Oahu home sales price up
HONOLULU - The median price for an Oahu single-family home last month was $664,000, an 11.6 percent increase compared to May 2011.
The Honolulu Board of Realtors says that's a high since June 2007.
During May, there were 243 single-family homes sold, which is the same amount during the same month last year.
The median condo price last month was $300,000, a 3.4 percent increase from May 2011. There were 371 condos sold, a 12.4 increase from last year.
Board President Joe Paikai says a large number of luxury home sales resulted in prices peaking at $664,000. He says an increase in pending sales for single-family homes and condos makes the board optimistic about the summer.
Couple sue over fallen branch
HONOLULU - An elderly California couple are suing the landowner of a Waikiki outdoor bazaar, claiming they were injured when a branch from a large banyan tree fell on them.
Attorneys for the Rancho Palos Verdes couple filed the lawsuit Thursday against Queen Emma Land Co., owner of the International Marketplace.
The lawsuit claims Russell Narahara broke his hip and his wife Beverly suffered a fractured skull when the 8-foot branch fell on them in February.
Attorney Wayne Kekina said Friday the tree is on a special registry that requires a permit for trimming. He says a permit was last obtained in 2010 and that the branch was dead for at least two years.
Queen Emma Land declined to comment on pending litigation.
Developments win approval
HONOLULU - The state Land Use Commission has approved plans for developers to build housing on two Oahu areas currently used for farming.
The commission on Friday voted 8-to-1 gave the go-ahead to D.R. Horton's plans to build on more than 1,500 acres in Ewa. The development called Hoopili would have nearly 12,000 homes.
On Thursday, the commission voted 7-to-0 to approve a plan by Castle & Cook in Hawaii for a 5,000-home development between Mililani and Waipio called Koa Ridge. It would also include medical and shopping centers.
Groups including the Sierra Club Hawaii Chapter testified against the developments, saying the island would lose valuable farmland as a result. But others say Oahu's growing population needs more housing.