Oahu Luxury Real Estate Market Report For September 2020 | What Is Going On With Prices?

Oahu Luxury Real Estate Market Update – September 2020


The Institute for Luxury Home Marketing (ILHM) published the September 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 August we saw an increase in the number of Mainland and international buyers.  We’re happy to welcome them back!  The trend differences in the single-family and attached home markets continued in August.  There were some surprising changes in the median sales prices for both single-family and attached homes.




There were 23 single-family home sales on Oahu in the month of August, ranging in price from $1.88 million to $10.488 million.  Most of the single-family home sales were in the Diamond Head and Kailua regions, with a smaller number of sales in the North Shore, Hawaii Kai, Kaneohe, and Metro regions.  This month, most of the luxury single-family homes were purchased by local buyers.  There were also six mainland buyers – three from California, two from Utah, and one from New York; as well as one international buyer from Taiwan. The highest sale, at nearly $10.5 million, was an amazing beachfront estate in Kailua’s Beachside neighborhood.

The number of homes sold in August is up 10% over July, and the same as August 2019.  This level of sales is the highest number in the last 13 months and indicates continued strong demand for luxury single-family homes.

The inventory for single-family homes is down 9% from July, and down 20% from August 2019.  Inventory continues to be a restraining force in the Oahu luxury single-family home market.  This limited inventory, especially in the types of homes luxury consumers are now looking for, should be putting upward pressure on prices.

The August single-family median price of $2.72 million is down 9% from the July median price of $3.0 million, which was the highest median price for single-family homes in the past 13 months.  The August median price is still up 18% over the August 2019 median price of $2.3 million.  With strong demand, continued low inventory, and seller’s market indicators, it’s surprising to see the August median price decrease.  It will be interesting to see what happens with median prices in September!




There were 22 attached home sales on Oahu in the month of August, ranging in price from $875,000 to $8.3 million.  Most of these sales were in the Honolulu Metro region with five sales in the Hawaii Kai and Kailua regions.  Similar to the single-family market, much of the activity in the luxury attached home market in August was driven by local buyers. There were also seven mainland buyers – five from California and one each from New York and New Jersey; and six international buyers – four from Japan and one each from Korea and the Bahamas. The highest sale, at $8.3 million, was a Park Lane condo that features a private pool and Jacuzzi as well as connected 2-car garage.

The number of attached homes sold in August was the same as July, but 50% less than August 2019.  Demand for attached luxury homes continues to be significantly lower than pre-pandemic levels.

The inventory for attached homes is down 0.4% from July, and down 6% from August 2019.  Attached luxury home inventory is not too far off 2019 inventory levels.  However the inventory of units that offer private entrances and full service staff is limited.

The attached home median price of $1.167 million is up 12% over the July median price of $1.045 million, and up 16% over the August 2019 median price of $1.009 million.  With significantly decreased demand, a return to nearly normal inventory levels, and buyer’s market indicators, it’s surprising to see the August median price increase.  As I mentioned last month, I believe this has more to do with the mix of attached homes being sold, than overall health of the attached home market on Oahu.  We’ll see what happens in September!




The single family market is strong with a slight favor for sellers, especially with the premier properties offering the location, space, amenities, and finishes today’s luxury buyers are looking for.  There are some opportunities with older homes in traditionally popular luxury neighborhoods, if you’re OK with a project.

The attached home market is a pretty strong buyer’s market with the exception of those premier properties offering private unit access and full service staff that allows owners to minimize contact with other residents.  There are some good opportunities in the “normal” luxury condos in the trendy Kakaako and Ala Moana areas.


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 report for that market.



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