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The Honolulu Advertiser

Posted at 12:16 p.m., Thursday, February 2, 2006

O'ahu housing market continues to calm down

By Andrew Gomes
Advertiser Staff Writer

The calming of O'ahu's housing market continued in January as prices maintained relative stability, and buyer demand weakened for a fourth straight month.

Single-family homes sold last month for a median price of $615,000, which was up $5,000 from December and compared with $505,000 in January 2005, according to the Honolulu Board of Realtors.

The median sales price for condominiums was $295,000, down $10,000 from November and December but still the second highest median. A year earlier the median condo price was $224,000.

The slowdown in the market was in the number of sales. There were 303 single-family homes sold in January, down 9 percent from 333 a year earlier. Condo sales totaled 504, down 12 percent from 570 a year earlier.

The drop in sales occurred despite a dramatic increase in inventory that has given buyers more homes to choose from. But some industry observers believe that many prospective buyers are holding out in anticipation that prices will remain flat or perhaps fall.

Last month there were 1,578 single-family homes on the market, 64 percent more than the 961 available a year earlier. Condo inventory was 2,125 units, up 54 percent from 1,378.