Posted at 12:14 p.m., Tuesday, July 5, 2005
O'ahu home prices drop in June; median at $593,300
By Andrew Gomes
Advertiser Staff Writer
The median price for a single-family home sold last month was $593,300, down slightly from the $610,000 record set in May, but up 23 percent from $481,800 a year earlier.
The median condominium price also eased a little to $264,000 last month after a record $265,000 in May, but was still 26 percent higher than $210,000 in June 2004.
June's year-over-year rise in the median a point where half the sales were for more and half for less was in line with the roughly 25 percent increase for condos and single-family homes during the first six months of the year, according to the Honolulu Board of Realtors, which released June sales data today.
Despite the May-to-June price decline, real estate industry leaders said the market is poised to see more price increases but at a slower pace.
"There is no indication that there is price weakening, which is kind of scary," said Bill Chee, president of Prudential Locations.
Chee said the May-to-June drop in the median could have been from the mix of high-end and low-end homes sold, with maybe more lower-end homes selling in June compared with May. "My guess is that (the change in the median) is in the mix," he said. "It's probably not statistically significant."
Harvey Shapiro, research economist for the Honolulu Board of Realtors, agreed, saying the month-to-month change in the median could have also been from more West O'ahu homes than East O'ahu homes sold last month. He also suggests that prices are likely to continue their advance.
Shapiro said nearly one-third of all condos and single-family homes sold last month traded for more than their asking price. "These are both new O'ahu records, and seem to imply that future prices will continue increasing," he said.
Judith Kalbrener, president of the real estate broker trade association, said low inventory continued for the market, with fewer people putting their homes up for sale in June compared with a year ago, making available roughly 600 single-family homes and 900 condos.
Total inventory, which includes homes added to the market in previous months, stood at 879 single-family homes and 988 condos. Those figures were up a little from May, but below the 1,036 single-family homes and 1,450 condos in June 2004.
"They are extremely low levels," Shapiro said of last month's inventory.
Despite low inventory, the number of sales increased. There were 440 June single-family home sales, up 1 percent from 434 a year earlier. Condo sales last month totaled 703, up 3 percent from 682 a year earlier.
For the first half of the year, the number of single-family home sales was up 1 percent to 2,200 at a median price of $551,100 that was 26 percent higher than the same period last year.
The number of condo sales from January to June was up 6 percent to 3,921 at a median price of $245,000 that was 24 percent higher than the year-ago period.
Total dollar volume of sales for the first half of the year was $2.7 billion, up 29 percent, or about $600 million, compared with $2.1 billion in the first half of last year.
Reach Andrew Gomes at firstname.lastname@example.org or 525-8065.