If you haven’t been to Ewa lately, you’re missing out on a lot of action. It’s grown. It’s still growing. And it exemplifies the turnaround in the real estate market that everyone has been talking about this year.
The median price of a single family home in Ewa this year has climbed to $492,000, almost reaching the record high of 2006 ($506,000). The median condo price, at $265,000, is also nearing the record high of 2006 ($290,000).
Homes in Ewa are selling faster than ever, too. The median “days on market” for a single family home, a leading indicator in market velocity, is lower in Ewa (17 days) than overall Oahu (24 days), which has been at record lows.
But don’t let these median numbers fool you into stereotyping this large West side community.
“The wonderful thing about Ewa is that it is truly a diversified market. We have something for every buyer,” says Shannon Feliciano Jr., a REALTOR Associate with Prudential Locations who specializes in the area.
“There are million-dollar beachfront homes, golf course communities, and wonderful second-home neighborhoods. There are great places at $250,000 for first-time homebuyers, near newer schools and shopping. And these are all convenient, easy communities to live in.”
When asked about the trends in the current Ewa real estate market, Feliciano lights up with enthusiasm.
Feliciano’s knowledge of Ewa runs deep. “I was born and raised in Ewa Beach. I’ve lived here all my life. In fact, my family has been here since the plantations. The change that is happening in the market today? It’s amazing.”
When he began his real estate career, Feliciano says, “we were in a down market. I went through those times and have seen how the market changes. When I explain to clients what is happening today by contrast, I say: This is a crazy market!”
“There is a lot happening with new developments: Sandalwood is pretty much sold out in Ewa by Gentry. The newest neighborhood of Hoakalei known as Kipuka just opened for sales with 131 single family homes to be built. Wai-kai, the new resort-style community under way, will feature an outdoor promenade, boutiques, restaurants and commercial office space, a hotel, spa and a 52-acre grand lagoon. Ka Makana Ali’i, the new 1.4 million-square-foot shopping center, will be the third largest on the island and it is breaking ground next year.”
Feliciano’s excitement about Ewa is contagious, and recent success stories for both buyers and sellers roll off his tongue:
“One client just listed at $359,000, had the home one day on the market and sold for $17,000 over asking. Another client bought his home for $210,000 in 2012 and just sold for $280,000. He hadn’t planned on selling so soon but saw this as his opportunity to move up. Another client, in Hualani, which has a great spa and amenities, listed at $529,000 and sold for $545,000 in just 12 days on the market.”
The high percentage of sales-over-asking price (around 30 percent of sales) is due to buyer demand, low inventory and the financing environment, Feliciano says.
“Open houses are like a zoo. If a home is priced right, everybody’s on it. Buyers are trying to get in while the interest rates are still good.”
He points out that while many people talk about what this means for first-time homebuyers, the widest opportunity is for current homeowners.
“This is a move-up market – many people bought at higher rates even just a few years ago. They’re taking the opportunity now to move up into a better home with a lower rate.”
Sellers realize the equity from the higher sales price on their current home. Combined with a new home loan at a lower interest rate than they had before, they have increased the buying power to get into a bigger or better home.