Oahu home sales, prices fall

Honolulu realtors sold about 100 fewer homes and 250 fewer condos in August 2006 compared to the same month a year ago, but the median price in both categories remained relatively stable, according to statistics released today by the Honolulu Board of Realtors. In sales volume, August home sales were down 22 percent from a year ago and condo sales were down 30 percent. Meanwhile, the median home price fell slightly to $635,000 in August, down 3.8 percent from $660,000 in July, and the median condo price fell to $305,000 from $329,000, representing a 7.3 percent month-to-month drop. Board economist Harvey Shapiro said the figures show Hawaii’s real estate market remains in transition, and that demand will eventually slow to a more normal pace. “We had an exceptionally long period of expansion — more than eight years starting from the second quarter of 1997 through the third quarter of last year,” Shapiro noted. “Historically, previous ‘up’ phases in Oahu real estate cycles lasted no longer than five years before normal conditions were restored.” So far this year, the total number of sales is down 10.7 percent for single-family homes and 15.6 percent for condominiums compared to 2005. But the median prices are up 10.4 percent and 22 percent, respectively, over the same period. Total 2006 dollar sales through August was $3.8 billion, a decrease of 2.4 percent (or $94 million) compared to the first eight months in 2005. The statistics do not include new home sales.

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