The four neighborhoods accounted for nearly half of all luxury home transactions in East Oahu, mostly in the $2-million-and-under range last year.
Why $2 million?
“$1 million can be very valid in most U.S. cities, but here on Oahu in some neighborhoods it could be considered [not luxury],” Locations Executive Vice President Scott Higashi told PBN, on why Locations chose $2 million as the benchmark defining a luxury home. The firm’s research also took a neighborhood-driven approach to identify the luxury market, examining neighborhoods that were developed as luxury housing from the outset, as opposed to more modest neighborhoods which have seen home prices pass the $1-million mark due to Hawaii’s housing shortage.
Median sale prices rose 9 percent in Diamond Head, 6 percent in Waialae Iki, and 4 percent in Kahala, compared to 2014 sale prices.
Active listings are also up in East Oahu, up 14 percent from 2014, with an average list price of $4,217,500.
Local residents made up 66 percent of luxury home sales in East Oahu last year. The remaining group of buyers hail from the U.S. Mainland and Asia. The majority of buyers are from Japan, representing 54 percent of transactions. China’s buyer market has grown consistently and now accounts for 27 percent of transactions, not including 10 percent of transactions coming from Hong Kong buyers. Singapore, Korea, and Malaysia make up the remainder of luxury buyers in East Oahu.
“Asia accounts for 12 percent of our business,” Higashi said. “It’s not as big as people think. It is largely Japanese buyers still — there are Chinese buyers but not on the scale as everyone hoped. We were hoping for a lot of sales [in 2015].”
Approximately 14 percent of Locations’ sales are launched online, Higashi added.
Properties sold in the $3 million to $4.9 million range took the longest to sell, however, sales in the mega-luxury price range rose the fastest in 2015, based on days on the market.
Eighty-four of the luxury homes sold last year were below the $2 million range, compared to 48 properties between $2 million to $2.9 million range, and 31 homes sold between the $3 million to $4.9 million range. Only nine $5 million-and-above luxury homes were sold last year.
Lorin Eleni Gill
Pacific Business News