In his recent presentation to Hawaii and Kauai Island Realtors, Economist Paul Brewbaker called the pandemic a “Black Swan event – rare, unpredictable and impactful.” He went on to say that trying to forecast such an event is not possible, since we have never seen a situation like this unfold. The Hawaiian economy has taken a difficult hit with a reported 29% of workers filing for first-time unemployment since Mid-March. With tourism in Hawaii essentially on hold, mainland buyers are having to rely on virtual tours and showings if they want to move forward with their purchases. For many buyers, not being able to view the property in person is bringing their real estate searches to a pause. For other mainland buyers, the pandemic has motivated them to make their purchases sooner rather than later. Realtor and Co-Founder Yuki Laliberte commented that “with the pandemic, I have more clients moving to Hawaii. People are no longer contemplating but instead pushing forward for their dream to move to Hawaii.” And with interest rates at historic lows LUVA Real Estate agents are noticing that on-island buyers that are still in the financial position to buy, are continuing to move forward with their purchases.
Island wide in April, the number of sales was down when compared to last April. While this is not a surprise given the state of the economy, the majority of properties that closed in April were most likely in escrow before the pandemic began. This means that we should see the effect of the pandemic on our local market in the next coming months. Condo sales saw the most drastic decrease in number of sales last month. North Kona condo sales down 63% and South Kohala condo sales down 76% with only 10 condo sales. While the number of sales took a dive, sales price remained stable and increased in certain markets. In North Kona, the median sales price for condos last month was $372,000 a slight increase of 0.54% from April 2019. In South Kohala, condos sold at a median price of $614,500 which is up about 14% from last April.
Jumping into the single-family home sales last month – Big Island had 176 homes close last April, which is down 18% from April 2019. 34 of those sales were in North Kona, 7 in South Kona, 16 in South Kohala and 4 in North Kohala. Prices were up for all West Hawaii markets for single family sales last month, this can partially be attributed to the low housing inventory that we continue to see.
In North Kona, the median sales price for residential homes was $762,500 which is an increase of 18% when compared to April 2019. Of the home sales in North Kona, nine were over $1,000,000. In South Kohala, the median sales price was $722,500 (an increase of 11% from April 2019) and North Kohala sales were slightly higher at $762,500 (down 28% from April 2019 which can be attributed to a few outlier sales). In South Kona, median sales prices remained stable, increasing 2.35% from April 2019 to $435,000.
If you are interested in taking a deeper dive into a specific market in West Hawaii, reach out to one of our agents at LUVA Real Estate for more information! We look forward to helping you.