New Year’s Resolution: Buying A Home on O‘ahu in 2019

A slowing in our climbing prices, a leap in how long a home takes to sell, and a fall in the number of sales all add up to good news if buying a home is your goal for 2019.
Buying a house
Photo: Rachel Ross Bradley


The Honolulu Board of Realtors monthly statistics haven’t been good news for buyers in years. O‘ahu home sellers have come to expect multiple offers at or even above asking price. But change may be in the trades. In both October and November, HBR statistics have shown our climbing prices slowing down. The number of days a home is listed as active on the MLS and number of sales show us how much demand there is for homes. Those numbers are creeping up, showing a slowdown in demand, and slow shift in favor of buyers.


The time on market for a single-family home jumped from 16 to 28 days from November 2017 to November 2018, an increase of 75 percent. There were 288 single-family home sales in November 2018, more than 13 percent fewer than the 332 sales on O‘ahu in November 2017.


Stats: Courtesy of HBR


The price of a single-family home is still 3 percent higher than a year ago, which is how HBR tracks data, but we saw a median home price of $800,000 in October and a drop to $797,000 in November. It’s not even 1 percent, but we’ll take it.


As a buyer, here’s what you should expect to see: more homes to choose from, and a bit more time to think before making an offer on a home. As a seller, you may not see as quick a sale or as many offers, which will require a bit more patience.