Oahu home prices continue upward trend, setting records in 2014 is

Economic Indicators Associated Press

Prices for Oahu homes continued an upward trend last year, setting records even though the total number of sales fell slightly.

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The Honolulu Board of Realtors has released its latest monthly sales report with December data that completes a year of climbing prices, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported (http://is.gd/kWMJpl).

Buyer demand should persist with low interest rates, and 2015 should be another good year for real estate, according to board president Jack Legal.

"Our expectation is that the market will continue to be hot," said Legal, owner of Legal Realty in Kapolei..

In 2014, the median price for a single-family home increased 3.8 percent to $675,000, compared with the previous record of $650,000 set in 2013.

The median price for condominiums rose 5.4 percent to $350,000, compared with the 2013 median price of $332,000.

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Median price increases have been seen for three consecutive years for both condos and single-family homes. Factors for the upswing include rising personal income, falling unemployment, low interest rates and record tourism arrivals.

Fewer sales were recorded in 2014, however, falling about 1 percent for both condominiums and single-family homes.

Last year, single-family home sales totaled 3,285, down from 3,312 sales in 2013. There were 4,810 condominium sales in 2014, down from 4,874 the previous year.

Local economists have said the pace of new home construction was at a near historic low and putting pressure on market prices.

A forecast published in August by the University of Hawaii Economic Research Organization predicted median prices will rise this year to $755,000 for single-family homes and $379,000 for condominiums.

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Information from: Honolulu Star-Advertiser, http://www.staradvertiser.com