Oahu Luxury Real Estate Market Report For November 2020 | Where Are The Deals?

Oahu Luxury Real Estate Market Update -November 2020

The Institute for Luxury Home Marketing (ILHM) published the November report for the North American luxury market.  In this report, the Oahu luxury market is defined as single-family homes above the benchmark price of $1,875,000, and attached homes, also known as condominiums and townhomes, above the benchmark price of $835,000.

In October the number of sales decreased in both the single-family and attached home markets for the first time in five months.  Median prices dropped significantly in both single-family and attached markets.  


There were 24 single-family home sales on Oahu in the month of October, ranging in price from $1.875 million to $6.8 million.  Most of the single-family home sales were in the Diamond Head and Kailua regions.  Nearly 60% of the luxury single-family homes were purchased by local buyers.  There were also nine mainland buyers – five from California and one each from Arizona, Nevada, Pennsylvania, and Washington.  There was only one international buyer from Hong Kong.  The highest sale, at $6.8 million in Kailua’s Lanikai neighborhood, is a beautiful resort-style home with many indoor/outdoor living areas and ocean views from every room.

The number of homes sold in October is down 11% from the 13-month high in September, and up 33% over October 2019.  This is the first decline in the number of sales since the low in April 2020 and more than likely driven by low inventory. It could also be the start of “normal” seasonality.

The inventory for single-family homes is down 1% from September, and down 22% from October 2019.  Inventory continues to be an issue in the Oahu luxury single-family home market.  This limited inventory, especially in the price bands and types of homes luxury consumers are now looking for, is resulting in unrealized sales.

The October single-family median price of $2.4 million is down 16% from the September median price of $2.9 million, and up 2.5% over the October 2019 median price of $2.36 million.  Demand shifted to lower price bands, which is not surprising as there was a higher percentage of local buyers versus mainland and international buyers who typically purchase in the higher price brands.  


There were also 24 attached home sales on Oahu in October, ranging in price from $842,000 to $7.3 million.  Most of these sales were in the Honolulu Metro and Hawaii Kai regions with additional sales in the Kailua and Ewaplain regions.  Unlike the single-family market, only three of the luxury attached homes were purchased by mainland and international buyers.  The highest sale, at $7.3 million, is a Park Lane condo.  This is the third month in a row with a Park Lane unit as the highest sale, and the second month in a row the highest attached home sale price was higher than the highest single-family sale price.

The number of attached homes sold in October was down 20% from September, and down 41% from October 2019.  Similar to single-family sales, this is the first decline of the positive trend in number of sales since the low in May 2020.  Unlike single-family homes sales, the decline in attached home sales is not driven by low inventory.

The inventory for attached homes is unchanged from September at 409, and down 3.8% from October 2019.  Attached luxury home inventory is not too far off 2019 inventory levels.  However, the inventory of premier properties and units that offer private entrances and full service staff is limited. These types of units are selling faster and owners are getting close to their asking price.

The attached home median price of $980,829 is down 31% from September, which was the 13-month high.  The October median price is down 12% from the October 2019 median price.  This is the first time the median price has dipped below $1M since the low in May 2020 and appears to be driven by a shift to lower price bands as well as downward price pressure from high inventory and lower demand.  


The single-family market is a slight seller’s market and continues to struggle with low inventory, especially in the high-demand lower price bands as well as premier properties offering the location, finishes, space, and amenities today’s luxury buyers are looking for.  There are still some opportunities with inventory of older homes in traditionally popular luxury neighborhoods.

The attached home market generally remains a pretty strong buyer’s market with high inventory levels in most of the price bands and property types, except for those premier properties offering private unit access in communities with full-service staff. There are some great opportunities with typical luxury condos in trendy Kakaako and Ala Moana.

It will be interesting to see what happens with sales volume and median prices next month.  The uncertainty of the elections is behind us, but Covid cases continue at record levels and may impact our visitor counts.  

You can click HERE to see more detailed information about the Oahu luxury market as well as a summary of high-level statistics for the other U.S. luxury markets tracked by the Institute for Luxury Home Marketing.  If you would like more detailed information about another U.S. luxury market listed in the report, please let me know and I’ll be happy to forward the ILHM detail report for that market.



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