Jack Tyrrell specializes in Kakaako, Honolulu, Hawaii luxury condo projects.

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Real Estate News: Oahu condo prices climb

Photo: Jack Tyrrell & Company, Inc.

Photo: Jack Tyrrell & Company, Inc.

The Honolulu Star-Advertiser's Monday, August 7, 2017, front-page story reported on the continuous climb in condo prices seen on Oahu. The report looks at data from the Honolulu Board of REALTORS, which shows record high median sales price of $425,000 for Oahu condos in July 2017. The median price in Ala Moana-Kakaako for July spiked 88 percent from $370,000 in July 2016 to $695,000 in July 2017. Prices will only continue to climb, as demand outweighs supply, making it more important than ever to find the right Realtor to help you find the best location and unit, and to guide you through the negotiation process to ensure the unit doesn't slip away.  

Read the Star-Advertiser's report, below:

Oahu’s more affordable option for homeownership is climbing in cost as median sales prices for condominiums hit historic highs, as evidenced in July.

Previously owned Oahu condos sold for a median $425,000, increasing 6.3 percent from $400,000 in July 2016, according to resale figures released Sunday by the Honolulu Board of Realtors. The July median sales price for Oahu condos exceeded the previous record high of $415,500, set in April.

“Median sales prices for condominiums are the highest we’ve seen as prices have continued to soar,” Sue Ann Lee, president of the local Realtors trade association and a broker with Properties of the Pacific, said in a statement. “Condos and townhouses at midrange price points are a likely alternative when there is a lack of affordable single-family home inventory, causing the median sales price to shift up.” 

The median sales price for Oahu condos, which also include town homes, has been at $400,000 or above for five straight months. The median price is a point at which half the homes sold for a higher price and half for a lower price.

In July the sales of 475 Oahu condos closed, a 7 percent increase from 444 in the same month last year. As the number of sales rose, median days on the market declined. Sales of condos closed after 14 days on the market, a 22.2 percent decrease from 18 days on the market in July 2016.

Year-to-date, condos make up 60 percent of home sales, with 3,272 sales closed on condos, compared with 2,124 single-family homes.

The area with the most condo sales in July was Waikiki, with 77 sales, followed by Ewa, with 55. There were 45 condos sold in Ala Moana-Kakaako, according to a Wednesday report released by Locations, a major Hawaii residential real estate brokerage firm.

The median price of those sales in Waikiki was $370,000; in Ewa, $387,000; and in Ala Moana-Kakaako, $695,000, according to Locations. The median price in Ala Moana-Kakaako for July spiked 88 percent from $370,000 in July 2016.

As Oahu’s median sales prices for condos broke records, median sales prices of single-family homes saw a modest change. Single-family home prices rose slightly over the same month last year but came in below recent highs.

Single-family houses on Oahu sold for a median $750,000 in July. The July median price inched up 0.5 percent from July 2016’s $746,000.

“It’s like an escalator. It’s going up and up and up at a really constant rate. It has been doing that for about five years here on Oahu,” said Paul Brewbaker, principal of TZ Economics. “These numbers don’t seem to be that much out of bounds with what we’ve seen for a long time, at least since the summer of 2011.”

Despite increasing over the year-ago price, July’s median sales price of $750,000 pales next to the record $795,000 hit the month before. June’s record median sales price was $35,000 higher than the previous record of $760,000 exactly a year earlier. Brewbaker said the difference fits with current seasonality patterns, noting June prices are higher than July and May prices.

The number of single-family homes sold was up 4 percent, with 335 homes sold in July and 322 a year prior.

In July the area with the most single-family home sales was Ewa, with 70, followed by Mililani with 25. Tied for third was Pearl City-Aiea and Leeward with 22, according to Locations.

The median price of those sales in Ewa was $681,875. The median price in Mililani was $731,500. In Pearl City-Aiea it was $745,000, and in Leeward it was $517,500.

While the number of single-family home sales saw a slight increase in July, the number of days a home was on the market during that time surged. The number of days a home was on the market spiked 25 percent in July, with sales closing in an average of 20 days, compared with 16 days in July 2016.

In July, 481 new listings of single-family homes were added to the market. Only once in the last 24 months has the number of new listings been higher: in March, when there were 492 new listings. In comparison, the condo market last month saw 674 new listings.

According to Locations’ Wednesday report, the firm said it expects Oahu condo and single-family home prices to continue a steady climb as demand continues to outpace available supply.

“An uptick in new listings for both single-family homes and condos is welcome news for prospective homeowners; however, demand continues to outpace available inventory,” Scott Higashi, CEO of Locations, said in the report.

HOME SALES
The number of homes sold on Oahu in July with the median price and percentage change from the same month last year:

  • SINGLE-FAMILY HOMES

    • SALES MEDIAN PRICE

    • July 2017 335 $750,000

    • July 2016 322 $746,000

    • Change 4% 0.5%

  • CONDOS

    • SALES MEDIAN PRICE

    • July 2017 475 $425,000

    • July 2016 444 $400,000

    • Change 7% 6.3%

Source: Honolulu Board of Realtors

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Howard Hughes Corp. sets date to shut down, demolish Ward Warehouse

Photo credit: Tina Yuen, Pacific Business News

Photo credit: Tina Yuen, Pacific Business News

Last week, Pacific Business News broke the story that Howard Hughes Corporation had officially notified its tenants that the 42-year-old retail complex will close and be demolished in August 2017.  Gateway Towers is planned for the site. Read more here:

Ward Warehouse, the 42-year-old landmark Honolulu retail and restaurant complex, will shut down in August and being demolished, an executive with The Howard Hughes Corp., the owner of the complex, confirmed to Pacific Business News Thursday.

This week, dozens of Ward Warehouse tenants received notice of the closure.

The entrance to the parking garage at Ward Warehouse in the Honolulu neighborhood of Kakaako. The Howard Hughes Corp. has notified tenants that the retail complex will close and be demolished in August to make way for the Gateway Towers project.

The demolition of the Kakaako complex is the initial step toward the redevelopment of the space as part of the Texas developer’s 60-acre Ward Village master plan. Ward Warehouse is expected to eventually be replaced by the Gateway Towers, which includes two luxury condominium towers designed by famed architect Richard Meier.

Howard Hughes Corp. (NYSE: HHC) said in its third-quarter earnings report that construction of these two towers will be subject to getting an acceptable level of presales and financing for the project.

“The demolition of Ward Warehouse is a bittersweet point in the development of our Ward Village community,” Todd Apo, vice president of community development for Howard Hughes, told PBN in an emailed statement. “As we look forward to the future of this area, we give a heartfelt mahalo to all the merchants who have made Ward Warehouse a special place over the last four decades. They set the stage for the one-of-a-kind retail and dining experiences that remain a hallmark of Ward Village.”

The 115,000-square-foot Ward Warehouse was built in 1975 as a temporary structure originally intended to last about 15 years. Now, more than 40 years later, the structure has surpassed its useful life, exemplified by the pedestrian overpass that was required to be demolished last year because it was beyond repair, according to Howard Hughes.

Several Ward Warehouse stores have chosen to close their doors for good, including the Liquor Collection, Happy Haleiwa, Executive Chef and Kaypee Soh. Others have moved or are in the process of moving to other spaces, including Brue Bar, Island Slipper, The Wedding Cafe and The Old Spaghetti Factory.

“We will continue our efforts to assist with the transition and, where it makes sense, help to relocate merchants, as we did with Merle Norman, Town & County Surf, Hakubundo, TAJ, In Specs, Paina Cafe, Downtown Giftthings, Eden in Love, MORI by Art + Flea, Flotsam & Co., and Big Bad Wolf in their moves to other retail properties within Ward Village,” Apo said.

Architect Steve Au, owner of Steve Au and Associates and a former partner at Au Haworth and Smith, which designed Ward Warehouse, previously told PBN that when his firm designed the retail complex, it went with something that could be distinctive and easily built without using heavy materials.

“Besides the parking structure, everything else there is built with wood,” he said.

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