Oahu’s housing market continues to sizzle

Local News

HONOLULU (KHON2) — The housing market on Oahu shows no signs of slowing down. Real estate experts say inventory is lower than ever while demand remains high.

There are several housing projects currently under construction but they are also selling fast and they will not be ready for another year or two.

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Real estate experts say there are just over 400 single-family homes for sale on Oahu in April, 2021, which is half the number of available single-family homes during the same time in 2020.

“With interest rates very low, people have a lot of buying power right now. They think it’s a good time to move up into that home they wanted, into the neighborhood they wanted, to get some additional space. So almost all of the buyers right now are local buyers,” said Jason Lazzerini, Locations Hawaii president and CEO.

He says half the neighborhoods on Oahu have no inventory at all. Areas like Mililani, Ewa and Kapolei are scarce because they are more affordable. Places in Honolulu like Manoa, Makiki and east Oahu have more but buyers also have to pay more.

“Fueling that also is the fact that the commute is not as bad as it was 18 months ago. If you were commuting from Ewa 18 months ago it was a long commute. Now it’s a little bit more doable,” said Lazzerini.

He says those looking to buy should move quickly. Know when a home becomes available, schedule a showing, and have a real estate agent talk to the selling agent to understand the needs of the seller. At times the highest bid is not necessarily the best.

“So sometimes it’s closing in a short time, sometimes it’s renting it back to the seller. All sorts of things might make your offer more attractive if you’re on the buy side of the transaction right now,” said Lazzerini.

Lazzerini says renting may seem like a better option, but not if the person can afford to buy because rent goes up when real estate goes up.

“So my advice to people is if that’s in your future, it’s best to try to get in the game as soon as possible. Because as things tend to get more expensive, it helps you as opposed to when you’re renting as things get more expensive, you’re further and further away from what you want,” he said.

Lazzerini says more housing projects are moving forward but the inventory will not change drastically for a few more years.

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