Oʻahu’s Housing Market Marks Positive 2021 for Sellers

Properties continued to sell at record speed and over the asking price amid persistent low inventory levels

According to resale figures released today by the Honolulu Board of REALTORS®, the O‘ahu housing market ended 2021 with a slight decline of 10.0% in single-family home sales and a healthy 15.4% increase in condo sales year-over-year. The median sales price for single-family homes tied the previously set record in August 2021 at $1,050,000, while condos saw a median sales price of $485,000, slightly up from December 2020.

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
December 2021 378  -10.0% $1,050,000  +20.7%
December 2020 420 $870,500

Condominium Resales

Number of Sales Median Sales Price
December 2021 593  +15.4% $485,000  +6.6%
December 2020 514 $455,000

While O‘ahu’s single-family home market saw new listings, pending sales and total inventory in escrow all drop year-over-year, the condominium market remained strong, with new listings up 13.1%, pending sales jumped 16.7% and total inventory in escrow rose 11.5%.

In 2021, the median percentage of the original list price received reached 102% for single-family homes and 100% for condos. This means more than half of single-family home sellers received more than their original asking price, and at least half of condo sellers received their full asking price or more. The year-end median days on the market was a mere nine days for single-family homes and 12 days for condos.

“It was clearly a seller’s market in 2021,” said Chad Takesue, president of the Honolulu Board of REALTORS® in 2022. “Not only did properties enter escrow at a record pace, but they often marked multiple offers and sold for a premium.”

The year came to a close with total O‘ahu sales up an impressive 37.3% from 2020. Single-family homes saw a substantial 17.9% increase, and condo sales roared back, ending the year up a whopping 53.1% compared to 2020.

2021 Annual Residential Resale Statistics for Oahu

Single-Family Home Resales

Number of Sales Median Sales Price
2021 4,526  -17.9% $990,000  +19.3%
2020 3,838 $830,000

Condominium Resales

Number of Sales Median Sales Price
2021 7,203  +53.1% $475,000  +9.2%
2020 4,706 $435,000

Single-family homes were in high demand throughout 2021, but sales leveled off in the last quarter of the year as buyers faced low inventory and a slight rise in average mortgage rates since the summer and early fall. In line with the year-over-year double-digit price increases that dominated most of 2021, the annual median price rose 19.3%, ending the year at $990,000. Just one year ago, the annual median sales price for single-family homes was $830,000. In 2021, 60.8% of single-family homes sold over the asking price, compared to 31% in 2020.

The $700,000 to $999,999 price range made up the bulk of single-family home sales at nearly 40%; however, most sales increases were seen at the higher $1 million and up price points. Properties sold in the $1,000,000 to $1,499,999 range were up 84.5%, homes that sold in the $1,500,000 to $1,999,999 range were up 95.6%, and homes sold at $2,000,000 and above more than doubled, up 145.5%. The most significant increase in sales occurred in the Metro region, up 54.6%, and the Diamond Head region, up 35.4%. North Shore was the only region to see a slight decline in sales from the past year – down 3.8%.

“With high demand and dismal inventory of single-family homes, buyers turned their sights to condos, driving competitive activity in some areas and leading to low supply in this market as well. As a result, every price point in the condo market saw more sales in 2021 and every region across Oʻahu marked more sales,” added Takesue.

The $400,000 to $499,999 price range made up 18.4% of condo sales in 2021, and the year ended with an annual median sales price of $475,000, an 9.2% increase from the 2020 median of $435,000. Like the single-family home market, condos in the higher price ranges saw more than double the sales. Condo sales in the $600,000 to $999,999 price range increased by 114.6%, and condos sold at $1 million and above increased by 162.0%.

The Metro region saw condo sales increase by 81.1% year-over-year, while the Ewa Plain and Pearl City regions also saw substantial increases, with sales up 33.4% and 30.7%, respectively. The increase in demand caused supply to drop to astonishingly low levels, driving competitive activity in some areas. In 2021, Oahu condo market saw 36.8% of properties sold over the original asking price, but numerous regions saw over 50% of sales close over asking. Makakilo saw the most considerable bump, with 75%, followed by Ewa Plain with 71.8% of the region's sales.