Single-family homes are going into escrow after a median of 14 days on the market, according to the latest stats compiled by the Honolulu Board of Realtors in May. Demand continues to be strong, pushing median sales prices up 4.4% — to $778,000 last month, up year-over-year from $745,000. Indicating it remains a seller’s market here on Oahu.
The number of active listings in single-family homes and condominiums was up in May, offering buyers more homes to choose from. However, it is noteworthy that the rate of sales and months of inventory remaining still indicate inventory levels are extremely low, despite the overall number of listings being slightly higher. Additionally, new listings inventory jumped 13.4% in the single-family home segment in May — from 461 new listings in May 2017 to 523 new listings last month.
While an uptick in inventory is encouraging news for buyers, there should be clear motivation to act soon, as the clock is ticking on rising mortgage interest rates. When rates go up, buying power — the maximum loan amount available — goes down. As little as a 1% rate increase may be enough to take some buyers completely out of the market. While the increase has been anticipated for many months, it appears to be finally happening.
As a result, entry-level buyers should not hesitate to consult with a loan officer to pre-qualify and establish an affordable monthly payment under current rates.
“The first order of business for first-time home buyers is to spend time with their agent pondering all their wants and needs,” says Kalama Kim, principal broker at Coldwell Banker Pacific Properties. “Too often, buyers will eliminate options which may be the best for them.”
For example, there are varying loan products available, some offering lower down-payment requirements to those who qualify.
“There are still a few zero-down-payment loans available, including VA, USDA and other options for qualified individuals and property types,” Kim says.
“A starter-home buyer should be sure they have the right team in place to help them buy the right home at a fair price. In addition to finding a service-oriented Realtor®, your team will include an adept mortgage loan officer and inspectors who are usually recommended by the Realtor®. Having a team in place from the beginning of the process will help to create a smooth and successful transaction.”
We track sales volume to follow year-over-year increases or decreases. The statistic basically tracks the rate at which homes are selling. Analysts use a combination of stats, including sales volume, which helps to show where we are in the real estate cycle, i.e. Is the market heading up or down? Is it a buyer’s market or a seller’s market? At Coldwell Banker Pacific Properties, we think it’s important to keep these crucial statistics in mind when making decisions.
May sales volume slowed slightly — down 8.3% in single-family and condos, though homes closed in May likely opened escrow in April and may not accurately reflect any uptick related to summer sales, which tend to be stronger. However, after the first five months of 2018, both segments are nearly even with previous year-to-date figures — the volume of single-family homes sales are down 1.7% while condos are up 1.1%.
In the most recent 12 months, sales volume has been down three times in the single-family segment, and five times for condos — the highest drop was 12.2% in condo sales in December 2017.
Pending sales are also down in both categories.
The median sales price of a single-family home gained 4.4% in May — from $745,000 in May 2017 to $778,000 last month. This is the 13th consecutive month of price increases for single-family homes.
Condo prices were also on the rise — up 5.8% from $406,500 in May 2017 to $430,000 last month. This represents the 11th consecutive month of price increases in the condominium segment.
For May, the median number of days on the market before a home sold was 14 days for single-family homes, and 19 for condominiums. This month’s hot markets are those neighborhoods that sold in less time than that in May. If you’re looking for a quick sale, take a look at this impressive list.
Single-family homes selling in:
Kaneohe 12 days on the market
Makiki – Moiliili 10 days on the market
Mililani 9 days on the market
Moanalua – Salt Lake 12 days on the market
Pearl City – Aiea 13 days on the market
Waialae – Kahala 12 days on the market
Condos selling in:
Ewa Plain 12 days on the market
Hawaii Kai 12 days on the market
Kaneohe 9 days on the market
Makaha – Nanakuli 16 days on the market
Makakilo 8 days on the market
Makiki – Moiliili 15 days on the market
Mililani 2 days on the market
North Shore 9 days on the market
Pearl City – Aiea 8 days on the market
Wahiawa 12 days on the market
Waialae – Kahala 7 days on the market
Waipahu 16 days on the market