Oahu housing market remains weakened, but steadily improving

HONOLULU (AP) — Oahu's housing market is less robust than it was last year, but is steadily improving.

The Honolulu Board of Realtors said sales of previously owned homes dropped 3% in July for single-family houses and 17% for condominiums compared to the same month in 2019.

The numbers are far better than those from April, May and June.

The decline in single-family home sales was 8% in June and roughly 22% in April and May from the same months in the previous year.

The year-over-year declines for condo sales were 34% in June, 51% in May and 28% in April.

There were 361 single-family home sales last month, down from 372 from July 2019.

There were 426 condo sales in July compared with 513 during the same time last year.

The Board of Realtors said pent-up demand from prospective buyers and historically low mortgage interest rates are helping produce sales as the country gradually recovers.

“This real estate activity indicates confidence in our local housing market and contributes to the recovery of Hawaii’s economy,” said Tricia Nekota, president of the board, in a statement.

More than 250,000 state residents have had their job or wages affected as a result of the pandemic. That, mixed with uncertainty about job security, have reduced the ability and desire for many people to buy new homes.

Meanwhile, potential sellers are refraining from doing so.

There were 1,136 single-family homes on the market in July, which was the lowest figure in more than two years. In July 2019, 1,621 homes were on the market.

There were 2,317 condo units on the market in July, which was higher than most months this year. That figure is down from 2,444 listings in July 2019.