Do Oahu Home Prices Ever Decrease?


Posted by Luke Korkowski on May 14, 2016 in News

Yes. But not much. Usually.

That’s the short answer, based on historical data going back to 1977. In 38 years of data, median single family home prices decreased in only 11 years. Just two of those 11 years had declines of more than 4%: 1998 (-9.84%) and 2009 (-7.05%).

Have a look at this handy chart:

As you can see, median condominium sales track very closely with single family homes, and average sales of each also look quite similar.

And that raises the question: What’s the normal annual increase in prices?

Looking at median data over the full 38 years, single family home prices have increased at 6.31% per year while condos have gone up 5.70% per year.

If we focus only on the last 20 years, for which we have both median and average price data, the normal rate of growth for single family homes and condos is very close to 4% per year.

A few curious notes:

(1) Usually Oahu grows in rapid fits followed by a few years of stagnation. Note the weird stair-step shape of the graphs.

(2) But the last three years have shown price growth that is right in line with the long term average of around 4%-5% per year. Rather than showing the normal boomand mehcycles we see here, Oahu is currently in a steady, plodding upward trend.

If history is any guide (that’s a big if), it looks like our next “bear” market will be more of a sideways move before resuming the climb upward.