

Sales of Single-Family Homes and Condos | July 2020

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

Fewer homes and condominiums sold in July, as compared to July 2019.

Single-family home sales dropped 3% — 372 homes closed a year ago, versus 361 last month. However, the number of sales are up 19% from June.

Condominium sales fell by 17%. In July 2019, 513 condos closed on Oahu. Last month 426 units closed. But when compared to June, sales are up 36.5%.

Median Sales Price of Single-Family Homes and Condos | July 2020

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

The median sales price of a single family home was down 2.4% — from $835,000 in July 2019, to $815,000. July was the third month so far in 2020 to go into $800,000 territory — March and April MSP was $810,000 and $809,000, respectively. A monthly MSP of $800,000 or above happen six other times, in June, July, and December 2019, and in August, September, and October of 2018.

Remarkably however, prices are behaving somewhat normally, despite the overall economic effects, the social distancing requirements related to home showings, and unemployment levels in the state — all results of the pandemic. For example, a month-over-month comparison indicates the median sales price of a single-family home in June 2019 of $800,000, which increased to $835,000 in July 2019 — reflecting a typical trend or increase in prices during the summer.

In June 2020, SF median price was $770,000, and increased to $815,000 in July — incredibly mimicking pre-COVID trends.

 The same holds for condominium prices. In 2019, the MSP increased from $432,500 in June to $461,500. This year, condo MSP in June was $421,500 and up to $440,000 in July.


Significant decreases in inventory, pending sales, and closed sales, kept Oahu prices stable. Our island has a longstanding shortage of housing. Still, recently, the low inventory is compounded by the pandemic, which has prompted some sellers to temporarily pull their properties off the market.

Fewer listings (reduced supply) increases demand, and may be an opportunity for would-be sellers to list now — while prices are steady.

This month’s market standouts are the neighborhoods where the year-to-date number of new listings in June dropped by more than 25%.

Note: Downtown-Nuuanu, Kapahulu-Diamond Head, Mililani, and Waipahu, have a drop in new listings in single-family and condos.

Single-familyJune 2020June 2019% Drop
Aina Haina-Kuliouou74101-27%
Kapahulu-Diamond Head135204-34%
CondoJune 2020June 2019% Drop
Hawaii Kai121170-29%
Kapahulu-Diamond Head5676-26%

SOURCE: Honolulu Board of REALTORS® , compiled from MLS data.