WHERE TO LOOK FOR CONDOS THIS SUMMER
If you’ve been searching for a condo or townhome on Oahu and haven’t found “the one” yet, take heart — this summer may bring some relief.
More inventory means more options
Thanks to healthy increases in the number of new condo listings over the past several months, there are now 14 percent more condos for sale this year than last year.
With nearly 200 more condo units for prospective homeowners to choose from in April, the median number of days a unit stayed on market increased by 33 percent, going from 15 days to 20 days — indicating that buyers had a bit more decision-making time last month than they did in April 2017.
Another bright spot was that the median price for a condo last month was essentially flat over last April, at $420,500. As always, it’s important to remember that the median is simply the half-way point; in other words, half of all condos sold last month went for below $420,500.
Breaking down prices
“When we look at the number of active condo listings by price band, we found that the bulk of available condos are actually right around the median — and even well below it,” said Chad Takesue, senior vice president of sales for Locations.
The number of condos for sale is up across all price bands, but with more than 500 available units priced between $250,000 and $499,000, this is the “sweet spot” for many would-be condo owners.
The greatest increase, however, was in the $750,000 to $999,000 category — which reflects increased higher-end condo inventory in Honolulu’s urban core, as well as some larger townhomes. There was also an 18 percent increase in the number of condos priced below $249,000, and a 10 percent increase in condos priced between $500,000 and $749,000. The smallest increase by price band was in the $1 million-dollar and above category, but even that price brand had 5 percent more condos for sale compared to last year.
At the same time, Days on Market increased in all condo price bands, except for the lowest, which was flat, and the highest, which dropped by 13 percent. More choices give shoppers a few additional days to scope out their options.
More bang for your buck
It’s also important to keep in mind that median prices and Days on Market can vary greatly from neighborhood to neighborhood.
To take some of the legwork out of finding an affordably priced condo, Locations identified the market areas with the most active listings priced below $420,000. In more than half of these market areas, the number of available condo listings was about the same or greater than last year.
Not surprisingly, Waikiki had the most active listings priced below $420,000, with 45 more units than last year. Other market areas with increases in active condo listings priced below the median include: Downtown-Nuuanu, Ala Moana-Kakaako, Makakilo, Mililani and Pearl City-Aiea.
The bottom line
While there is plenty of good news for condo buyers, prospective homebuyers should partner with a knowledgeable REALTOR® to ensure they are prepared to make informed real estate decisions. In particular, first-time homeowners should keep an eye on interest rates, which while still historically low, have crept up to around 4.5 percent and may rise in 2018.
To get started on your condo search, download the Locations mobile app or visit LocationsHawaii.com.