LUVA Real Estate agents have been busy showing homes during Ironman week to potential homebuyers who are elated at the clean air and gorgeous skies we have been enjoying. Interest is up and and so are prices in West Hawaii, although sales volume and number of homes sold are down a bit from last month. An important factor to look at when we review the September sales numbers is the rise in interest rates and the very real possibility of further interest rate hikes in December. The homes that are selling quickly are not the ones at the bottom of the market, which are usually the realm of first time home buyers who are now sitting on the sidelines waiting for their next move.
Homebuyers who have made plans to move to the island with retirement savings, investment funds, etc are still seeing the value of buying in West Hawaii for the long haul. Economists predict the average for 30-year, fixed mortgage interest rates will rise to 5.2 percent in 2019, up from 4.7 percent in 2018 and 4.0 percent in 2017, but will still remain low by historical standards.
Overall, inventory is still low, so even with a dip in buyer demand, homes are still selling at a higher price than last year, raising the overall median price in both Kona and in Waikoloa. In North Kona, sales volume dipped 9.52% for single family homes and 21% for condos, however, the median price rose 13.75% for single family homes in North Kona from $632,000 to $719,000. But because of lack of inventory, the numbers are skewed as only 38 homes changed hands in September. In South Kohala, single family home prices rose 7% from $615,000 in 2018 from $575,00 in 2017 and for condos prices were up 5.5% year over year, but again, number of sales of condos dropped from 37 to 29.
Additional statistics according to the Hawaii Information Services MLS: Year to date, 377 single family homes have sold in North Kona while 409 sold last year, a 7.82% decrease. For condos, 368 were sold by this time last year, and 313 have sold so far, a 14.95% decrease. (Keep in mind that home sales dipped during the eruption, as well.) If you would like up to date statistics for October, please contact us and we can provide information about the neighborhoods you may be interested in looking at or LUVA Real Estate can do a CMA if you are considering selling your home.