The hot summer home buying season is continuing with sales surging on Oahu.
The median price for an Oahu single-family home reached $665,000 in August, up 9.2 percent over the same month last year, according to the latest figures released Monday by the Honolulu Board of Realtors. The median condo price increased 9.4 percent to $350,000.
Low inventory and high demand are causing the prices and sales to rise sharply. The number of single-family home properties sold on the island shot up 25 percent in August with 366 homes changing hands, while condominium sales shot up 12.5 percent, according to the board.
"With double-digit percentage increases for both single-family homes and condominiums, we really experienced a boom in number of sales compared to August of last year," board President Kevin Miyama said in a statement.
"Properties are moving fast, and data is showing the median sales price rising significantly."
Miyama said. Given the historically low inventory on the market, he adds, "on-the-fence sellers should consult a Realtor about listing, as now may be the right time."
Single-family homes were on the market for 20 days in August, five fewer days that August 2012. The median days on market for a condo was 19 days, down from 28 days a year ago, according to the board.
In a competitive market like this one, buyers need to be proactive and prepared. Here's a few of my tips for home buyers:
1. Communicate regularly with your realtor to stay up-to-date on new inventory.
2. Get preapproved by a lender. The earlier you can get your financing in order, the better. I require preapproval letters attached to all offers on my client's listings.
3. Try to see properties as soon as they hit the market. If possible, get in to see the property before the first Open House via a private showing or Broker's Open, which is usually on a Wednesday or Thursday depending on neighborhood.
4. Don't wait to put an offer for the "perfect" home. All homes have some issues, especially here in Hawaii where homes are generally older, can have termite damage and settlement concerns. An almost perfect home can go a long way with some remodeling or renovations.