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Oahu Housing Market Slower, but Steady, in First Half of April


Anne Cicero



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Oahu Housing Market Slower, but Steady, in First Half of April

Luxury homes account for greatest decrease in new listings 

HONOLULU – (April 16, 2020) – Locations’ research reports that island-wide new escrows fell by 29 percent in the first two weeks of April. Locations also found:

  • Three of Oahu’s single-family home markets—Manoa, Hawaii Kai and Kaneohe—had more escrows in April 2020 than the same period last year. Manoa, which had the greatest percent increase in escrows, has five more homes in escrow this month than a year ago at this time—all priced at greater than $1M.  
  • Luxury single-family homes ($2M and above) and condos ($1M and above) saw the greatest decreases in new escrows in April, falling by 87 percent and 52 percent, respectively, compared to the first two weeks of April 2019. 
  • There are one-third fewer listings overall in the first half of April. New luxury listings are down by two-thirds.

“Serious buyers are still out there. While some of those who can delay a home purchase until this crisis passes have moved to the sidelines, there are buyers who are not able to, or don’t want to, put their plans on hold,” said President and CEO of Locations Jason Lazzerini.

“Marriage, divorce, babies, needing to care for auntie at home...these life events haven’t stopped. There will always be people in need of a new housing arrangements—that's why real estate has been deemed an essential industry.” Lazzerini went on to note that previous recessions have had little effect on Oahu home values beyond the short term, and in three of the past five recessions, home prices increased.

“Oahu home prices are well insulated by our perpetually low inventory and high unmet demand,” he noted. As of mid-April, Locations has not recorded an increase in price reductions to active listings. Thirty percent of active listings had price reductions as of mid-April, the same as in March 2020. However, two percent of listings were withdrawn from the market in the first two weeks of April.

Bid-ups—when a home is sold for above the asking price in a competitive bidding situation—have yet to be affected by the coronavirus crisis and are five percent higher than a year ago. It is still too soon for closed sales to be affected, as those contracts were signed prior to Hawaii’s stay-at-home order.

“Those who are looking for a home this spring may find reduced competition and more motivated sellers,” Lazzerini added.


About Locations As the state’s oldest and leading independent real estate firm, our trusted Neighborhood Experts have served Hawaii’s families since 1969. For more than 50 years, Locations has helped more people buy or sell their homes than any other real estate firm in the state. With our rich kama’aina roots, innovative technology and dedicated market-research department, Locations continues to be at the forefront of this ever-changing industry. Today, Locations has over 400 agents across the state with five offices on Oahu and four on the Big Island (Clark Realty). Through our non-profit, the Locations Foundation, our agents and staff support more than 100 Hawaii non-profit organizations both through monetary donations and volunteer hours. Visit LocationsHawaii.com/about-us today to learn more. For up-to-date Hawaii real estate updates, follow Locations on Facebook at: www.facebook.com/LocationsHawaii, Twitter at @LocationsHI, Instagram at @LocationsHawaii, and LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/company/locations-hawaii. Read the Locations blog at: www.LocationsHawaii.com/news.