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Virus reduces Oahu home and condo sales, raises Maui prices

June 10, 2020 GMT

HONOLULU (AP) — The coronavirus has significantly affected property purchases on two of Hawaii’s major islands, with Oahu experiencing a drop in house and condominium sales while a similar decrease in supply pushed up prices on Maui.

The Honolulu Board of Realtors reported single-family home sales in May fell to 248, a 22.5% decrease from the same time last year.

Condominium sales in Honolulu declined to 254, a 51.2% decrease compared with May 2019.

The Realtors Association of Maui said a decline in sales and new listings in May pushed single-family home and condo prices to their highest levels in 12 months.

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The median price for a single-family home on Maui rose to $800,000, a 13.5% percent increase over the median price tag of $705,000 at the same time last year.

Maui condominium prices increased 33.3%, from $510,000 in May 2019 to $680,000 this year.

“What’s happening is there are fewer houses on the market, so therefore the prices of the units are going up a bit,” said David Belew, chief staff executive at the Maui realtors association.

The pandemic has certainly affected the number of completed sales on Maui, Belew said.

There were 42 home sales closed in May, a 68.7% drop from the same month last year. Maui condo sales fell from 145 last year to 54 this year, a 62.8% decline.

“It’s been a big drop off in business,” Belew said.

Honolulu Board of Realtors President Tricia Nekota said in a statement that the figures were expected.

“The number of sales were down and median prices remained relatively steady due in large part to lower than usual inventory and continued high demand,” Nekota said.

Realtors are “already seeing a steady increase in activity” as the state reopens, Nekota said.

Honolulu lifted restrictions on real estate operations Friday, allowing open houses with conditions including attendance of no more than 10 people.

“Strict guidelines for social distancing, use of face masks, and good hygiene practices are some of the many practices that we will continue to implement,” Nekota said.

For most people, the coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia and death. The vast majority of people recover.

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