While housing markets in major metro areas across the country are sizzling amid lack of available inventory, the West Hawaii, and the Hawaii Island housing market is showing that fewer properties have been sold, but prices have increased from year ago levels. Well priced homes in the under 600k category are only lasting a few days on the market.
Across the island, residential sales in March 2017 dropped 37% from 205 properties sold in March 2016 to 129, while year to date, 554 homes sold by this time last year and 443 homes sold in 2017, a 20.04% drop, according to data from the Hawaii Information System. However, the median price of all properties was $296,000 in March 2016 and jumped 19.5% to $354,500 year over year. March, one of the busiest months of the year in Hawaii, where sales of homes in escrow from January and February close, shows that the median price of homes rose 36% from $305,000 last March to $415,000 this year.
For West Hawaii in particular, which covers the Kohala Coast and North and South Kona, the year over year data states that 37 single family homes sold in March last year in North Kona, while 27 sold in March, a 27% decrease. Home prices in North Kona have dropped year over year from $885,000 to $600,000, a 30% drop, while month to month data shows residential prices dropped 7.5% with home prices dipping from $632,500 to $585,000. For South Kohala, prices have gone up 22% since last year from $459,000 to $562,500 and experienced a 26% increase from March to March. Condo prices in South Kohala were up 36% from last year with a current median price of $480,000.
One trend that has reversed itself from last year is the hot market for vacant land. Last year we were watching open land going off the market quickly. In North Kona the market for vacant land fell 84%.
Lance Owens, Realtor with LUVA Real Estate, added his expertise in looking at the local sales statistics.
“You have to look at the report knowing a few key indicators. There were five sales over $3,000,000 for 2016 in West Hawaii and zero sales over $3,000,000 for 2017, thus far. 2016 actually had one sale at $15 million and one for $12 million, so on paper it looks like March was a “bad” month, but it’s only a bad month for the million dollar home owners! For $500k and under – 9 homes sold in March in 2016 , while 8 homes sold in 2017, so we are actually on par.”
When asked where the deals are, Owens stated that homes in Kona have already reached and exceeded their pre-recession era prices, however, condos have not. “The condo market is sluggish, giving people who want a smaller home or less upkeep an opportunity in this market. Once the lower price range of Kona goes past $500k, where it is quickly heading, people will start looking to condos. Now is the time to start viewing the inventory”, Owens concluded.
If you would like to learn more about the West Hawaii housing market and a free cost analysis on your home or be placed on a email list to get listings as they hit the market, please contact LUVA Real Estate today!