O‘ahu’s Housing Market Holds Steady Ahead of Holiday Season Lull.

Median prices of single-family homes stand at $1 million, condos at $500K.
Closed sales rose year-over-year with single-family homes ticking up modestly 10.4% and condo properties surging higher to 27.3%.
The median sales price for a single-family home fell slightly from the August 2021 record of $1,050,000 to $1,000,000, while the median condo price tied the August record of $500,000.
“The market appears to be holding steady, and the increase in closed sales for all properties is a welcome sign that Hawai‘i families are getting their offers accepted and moving into their homes,” said Shannon Heaven, president, Honolulu Board of REALTORS®. “Homeownership is about much more than simply owning a home. It poses many benefits including building equity and generational wealth and reaping the benefits of tax deductions and deductible expenses.”

Early Occupancy – Seller’s Point of View

We do not recommend early occupancy. It opens a can of worms and a lot of problems can come up.

The closing is not guaranteed until all the money is in escrow, and escrow has reported everything to the City and County. This is normally 2 days prior to the actual closing date. So if you are allowing early occupancy 2 days prior to closing you are probably OK. We can check with escrow to verify they can’t pull the recording before you allow the buyers to move in.

However, prior to that, it is very easy for the buyers to decide they don’t want to close, or for the lender to pull the closing because something came up at the last minute such as a job change or job loss. We have seen escrows fall out due to job loss, especially when COVID-19 started and many buyers lost their jobs. We have also seen buyers just change their minds and cancel the escrow.

If anything happens and you do not close, now you have a tenant who hopefully will leave sooner rather than later. They hopefully caused no damage while there, and they hopefully pay you for their time spent in your home. There is a lot of “hoping” things will go right, but plenty of chances things won’t go right and now you have to wait for them to get out until you can relist your property and sell to another buyer.

Other issues could come up once the buyer occupies your property. Maybe the buyer finds the noise level is not acceptable to them, or the commute is longer than they expected. Maybe for some reason, they are just not in love anymore with your property the way they were when they made their offer. That is all it takes for them to cancel the escrow.

In summary, you take all the risks when allowing early occupancy, so it is not something we recommend.

Oahu Home Pricing Shocks People On Facebook

Our recent post of a $775,000 Tear Down that was just listed went viral with over 14,400 Likes, Comments, and Shares.

We received two very strong cash offers on it within 3 days.

I think people could not take that a home in horrible condition would sell for that much. It would have been much better if it was already torn down and just showed a clear vacant lot.

There were three tear-downs that sold within the 2 years for $4.8 million in Kailua, $3.7 million on the North Shore, and $2.1 million in Kahala. This gives you an idea of the value of the land on Oahu.

I do understand people’s frustration with the cost of homes on Oahu. The issue is not because sellers are greedy, or Realtors are pricing it too high, as some comments implied. The real issue is supply and demand along with very low-interest rates.

Oahu, despite the high cost of homes, is still a very nice place to live, and the demand for homes along with our limited land and supply of homes causes the prices to go up.