The following Big Island real estate market overview is compiled from MLS data for transactions that closed escrow in 2018. Pictured above: MLS 617702, located in Waiki’i Ranch, listed by Waimea agent Leslie Agorastos and sold for $1,500,000 in December 2018.
*2018 median prices by district for fee simple properties. RES = residential single-family homes. CND = condo. # of sales in parenthesis.
In August, CNN Money speculated about where the real estate market was headed, noting a national slow down in the real estate market. In our Q3 market report, we referenced a Forbes article citing a deceleration in home pricing nationally. On Hawaii’s Big Island, the real estate market appears to be following national trends with slower price appreciation and fewer sales. For example, home prices on the Big Island increased by almost 9% from 2016 to 2017 but increased by just under 3% from 2017 to 2018 while the total number of residential sales dipped by 7.4% in 2018. These numbers track with residential sales data from Oahu where the total number of units sold is off by 7.7% with the median price climbing only 4.6% in 2018 compared to 6% in 2017.
This is a sweet spot in the market where sellers are still getting good prices for their properties and buyers have more inventory to chose from and are experiencing less frenzied competition.
Overall, the 2018 median sale price of both Big Island condos and residential single-family homes were up compared to 2017. The 2018 median price for condos was $350,000 while the median price for single-family homes was $358,000. As the graphic above shows, the median sale price by district varied widely, with North Kohala at the top of the list with a median home sale price of $755,000. (At the time of this post, there are 66 homes for sale in North Kohala with prices ranging from $225,000 to $3,998,000.)
The charts below show the historical median price trend for Big Island home and condo sales.
For single-family homes sales, most of the west side of Hawaii Island saw increases in Q4 2018 over Q3 2018. In Q4, North Kona and North Kohala had 7 more sales than in Q3 and South Kona had 5 additional residential sales. Only South Kohala had a decrease in units sold with 18 fewer sales than in Q3. The east side districts all saw residential real estate sales fall or remain relatively flat in Q4. South Hilo had the greatest decline with 15 fewer sales than in Q3, North Hilo dropped by 6 units and Hamakua was down by 2. Puna had an increase of only 4 units and the same number of units sold in Kau as in Q3.
Overall there were 542 residential units sold on Hawaii Island in Q4, down slightly from 560 in Q3. The strongest quarter in 2018 was Q2, with 622 total residential units sold.
68 homes and condos closed escrow with sale prices over $1M across Hawaii Island in Q4, up from 48 in Q3. This number compares favorably to an average of 71 $1M+ residential properties sold per quarter in 2017. Of the 68 $1M+ properties sold in Q4 2018, 65 were located on the west side of the island; 6 in North Kohala, 26 in South Kohala, 32 in North Kona, and 1 in South Kona. The remaining three closings were in North and South Hilo.
The median price in the $1M+ segment remained exactly the same as Q3, at $1,575,000. North Kona had the highest median price at $1,825,000 and South Hilo the lowest at $1,250,000. As of this post, there is an excellent inventory of 346 active fee simple luxury listings across Hawaii Island, priced from $1,000,000 to $23,900,000. All luxury listings on Hawaii Island can be viewed here.
As we note in each quarterly update, the condo market on the Big Island primarily comprises three main areas—the population centers of Hilo (in the South Hilo district), Kona (North Kona district) and the Kohala Coast resort areas (South Kohala district).
The median condo sale price increased in all three of the main condo markets in Q4 2018. South Hilo increased 21% to $134,000 with 12 sales, North Kona increased 5.1% to 327,500 with 107 sales, and South Kohala increased by 16.5% to $600,000 with 61 sales. The number of condo transactions dropped by 12 in South Hilo and 10 in South Kohala but increased in North Kona by 27 units. As of this post, there are 362 active fee simple condo listings located on Hawaii Island with a price variance of over $8M between the lowest and highest priced units.
The Puna district always leads in the number of sales of land parcels of 5 acres or less but it is interesting to note that, up until this year, there were well over 300 land sales per quarter here. That mark was not achieved once in 2018, although Q2 came close with 294 transactions closing. With the Kilauea eruption affecting this district for four months beginning in Q2 (May), land sales slowed dramatically in Q3 to 209 followed by 207 sales in Q4. Compare that to 322 (Q3) and 324 (Q4) in 2017.
Across the entire island, Q4 sales for land parcels in this category was 327, just 7 fewer units sold than in Q3. Almost 80% of these were in Puna (207) and Kau (52). The other districts showing sales in the double digits were South Hilo with 17 sales and a median price of $192,000 and North Kona with 23 sales and a median price of $310,000.