More active listings provide more options for homebuyers

Article by Jaymes Song
As seen in the Honolulu Star-Advertiser on September 22, 2018

Despite Oahu’s median single-family home price creeping to record highs and breaking the $800,000 mark for the first time ever, there are more properties available, giving homebuyers more options in a tight market.

There were 1,403 single­-family active listings on the market last month, which was 14.1 percent higher than August 2017 (1,230) and the most since November 2011 (1,406), according to the Honolulu Board of Realtors.

August represented the seventh straight month of increases since January, when there were just 1,003 single-family properties on the market islandwide.

There are also more condominiums with 2,071 active listings in August, up 8 percent from the same month a year ago when 1,918 condos were on the market. Last month was the third straight of 2,000-plus condo active listings, and the fourth out of the past five months.

Previously, Oahu had not been at 2,000-plus listings in a month since July 2016 (2,040).

Inventory is still at very low levels overall and homes are still selling briskly, but more active listings on the market is welcome news to weary buyers who have had to compete for the past several years. It also may signal a stabilizing real estate market from what has been a hot seller’s market.

The median price for single-family homes on Oahu rose 3 percent last month to a record $810,000, breaking the previous mark of $795,000 in June 2017, according to the board.

For the first eight months of the year, the median price was $785,000 for single-family homes and $425,000 for condos, up 3.7 percent and 6 percent, respectively.

Homeowners exemption
If you are a property owner on Oahu and live in your home, the deadline to file for a home exemption is Sept. 30. Filing for an exemption could save you thousands of dollars during your ownership of the property.

The exemption reduces property taxes by lowering the net taxable assessed value of your home. The standard home exemption is $80,000, and $120,000 for homeowners 65 and older.

For owners of homes assessed at $1 million or more, an exemption would remove their properties from the city’s Residential A classification, which is taxed at a higher rate.

You only need to file for the exemption once, so if you already have it, you do not need to file every year.

To qualify for a home exemption, it must be your principal home — not a second home or investment property. You also must have owned your home on or before Sept. 30, preceding the tax year for which you claim the exemption.

I recommend filing for the exemption online at It’s quick and simple, but you’ll need to know parcel ID (tax map key) number, which can be found on your assessment notice or online.