If you ask local merchants how is the market, they will tell you it has been one heck of a slow summer due to the VOG and eruption that started in May and finally ended in early August. Real estate followed much of that same lead, with buyers pulling back to see what was going to happen with the market. Now that the eruption has ceased, the blue sky days are magnificent and you can see the sun diamonds sparkling upon the ocean, the buyers are coming back into the market.
Lance Owens, LUVA Real Estate agent and the President of the West Hawaii Association of Realtors said, “Basically the market is making a strong recovery. Remember that the August numbers reflect month two of the lava flow and considering that July was off by 48 and 46% in terms of sales, these numbers look great!”
Real time data company Altos Research reported that the Kailua Kona market for single family homes are showing a slight buyer’s advantage right now as the market has been consistently cool for several weeks. According to the Hawaii Information Services (HIS) data, the median price for homes in August was $612,000 compared with $685,000 in 2017, a 10.61% drop. Demand levels are low relative to the available inventory due to the lackluster summer market and prices are falling a bit as motivated seller’s drop their prices. Altos reports that 35% of sellers have dropped their listing price.
As we head into the traditional buyer season later in the fall, this trend may turn around now that sunny days are once again prevalent in West Hawaii.
Market at a GlanceIn the Kailua Kona condo market, Altos Research reports a slight sellers advantage as investors and retiring baby boomers continue to see opportunity in the market and demand still remains high for this sector of the housing market. The median price for condos in August 2018 was $314,750 compared to $290,000 last August, a 8.53% gain.
In Waikoloa, the single family housing market is strong with inventory holding steady with prices flattening. According to the Hawaii Information Services (HIS) data, the median price for a single family home in South Kohala was $577,500, a 4% drop over last August. The South Kohala condo market shows a slight buyers advantage, according to Altos, as prices have remained relatively stable. The median price in August was $585,000, a 9.86% gain from August 2017 according to HIS.
To note, in South Kohala, 35 condos sold in August 2018 versus 18 in 2017, a 94% increase year over year. Whereas in North Kona, 30 condos sold in 2018 vs 35 in 2017, a 14% decrease. But keep in mind, that homes that closed in August, went into escrow in July, when Kona was in the middle of the effects of the poor air quality created by the eruption.
Each housing market in West Hawaii is different based on lifestyle choice. We invite you to schedule a meeting with one of our knowledgeable Realtors to see which area would best suit your needs based on your goals, be it as a full time resident, part time resident or investor.