Neighbor island home sales boomed in May

·3 min read

Jun. 10—Home sales boomed on the neighbor islands last month with increases doubling, tripling and even quadrupling depressed volumes of a year earlier during corona ­virus lockdowns.

The condominium market for Maui County had the biggest sale volume gain with 241 transactions in May, up 346 % from 54 transactions in the same month last year.

Maui's median condo sale price, however, slipped 10 % to $615, 000 last month from $680, 000 a year earlier and reflected the only median sale price decrease among neighbor island housing markets.

In Maui's single-family home market, the number of sales jumped 188 % to 121 in May from 42 a year earlier while the median price rose 30 % to $1.04 million from $800, 000.

On Hawaii island, a 93 % surge in single-family home sales represented the smallest increase among neighbor island markets. There were 257 sales last month compared with 133 a year earlier.

The median price for single ­-family homes on Hawaii island rose 35 % to $500, 000 last month from $370, 000 a year earlier.

Condo sales on Hawaii island more than tripled to 107 in May from 29 a year earlier, and the median price rose 38 % to $439, 000 from $319, 000.

On Kauai, there were 69 single-family home sales in May, up 245 % from 20 a year earlier. The median price for these homes was $1.13 million last month, up 46 % from $772, 500 a year earlier.

Kauai condo sale volume jumped 162 % to 68 last month from 26 a year earlier while the median price soared 69 % to $622, 000 from $367, 500.

The surge in purchases, according to local real estate agents and economists, is being driven largely by people who held off buying a home last year, returning visitors and a wave of new residents taking advantage of remote working opportunities created by the coronavirus pandemic. Low interest rates are also helping support demand.

It's harder to tell how much real estate values are rising because much of the change in median sale prices is due to the size, quality, age and location of homes being sold.

For instance, much of the 30 % median price gain for Maui condos was due to 23 sales in the Kaanapali resort area last month for a median $1 million compared with a year earlier when there were only four sales in the same community for a median $1.6 million.

The median price is a point at which half the sales were for a higher price and half for a lower price.

Unlike Oahu, neighbor island home sale data includes sales of new homes in addition to previously owned homes.

Sales reports for Hawaii island and Kauai were compiled by Hawaii Information Service using data from the Hawaii Island Realtors and the Kauai Board of Realtors trade associations. The Realtors Association of Maui produced its own data for Maui County, which includes a few sales on Lanai and Molokai.

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