Cheaper to Buy a House on the Big Island?! Not So Fast.

Cheaper to Buy a House on the Big Island?! Not So Fast.

  • Karen E. Bail
  • 04/16/22

Is there a bargain to be had here amongst the sandy beaches and in paradise?

Recently, the March statistics for the real estate market were released, courtesy of our friends at Hawai’i Realtors, and they confirm several long-standing trends within the marketplace—as well as raise a few interesting questions!

Without further ado, here are the latest facts and figures for the month of March in 2022:

  • Median sales price
    • Single-family homes: $517,500
    • Condominiums: $650,000
  • Year-to-date sales
    • Single-family homes: 730 (a 9.2% drop from March of 2021, at which time 804 units had sold)
    • Condominiums: 236 (a 26.9% drop from March of 2021, at which time 323 units had sold)

As per usual, the ongoing lack of inventory continues to drive the marketplace, both locally and across the United States. Even in the face of rising mortgage interest rates—which stands at nearly two points higher than late 2021, as of this writing—any and all available units continue to sell like hotcakes, both here on the island and across the nation.

But is it really that much cheaper to buy a single-family home on Hawai’i’s largest island than from anywhere else in the Aloha State? Is it true that buying a condo would set you back further than buying a home on the island of Hawai’i?

A tale of two…islands!

As per usual, the stats covering the whole of the Big Island don’t come near to telling the whole story.

Let’s first tackle the idea that the Big Island’s median price for single-family homes means that you can land the home of your dreams on the cheap: while it’s true that there are some bargains to be had across the southern and southwestern sections of the island, all of our most-desirable areas remain much more in lockstep with buying trends across the islands, per statistics provided from Redfin:

  • North Kohala: median sales price of $825,000 for all units
  • South Kohala: median of $945,000
  • Waikoloa Village: median of $770,000
  • Kailua-Kona: median of $700,000
  • Puako: median of $1,130,000

As you can see, these numbers are far more in-line with the rest of the state across the Kohala coast and the Kona coast, where the median sales price has routinely clocked in between $750k and $1 million over the past six-plus months and counting.

From there, let’s also look at how the numbers can skewer on the Big Island regarding homes and condos. As we mentioned, many of the homes in the southern end routinely sell for less than those in the island’s hottest neighborhoods, which can throw both the median and the average prices off. 

Condos, however, are typically only to be found within the Big Island’s more-populated areas—which also just so happen to be the same areas in which most of our higher-end real estate is located. Therefore, the condo numbers will likely always be coming in a little hot, especially by way of comparison to single-family homes, which are nestled throughout the island.

So no matter if you’re looking for a fixer-upper or the home of your dreams, it’s always wise to look before you leap—and it’s always good practice to partner with a pro! Give Karen Bail a call and let’s navigate the ever-changing market together 🤙

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Karen provides the most current and accurate market information, tapping into her vast network of industry professionals. She continually draws from her extensive marketing experience to offer creative marketing strategies and produce impeccably high-quality marketing materials.