The number of single-family homes and condos sold on Oahu above the original asking price in November was up 210.2% and 79.2%, respectively, compared to this time last year. Single-family buyers did not hesitate to offer more than the seller were asking last month, especially overbidding in the Ewa Plain, Kailua, and Kaneohe areas, and the $700,000 to $999,999 price range, according to the most recent data release by the Honolulu Board of Realtors®.

“This seemingly new normal of buyers entering bids tens of thousands of dollars over asking price clearly reflects the urgent need for more housing,” says Tricia Nekota, Honolulu Board of Realtors®. “Despite limited inventory, the high demand for housing is keeping Oahu’s real estate market strong and steady throughout the public health crises.”

Motivated by sub-3-percent mortgage interest rates, buyers are driving the ultra-competitive market higher, even during the holidays.

 “Buyers are still willing to drop everything to make an offer on a property, which means this year, the holiday season may be different for sellers,” says Mike James, president at Coldwell Banker Realty. “It may make sense to keep their property on the market during this traditionally slower season.”

Because lower interest rates makes buying a home more affordable, there are many prospective buyers who are not letting this opportunity pass.

“A large number of buyers in today’s market are first-time homebuyers, taking advantage of the incredibly attractive mortgage interest rates,” adds Kalama Kim, principal broker at Coldwell Banker Realty.

All market indicators point to the strong market continuing through December. The number of active listings is down significantly — there were 34% fewer single-family homes on the market in November, than the same month last year. Condo listings are also down 5.8%. Pending sales — single-family homes in escrow but not yet closed — are up 34.1% from a year ago.  Condo pending sales are up 10.2%. And the median number of days on the market before a single-family home is sold is down 56.5%. Condos are selling 38.5% faster as well.

“We are experiencing a fast-paced market with properties flying off the market in a mere matter of days, especially single-family homes and townhouses,” adds Nekota.

Sales of Single-Family Homes and Condos | November 2020
Source: Honolulu Board of REALTORS®, compiled from MLS data

Despite the island’s economic slowdown, the volume of single-family homes sales was up 5.6% on Oahu. Year-to-date, SF home sales are almost back on track with 2019 activity levels — off by 0.7% — from 3,441 sales during the first 11 months of 2019, to 3,418 sales to date.

Condo sales volume is struggling to recover to pre-pandemic levels. The number of condos closed in November was down 6.2% — from 434 units in November 2019 to 407 last month. Year-to-date condo sales volume is down 15.8%.

Median Sales Price of Single-Family Homes and Condos | November 2020
Source: Honolulu Board of REALTORS®, compiled from MLS data

The median price of real estate on Oahu is up overall. Single-family home median prices are up more than $80,000 from November 2019 — from $794,750 in 2019 to $872,500 last month. Year-to-date median prices after 11 months is heading toward a new annual MSP record: with one month to go, the MSP of a single-family home on Oahu is $822,000.

Condo prices are up in November, and for the year — 1.2% — from $415,000 in November 2019 to $420,000 last month, and year-to-date, from $425,000 after the first 11 months of 2019 to $430,000 on Nov. 30.

Both single-family home, and condo MSPs are trending toward an all-time-annual high

“Owner-occupied demand is vastly stronger than investor demand in today’s market because of a higher amount of risk, giving the pandemic and the eviction moratorium,” says James, on why condo sales have reacted differently to the market conditions than SF homes.


Median sales prices are up, year-to-date, island-wide. The following list of standout neighborhoods recorded the highest percentage increases to date.

Single-family YTD MSP 2020YTD MSP 2019% Increase
Aina Haina – Kuliouou  $1,288,888$1,172,50010%
Hawaii Kai$1,230,000$1,090,00013%
Kailua – Waimanalo$1,200,000$1,080,00011%
Makakilo       $780,000$707,50010%
Moanalua – Salt Lake$910,000$831,00010%
North Shore$1,100,000$905,00022%
CondosYTD MSP 2020YTD MSP 2019% Increase
Kailua – Waimanalo$620,000$597,5164%
Makaha – Nanakuli$189,000$180,0005%
Windward Coast$282,000$270,0004%

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