O‘ahu Housing Market Remains Steady, Readies for Impacts of COVID-19

Single-family home sales up, condo sales and new listings down in March

REALTORS® take businesses virtual, continue to provide essential housing services and resources to clients

According to resales figures released today by the Honolulu Board of REALTORS®, single-family home sales were up again in March with a year-over-year increase of 9.8%, while condo sales declined 12.2% compared to last year. The median sales price for both single-family homes and condos rose modestly to $810,000 and $435,000, respectively.

Using data collected from its computerized Multiple Listing Service (MLS) system, the Board reported the following statistics:

Single-Family Home Resales

Number of Sales Median Sales Price
March 2020 303  +9.8% $810,000  +3.5%
March 2019 276 $782,500

Condominium Resales

Number of Sales Median Sales Price
March 2020 410  -12.2% $435,000  +1.4%
March 2019 467 $429,000

“While the numbers illustrate the market is holding strong, we’re only beginning to see the changes in activity,” said Tricia Nekota, president, Honolulu Board of REALTORS®. “For example, the majority of closed sales were already in escrow at least 30 days prior to the stay-at-home order, and we saw a double-digit decline in new listings last month. These stats are likely an early reaction to economic uncertainty and indicative of a shift in market activity due to the impacts of COVID-19.”

Generally, real estate activity has kept pace with 2019 figures. For the first quarter of 2020, single-family home sales were up 11.6% compared to 2019. Condo year-to-date sales trail last year by just under 1%. However, the stay-at-home order that went into effect on March 23, 2020 has contributed to a slowdown in the number of listings coming on market. Single-family home listings declined by 16.7% and condo listings were down 14.3% in March. A significant number of active listings have also been moved into a temporarily off-market status, which has resulted in lower inventory levels.

The Honolulu Board of REALTORS® temporarily canceled all open houses effective March 24, but its members continue to conduct essential business. Showings are held virtually and preventative measures, including best practices in social distancing and hygiene, are encouraged for any activity that must occur in-person or on-properties.

“We’re all doing our part to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and keep our community safe,” added Nekota. “The real estate industry – from REALTORS® to title companies, financial institutions and more – is presenting a united front to support homeowners and renters. We know that it will take everyone’s cooperation to get through this uncertain time.”

As many in the community face unemployment and concerns over paying their mortgages and rent, resources have been made available to provide relief. Homeowners and renters are encouraged to contact their mortgage lender or landlord to discuss relief options, such as deferral and forbearance. Information is available at hicentral.com/.