Oahu real estate market is very closely tied to the Hawaii real estate market at large, simply because Oahu is about eighty percent of the state of Hawaii in terms of population. At the same time, in terms of land, Oahu's real estate market is minuscule when compared to Maui and especially the Big Island of Hawaii. Due to the generally upscale nature of Oahu real estate, combined with the consistently upwards trend recently affecting Oahu real estate, the economic downturn hit Oahu especially hard when it struck mid-2008. Foreclosures skyrocketed, sales and sale prices tumbled drastically, and short sales increased in quantity while decreasing in quality. There are, however, some signs that the Oahu real estate market has started to turn around and even possibly rally.
According to a July 3, 2009 article in the Honolulu Star Bulletin, “There was a glimmer of hope for the residential real estate market on Oahu as June home sales showed a slight jump compared with a year ago, according to the latest statistics from the Honolulu Board of Realtors.” Those figures found that the number of home sales in June of 2009 as compared to June of 2008 increased by 9.5%, or twenty two homes. Unfortunately, home prices were down compared to a year ago, although they did increase somewhat compared to May of 2009. In the words of Honolulu Board of Realtors President Sandra Bangerter, “We don't want to seem overly optimistic, but it looks like we could be nearing the bottom of the current market slump.”
Additionally, a July 16, 2009 article in Pacific Business News found that “the number of foreclosure filings in Hawaii fell overall in June, but the numbers are still more than five times what they were a year ago, according to new statistics.” In other words, the situation is bad, but it is gradually improving month by month. According to economist Paul Brewbaker, as reported in a KHON news story, “It's looking like the bottom is starting to form.”He continued to say in a speech in front of the Hawaii Developers' Council that “I do see a pattern of stabilization showing up, which is the basis for the recovery that will occur.”