Overall, the Honolulu Market continues to go from strength to strength, with price increases unbothered by increasing inventory. Often, when inventory rises, prices take a hit as buyers with more choice have increased bargaining room. Not in Hawaii. The only hint of more inventory has been an increase in days on market
For single-family homes, the median time to sell was 29 days compared with 15 days a year ago – nearly double the time. However, for condos, days on market only increased from 21 days last year to 25 days in October 2018. The inventory bump has been welcomed by Darryl Macha, president of Honolulu Board of Realtors.
“The inventory of homes and condominiums available for sale has been rising, providing more options for potential homebuyers and leading to an increase in the days on market,” Macha said. “Oahu’s housing market continues to be a stable environment for both buyers and sellers.”
It’s that time of year again, time for the annual Hawaii roundup. For those planning for a permanent or part-time Hawaiian getaway, the past year hasn’t been too bad in the 50th state. Before you read further, pack up your tablet and head to Agu Ramen in Mockingbird Station for the full Hawaiian effect. Just opened the day before Thanksgiving, Agu’s based in Hawaii and was slathered in foodie awards before branching out to Houston and now Dallas (I have no idea why Texas was their first stop). Having checked it out before heading back to Hawaii, I can say the Dallas branch is as good as the original.
Anyway, it’s been an interesting year in Oahu real estate. The big news is in the condo market (the landing place for many second home owners). Several new high-rises have come online and their listings have flooded the market with high-priced units. As of this writing, there are 28 condos listed above $5 million. All but three of them are in new buildings. Like Dallas, all the new high-rises are high-priced. But when any ocean front/view condo hits above $1,000 per square foot, some of the new crop are hitting $3,000 per foot.
Hawaii is where “Million-Dollar Views” really do cost millions of dollars
Last week we saw the sexy, unattainable house porn of Oahu. Now let’s be realistic. You don’t need millions to realize a dream of a second home in Hawaii. When looking for a home in Hawaii, it comes down to location, location, and size. Let me explain.
Location: The further a home is away from the ocean, the less expensive it will be until you start looking uphill. The further uphill you get, prices increases will follow. Sure, there are certain areas and neighborhoods that are generally less expensive. These areas target more local buyers who want typical homes without the ocean views second home-buyers generally clamor for.
Location: In this case, location equals view. When looking at a high-rise condo, what can you see? Will that view change (likely), and how detrimental would a view change be? Is an oceanfront building with a unit facing the garage better than a unit several blocks away from the ocean with good ocean views better? Often the price (factoring in size) can be similar. Many are in Waikiki, but I chose units on the fringe so you get the convenience without the tourist throng at your doorstep.
Size: How large of a space do you want? Size and price often will dictate both location variables. If you’re a single person, a few hundred feet of paradise may suit, but if you’re looking to house a family, probably not.
A single-family home on the water will be millions, but there are other alternatives. I’ve not discussed them in this column, because the easiest ownership will be a lock-and-go condo that has rental potential (if you need help with fees and perhaps a mortgage). Here’s smattering of what’s available in the Honolulu area from the $200,000 to $1m. I chose Honolulu to focus on first because I know it best, has the most selection and is the easiest to area rent.