Honolulu’s new lack cracking down on short-term vacation rentals threatens to have a big impact on the local tourism and residential real estate markets, as well as the broader economy. So far, recent real estate data suggest that the law, which took effect in August, hasn’t moved the needle much. But there are signs the market may be reacting.

“We’ve seen a bump in condo listings, which may be in reaction to Honolulu City Council’s pledge to get tougher on illegal short-term rentals,” John Connelley, principal broker at the Honolulu-based real estate firm Locations, said in a news release accompanying a market report for August. ”It’s certainly welcome news for those in the market for a condo, as they will have more choices this year than in previous years.”

The number of condos listed jumped 21 percent to 1,954, compared with the previous August, Locations reported.

Meanwhile, the Honolulu Board of Realtors reported median sale prices were down slightly in August compared with the same month last year. The median single family home price was $790,00 down 2.5 percent from August 2018, and the median condo price was $419,000, down 1.8 percent from the previous year.

Still, both Locations and the board said the market remains strong.

“Overall, August was a quite stable month for Oahu’s residential real estate market compared to last year,” said Jenny L. Brady, President of the Honolulu Board of Realtors. “Sales were at about the same level as 2018 and prices have been steady as well, with the majority of single-family homes and condominiums selling within a narrow price range. We continued to see double digit increases in active listings for both single-family homes and condominiums throughout this year.”

Something to consider...

Civil Beat is a small, independent newsroom that provides free content with no paywall. That means readership growth alone can’t sustain our journalism.

The truth is that less than 2% of our monthly readers are financial supporters. To remain a viable business model for local news, we need a higher percentage of readers-turned-donors.

Will you consider making a tax-deductible gift today?

About the Author