2021 was a year unlike any other when it comes to real estate, on both the island of Hawai’i and across the Aloha State. New records were sometimes being set monthly as buyers the world over flocked in droves to snap up pretty much anything they could lay their hands on, and historically low interest rates combined with a scarcity of available properties to create a firestorm in the marketplace.
Indeed, the past year-plus has been a whirlwind…but would you believe that the median sales price on the Big Island actually went down in February 2022 as compared to last year? It’s true—while the 2021 median came in at $525,000, last month’s median sales price was tabulated at $515,000, a 1.9% loss by way of comparison.
But how could that be? Looking across the islands, this would seem to stand in major contrast with the way the other numbers are trending:
- Kaua’i: $1.34 million, a 37.4% increase from February of last year
- O’ahu: $1.12 million, a 21.9% increase
- Maui: $1.05 million, an 18.2% increase
While the condo market across the island did grow by over 13% year-over-year, coming in at $545,000, there’s no doubt that the Big Island numbers pale in comparison to our sister islands as 2022 takes shape.
Is it possible that the Big Island’s real estate bonanza is winding down?
“Facts are stubborn things…but statistics are pliable”
Not so fast! As we’ve illustrated in some of our previous blogs, the numbers themselves can be misleading. While it’s true that the island median sales price for single-family homes saw a slight dip in comparison to last year, let’s zoom in and take a gander at the median sales price for single-family homes in some of our most sought-after neighborhoods via the market analysis tool available at Redfin.com (searches performed on 3/10/2022), as well as their year-over-year comparisons:
- Kailua-Kona: median of $807k, up 38.7% from last year
- Kohala and Kapa’au: median of $1.6 million, up 95.9% since last year
- Kukio: median of $6.9 million (!), a 29.7% increase
- Waimea: median of $810k
So, as you can clearly see, the broad overview of the median sales price simply doesn’t do justice to what’s really happening in some of the Big Island’s most sought-after neighborhoods. Ultimately, the Hawaii County median sales price is often somewhat skewed by the home prices and sales coming out of the less-populated regions, often so much so that even the median—which, again, we recall is the middle price between all home sales—is no match. Ultimately, expect Hawai’i’s housing trends to continue throughout the rest of 2022, the recent increases in interest rates notwithstanding.
For interested buyers looking for their new home in just about any of Hawai’i’s neighborhoods, it always helps to have the steady guidance of a professional—and with over forty years of experience in just about every aspect of the real estate game, Karen Bail has just what you need to make paradise your next destination. Until next time—aloha!