Oahu home prices surge to second consecutive monthly record

Reduced inventory and exceptional demand for bigger homes in September helped set a new price record in Oahu’s housing market that shattered a prior record from a month earlier.

The Honolulu Board of Realtors reported today that previously owned single-family homes on Oahu sold for a median $880,000.

September’s median sale price was 13% above the year-earlier figure of $770,000 and doused the prior record of $839,000 from August.

Some local real estate agents have said in recent weeks that extended government emergency orders aimed at containing the spread of COVID-19 are causing many people to spend more time living and working at home, prompting a significant number to seek bigger accommodations.

“Ultimately, the COVID-19 pandemic has changed how buyers think about purchasing a home, causing them to reevaluate their housing goals and priorities,” Tricia Nekota, president of the trade association representing real estate agents, said in a report released today.

The report noted that sale volume in September for single-family homes containing more than 2,000 square feet of living space surged 38% over the same month last year.

Sale volume surges also occurred for homes at the upper end of the market price-wise — 39% more sales of homes between $700,000 and $1.49 million, and 43% more sales of homes over $1.5 million. At the lower end, sale volume dropped 36% for homes under $700,000.

Overall, the number of single-family home sales on Oahu rose 13% to 391 last month from 347 a year earlier.

“The spike in demand for single-family homes may correlate to buyers pursuing a different quality of life and a new environment following the sharp shift in people working from home,” Nekota said.

In Oahu’s condominium market, the number of sales dipped 2% to 456 last month from 466 a year earlier, and the median sale price barely moved, slipping by $500 to $445,000 last month from $445,500 year earlier.

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