Sales are the number of properties that actually closed escrow. These properties likely went under contract anywhere from 2 to 8 weeks before closing.
Real estate has been amazingly resilient in the time of COVID with an extraordinarily low supply of homes available to buy - inventory. There were 99 homes sold last month. That is the highest number of sales in any month since December, and that is 2 more sales than there were in August of 2019.
Given the strength of single family homes in the United States, which is reportedly setting records in some areas, strong home sales aren't really a surprise. Condo sales are a bit of a surprise. Condo sales have been rising consistently since bottoming out in May's low of 51 sales. Last month's 108 is more than double May's mark, and only 11 fewer than the number sold in 2019.
There is one qualifier; 13 of the sales were at Honua Kai's Luana Gardens, and 5 were at Kahoma Villages. Both of those are new developments and most of those have been under contract since sometime in 2019. And, for those keeping score at home, 65 of the condos sold are in complexes allowing short term rental.
Pending sales represent properties that are under contract but have not yet closed. Pendings are the pipeline that tells us how many sales are likely to happen in the next couple of months.
Overall, pending sales at 475 are well down from our peak of 608 in February; however, compared to August of 2019, we're down just 7%. That percentage difference could be easily explained away by the lack of inventory in mid-priced single family homes.
That said, pending home sales are at their highest point since February, and we have to go all the way back to August last year to see another month with more pending sales than right now.
Condos are a bit of a different story, but still not too bad. With 176 pending, we're down just 32 units from August of 2019. Thirty-two doesn't sound like that many, but it's still 15%, which is significant. However, pendings have remained in the 170's for 3 months in a row, indicating a solid trend.
Inventory tells us how many units are available for sale in each category.
So far this year, aside form the virus, inventory is the story. The highest single family home inventory we've had in the last 2 years was 504 homes in December of 2018. By December of 2019 the available homes for sale was down to 457. Home inventory has been declining month-by-month since December, falling to just 339 homes for sale in August. At the current rate of sales that's just 3 months of inventory.
But wait, there's more! With the median selling price at $800,000, there is less than 2 months of inventory. I just don't see how home sales can stay at their current levels.
Inventory is also the story for condos, but going in a different direction. In February there were only 444 condos on the market. That is just over 3 months of inventory based on the number of monthly sales at the time, indicating it was clearly a seller's market. Available inventory has increased by almost exactly 300 units. With the current rate of sales that's about 7 months of inventory. So, the market is leaning slightly towards a buyer's market. But the key word is slightly, and we are not seeing a significant number of price reductions and no really sizzling deals.
Selling Prices: Average and median sold prices
We look at Average and Median prices in all categories. A lot of people like to know the average price; however, we tend to use median for most of our analysis, because median is less likely to be skewed by outliers of a few very high priced or very low priced sales.
This year, median home selling prices have fluctuated between the mid $700's and low $800's with one little spike in March. High demand, low inventory and low interest rates are keeping prices and will continue to do so. People who are on island and still working, people escaping from the mainland, and investors will continue to keep prices up. People who are on island and furloughed or unemployed will continue to fall further behind.
The median selling price for condos is back up, pushing close to the $600,000 mark. It was higher than that in only 2 other months so far this year, and it is significantly higher than the median average for the last 12 months. That's evidence that prices are holding and we're not seeing sizzling deals that some potential buyers are imagining are out there.
Days on Market: (avg-sold listings)
The days on market (DOM) is the number of days a property has been on the market until close of escrow.
The days on market has been increasing for homes and is up a bit for condos. I think one reason might be that lenders are taking longer to get through their process and fund loans. Also, about 10% of the condos that sold were developer sales which have been under contract since 2019. However, 170-180 days on market, especially for condos, is not that unusual.