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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Tuesday, February 5, 2002

January home sales raise hopes

By Katherine Nichols
Advertiser Staff Writer

Housing resales were up in January over the same time last year. The Honolulu Board of Realtors said the median price for a single-family home was $312,500, a 4.5 percent increase over $299,000 in January 2001.

"Even though the economic climate was referred to by President Bush as being in a recession, our O'ahu housing market is robust," said Peter Freeman, president and chief executive of the Honolulu Board of Realtors, in a statement. "The continuing favorable mortgage rates seem to offset potential concerns that consumers may have about making significant purchases, like homes."

The Board's Multiple Listing Service recorded 254 sales of single-family homes in January, up 3.7 percent from 245 in January 2001.

Condominium resales rose 12.8 percent, from 288 last year to 325 this year. The median sales price was $138,000, compared with $135,000 the previous January.

That's the highest level since July last year, when it was $140,000.

Last year, total resales on O'ahu grew 2.7 percent, to $2 billion, as single-family home sales rose 7.1 percent from the year before and condominium sales rose 8.5 percent.

Most experts predict that sales will remain flat for 2002, so the positive trend has given hope to many.

New-home sales also are on the rise. Prudential Locations said last week that O'ahu developers signed 1,740 sales contracts, a 9 percent increase from 1,597 in 2000.

The average sales price for new homes rose 7 percent to $287,680 — the highest in at least five years. The December price average spiked 19 percent to $320,337, compared with $268,655 in December 2000.