State Senator Jill Tokuda (Graphic: Hawaii News Now)
Image: Hawaii News Now / File
Image: Hawaii News Now
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) -
Oahu home prices are soaring, in part because there aren't enough homes on the market, and competition has reached an all-time high.
According to the Honolulu Board of Realtors, the median price for an existing single-family home was $747,500 in August, up seven percent from the previous year.
The median condo price was up more than 12 percent, to $398,000.
"The lack of inventory is definitely an issue, and you can see that in the median price of homes at extremely high levels, which you definitely don't want to see as people are feeling like they're priced out of paradise, being forced to leave the islands to afford a place to live with their families," said state Sen. Jill Tokuda, who chairs the senate Ways and Means Committee.
The Board of Realtors says some home buyers have been looking in the market for than a year, with fewer homes available. And those homes and condos are selling faster than last year; the average property sold after just 17 days on the market.
Another bad sign for buyers: Locations Hawaii said 38 percent of home sales and 27 percent of condo sales went for more than the asking price. Those are the highest percentages in Oahu history.
The state is taking steps to produce 10,000 more housing units by the year 2020. And the legislature has already approved a special action team to build more affordable housing in ten years.
"By 2026, we have 22,500 rentals available for people to live in. And this is across the spectrum of affordability," said Tokuda, who added that otherwise, more island residents will leave the state to find a cheaper place to live.