A year after Oahu’s real estate market grappled with the uncertainty about the pandemic’s impact, sales volume and prices are booming.

“Sustained demand and low inventory levels remain constants in our real estate market, and when paired with historically low mortgage interest rates, it creates the fast-paced, competitive environment we see in today’s market,” says Shannon Heaven, president, Honolulu Board of Realtors®.

While condo sales had initially stalled in 2020, single-family home volume and prices skyrocketed. But as the SF pace of sales soared month after month, inventory continued to dwindle, shifting buyer focus to condos and townhomes. In April, condo and townhome sales passed single-family home sales — with condo volume up 88% from April 2020.

Kalama Kim, principal broker at Coldwell Banker Realty, outlines several factors for the shift to condos.

“That buyers are turning to townhomes and condos may be due to the rising prices of single-family homes, an influx of off-shore buyers possibly looking to work here remotely, or simply people feeling more comfortable moving into the closer quarters of a condo now that so many Hawaii residents have been vaccinated,” Kim says.

“We have heard from our frontline sales associates that there is a segment of buyers who bought here because they can now work remotely, especially in the areas like the North Shore and the luxury market,” adds Kim. “That said, we don’t have specific data as to how prevalent that is in our market.”

HBR reports condo sales in the Ewa Plain and Waipahu regions recorded the most significant month-over-month increases — 22.8% and 57.9%, respectively. Metro region condo sales more than doubled with 345 total sales compared to April last year when only 167 units sold. Also noteworthy: In April, 30.9% of condos on Oahu sold above the asking price after a median of 13 days on the market, which ties the record set in June 2017.

Luxury, high-end properties are seeing a sales boost as well. According to the HBR, total closed sales of single-family homes priced $1 million and above more than doubled, compared to April 2020, with 118 properties selling in the $1- to $1.99-million range, and 40 in the $2 million and above range.

“Since the pandemic, the importance of space, privacy, and comfort in homes became paramount,” says Patti Nakagawa, senior vice president at Coldwell Banker Realty. “Many homeowners opted to purchase a larger single-family home or condominium, allowing for work-from-home and learn-from-home accommodations.”

“In addition, the ability to work remotely brings new opportunities for off-shore buyers, mostly from the west coast mainland,” adds Mike James, president of Coldwell Banker Realty. “We saw an increase in luxury home buyers who purchased second homes on Oahu to enjoy while riding out the pandemic — enjoying an asset while living in it has become a notable trend.”


Sales of Single-Family Homes and Condos | April 2021
Source: Honolulu Board of REALTORS®, compiled from MLS data

A whopping 645 condos closed in April, up from 343 during the same period a year ago — an 88% increase! Four months into 2021, condo year-to-date sales volume is up 45.6%.

April single-family sales gained an impressive 51.2%  over last year — up from 248 in April 2020 to 375 last month. Year-to-date, SF home sales rose 21.1%

Single-family homes selling in the $700,000 to $999,999 range accounted for the bulk of sales in April — 167 sales closed — an increase of 45.2%, according to the Honolulu Board of Realtors®.

Pending data (in escrow, still unclosed) suggests the market boom will continue, at least through this month. Approximately 1,000 condos in escrow represent an unprecedented 115% rise for pending sales, and more than 700 SF homes in escrow at the end of April equate to a 74.4% increase as well.


Median Sales Price of Single-Family Homes and Condos | April 2021
Source: Honolulu Board of REALTORS®, compiled from MLS data

More than half of single-family homes — 58.9% to be exact — sold above the asking price last month,” says Shannon Heaven, president of the Honolulu Board of Realtors®.

For the third consecutive month, the median price of a single-family home on Oahu was topped $900,000. April figures report an MSP of $928,000, gaining $119,000 from $809,000 in April 2020. Remarkably, after the first four months of 2021, year-to-date figures have surged $131,500 — from $788,500 MSP in 2020, to $920,000 on April 30.

Year-to-date, condo MSP is slightly trending up from $434,000 a year ago to $451,000 today. Comparing April 2020 to April 2021, the MSP is unchanged at $450,000.



High demand continues to keep the median days on the market at nine days for single-family homes, and 13 days for condos. Sales are competitive and often multiple offers are received for more than 100% of the asking price. Here’s where the action is. To see what’s happening in your neighborhood, ask your Coldwell Banker Realtor®.

Single-family  % of Original Asking Price % a year ago
Aina Haina – Kuliouou 100.0% 96.2%
Ewa Plain   102.6% 99.2%
Kailua – Waimanalo 100.5% 98.1%
Kaneohe 102.0% 97.4%
Makaha – Nanakuli 102.3% 99.3%
Makakilo 102.6% 98.6%
Mililani 100.4% 98.9%
Pearl City – Aiea 100.6% 97.8%
Wahiawa 101.5% 99.0%
Waipahu 102.0% 98.6%


Condos % of Original Asking Price % a year ago
Ewa Plain 101.9% 99.1%
Kailua – Waimanalo 100.0% 98.0%
Kaneohe 100.2% 98.2%
Makakilo 101.5% 98.8%
Mililani 101.5% 99.0%
Pearl City – Aiea 100.0% 98.3%
Wahiawa 100.0% 90.9%
Waipahu 100.3% 98.9%


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