High-end Homes Market Snaps Back

BY LISA SCONTRAS

It appears that sales in Oahu’s high-end neighborhoods are likely on the upswing, according to a new luxury market report released this week by Prudential Locations.

After declines in the first two quarters of 2009, luxury-home market activity reawakened towards the end of that year.

“Sales are up significantly in the first two quarters of this year, rebounding at a stronger pace than the under $1.2 million homes category or than the overall U.S. luxury home market,”says Robin Markle, vice president of the Fine Homes Division at Prudential Locations.”The numbers are very encouraging and our agents are seeing renewed activity in the high-end neighborhoods.”

Sales in the luxury home category declined significantly in early 2009, but interest among buyers heightened as activity started up again earlier this year. Sales were up in both of the first two quarters of 2010 over the same period last year.

With limited inventory, home sales in Hawaii have not suffered the same fate as some mainland markets where generally they have more than just the economy to blame for the post-boom dive. In many cases, overbuilding is the culprit, which directly affects supply. Oahu’s ongoing shortage of supply is turning out to be one of the factors stabilizing the market – especially when it comes to luxury homes.

Prudential’s report shows a breakdown scrutinizing the origins of Oahu’s luxury home buyers and found that 64 percent currently come from Hawaii. California and other mainland buyers make up a total of 22 percent, and buyers from Asia represent 10 percent and growing.

“A diversity in buyers from around the world, Hawaii’s international appeal, is another reason our value remains high and our market fares better than most,”says Markle.”We have a broad base of interested buyers, making our real estate less susceptible to big drops.

“Our Asian buyers are still predominantly from Japan, but visitor traffic from China is rising rapidly and Chinese buyers are starting to show an increased interest in Hawaii real estate,”Markle notes.

“Days on market is another key indicator, one that measures the speed at which homes are selling,”she adds.”The fact that it is only taking slightly more than 30 days from list date to opening escrow, which is down from nearly 80 days in 2009 is a real show of renewed strength at this price point.”

The Prudential report points out significantly fewer high-end sellers are reducing their asking price after initially listing their property and that final sales prices are coming in closer to the list price.

The report also shows how the relationship between active listings and recent sales depicts a balanced, supported market.

“These are all good, positive signs that we’re heading into rebound territory,” says Markle.”These indicators are much more in line with a more stabilized, more normal market.”

To download a free copy of Prudential Locations’ Luxury Home Real Estate Market Report, go to www.prudentiallocations.com.

Sandwich Isles Realty
Kimo Smigielski, Broker-in-Charge
R, ABR, CRS, GRI, e-PRO
Prudential Locations LLC
Ed Chong, (RA) e-PRO
View Profile