According to recent statistics released from the State Department of Labor and Industrial Relations in April, almost one in every four people on the Big Island was out of work. It is clear that for Hawai'i, the halt in tourism heavily contributes to this statistic. Beginning this month, some of those workers are returning to work as businesses and restaurants open their doors once again. However, the limitations on visitors due to the travel quarantine has forced many mainland buyers to put their search on halt. Our agents are seeing that there is a lot of pent up buyer demand. LUVA Realtor Lance Owens commented that "we have several clients waiting for the 14-day quarantine to end so they can come in and buy." In May, Big Island saw a 25% decrease in the number of sales when compared to April. Limited inventory and a lack of new inventory in particular is a contributing factor to the decrease in sales.
While it is important to track monthly numbers during such uncertain times where things are rapidly changing, we also think it is important to compare year to date numbers. Compared with this time last year, the median sales price for almost all markets on island has increased. Increasing sales price has been a trend since January. For example, in North Kona the median sales price for single family homes has increased 17% year to date when compared with 2019 at this time. Island wide, the median sales price for single family homes has increased 2.9% YTD.
As businesses open back up and people return to work, we will be closely tacking these numbers to see how soon buyers return to the market! Check out our full market report below.