If you’ve been looking to buy a home on Oahu and been frustrated by ever-rising prices, the Honolulu Board of REALTORS® reported some good news: the median sales price of a single-family home dipped slightly last month. Historically, the sales pace slows during the holidays before picking up again. Buyers, this is your chance, because after the holidays, things will likely heat up again.
Holiday Season Yields Opportunities For Home Buyers
According to Kalama Kim, principal broker at Coldwell Banker Pacific Properties, home buyers can score in December. “Buyers who have been in the market for a home over the past few months know how few homes for sale are out there compared to the number of buyers who want to purchase them. The holiday season may be the opportunity where they find the right home without competing with another buyer, because many buyers take a break for the holidays.”
“Sellers may want to consider putting their property up for sale just prior to the New Year,” adds Kim. “There is usually a flood of new listings or home re-lists that come on to the market in early January. A seller who wants to beat the rush and have less competition, should get their home on the market before everyone else does.”
Honolulu Board of REALTORS® reports that new listings were down last month, in both the single-family and condominium segments. Single-family listings were 313 last month, compared to 486 during the peak summer month of August. Condos too, were down to 504 new listings, compared to 703 listings in August — typical for the season. Compared to this time last year, however, the number of new listings is up 3.3% and 20.9% respectively, which indicates the market may be gathering some steam as we head into 2016.
Island housing stats show a 9.3% bump in sales compared to November 2014 figures — 246 single-family homes sold in November, compared to 225 a year ago. The number of condos that closed in November was down slightly 1.4%, from 363 in November a year ago to 358 last month.
For buyers, the month offers a window of opportunity — single-family prices have relaxed slightly while mortgage rates remained low, conditions that will likely not linger. After eight months of price gains, the median price of a single-family home in November dipped 0.6% from the same time last year. The MSP of a single-family home on the island is $715,500 compared to $719,500 a year ago.
Condo prices continued to climb slightly — up 1.3% from this time last year. The MSP of a condo on Oahu was $347,500, compared to $343,000 in November 2014.
The year-to-date trend, however, is solidly moving upward. With one more month to go, it is looking like the annual median sales price of a single-family home in 2015 will hit $700,000. We won’t know for sure until December sales are tallied, however, at the end of November, the year-to-date MSP was $700,000, compared to $675,000 this time last year — a 3.7% increase.
Condos are up 2.9% for the year — with MSP year-to-date figures at $360,000 — up $10,000 from last year’s $350,000 MSP after 11 months.
Notable hot market segments in November focus on the price range. You might expect the hot sellers to be in the mid-range priced categories. But what might surprise you is how many high-end homes sold.
“Last month, 95 of the 246 homes that sold were between $500,000 and $699,000,” says Kim. “(Active) Sellers whose home fall into that price range should be able to sell quickly with the rising demand in that price range.”
The headline for November sales might be luxury home sales. “Another number that really stood out last month was the homes that sold for more than $2,000,000, which showed equal volume of homes sold between $400,000 and $499,000.”
The Market Update is posted on the Honolulu-Home real estate and lifestyle blog, Honolulu-Home.com, each month. Be sure to subscribe to Honolulu-Home.com to stay up to date on all things Hawaii.