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Hawaii Business Magazine: Condo Sales Dip Only 3% on O‘ahu as Prices Keep Climbing

Source: Jack Tyrrell & Company. Pictured: Ko'ula at Ward Village recently opened in October 2022.

Although real estate sales on O'ahu have slowed in part due to higher interest rates, condo sales appear not to have slowed down as much as sales of single-family homes. Additionally, in the Ala Moana-Kakaʻako area, sales of existing condos jumped 9% to 600 units from 548 in the first three quarters of 2021.

Oʻahu’s 21 real estate regions have different tales to tell for condominium sales, just as they do for single-family home sales.

All regions except one have seen higher condo prices so far this year, but rising interest rates have not slowed condo sales as much as they have slowed sales of single-family homes. Sales of single-family homes were lower in 19 of the 21 regions during the first three quarters of 2022 compared to the same period in 2021.

Seven of the 21 regions defined by the Honolulu Board of Realtors experienced more condo sales in the first three quarters. O‘ahuʻs overall market recorded a 3.3% dip in sales to 5,218 units sold through Sept. 30, compared with 5,398 units sold during the same period in 2021, when mortgage rates were still below 3%.

The islandwide year-to-date median price at the end of September for condos on Oʻahu was $510,000, a 9.1% increase from 2021 and 20% higher than 2019.

Sales increased in Oʻahu’s three largest condo markets.

  • The largest increase was in Ala Moana-Kakaʻako, where sales of existing condos jumped 9% to 600 units from 548 in the first three quarters of 2021. The median price there rose 15% to $753,500. While there are more condos on the market there – new listings are up 8% and active inventory is up 16% – the number of condos in escrow as of Sept. 30 was down 20% compared to 2021, indicating there may be fewer sales in the fourth quarter.

  • The Makiki-Mōʻiliʻili market had the second-highest increase in sales, up 8% to 583 condo units from 540 last year. The area’s increase in the median price was a modest 3% to $410,000. And while new listings are up by 1%, active inventory is down by 5%. The area is also likely to see a drop in sales at the end of the year, as pending sales are down 3% and the total number of condos in escrow is down 35%.

  • Waikīkī, Oʻahu’s largest condo market, saw sales increase by 2% this year to 1,044 units from 1,023 last year, while the median price was up 7% to $429,000 during the first three quarters of this year. Waikīkī is also likely to see a drop in sales in the last three months of the year, since pending sales were down 8% as of Sept. 30 and the total number of condos in escrow was down by 29%.

Three other large condo markets on Oʻahu saw drops in sales during the first nine months of this year.

  • Condo sales in Downtown-Nuʻuanu dropped 9% to 414 units from 456 last year. The market was the only one of the 21 regions to see a decline in the median price through Sept. 30: a drop of 7% to $540,000 from $580,000.

  • The ‘Ewa Plain, which includes ʻEwa Beach, Kapolei and Ko Olina Resort, saw an 8% drop in sales to 488 units, down from 528, while the median price rose 12% to $690,000.

  • Sales of condos in the Pearl City-‘Aiea market were down 6% to 315, from 335 last year, but the median price was up by 9% to $470,000.

Hawaiʻi Kai had the highest median price for condos: $832,500, up 18% from $707,500 last year. Sales in that market were down 12% to 160.

The lowest median price was in the Mākaha-Nānākuli region at $247,000, up 24% from $199,950 in the first three quarters of 2021. Sales there increased by 1% to 181 condos sold.

The North Shore, which the Honolulu Board of Realtors defines as stretching from Lāʻie to Mokulēʻia, recorded both the highest price gain and highest increase in sales. The median price there soared 62% to $826,200, the second-highest median price after Hawaiʻi Kai, from $511,500 last year, while sales rose 36% to 57 condos sold.

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