Home sales are down but prices are up

Home sales and home prices on the Big Island in the third quarter were neck and neck with those in the second.

While 19 fewer homes were sold on the Big Island between July and September than between April and June, the median sales price was approximately $5,000 higher.


This continues a trend seen throughout the year, where home sales are lower than those in 2018, while home prices are higher. The gap between this year and last year for both statistics has narrowed as the year has gone by.

Despite the only marginal difference between the second and third quarter statistics, several districts on the Big Island had clear improvements over the summer.

Home purchasers spent $381,750 on South Hilo homes between July and September this year, slightly more than the approximately $375,000 spent between April and June, and a greater increase from the $372,000 spent in the third quarter of last year. The total home sales also increased by exactly one, bringing the third quarter total to 86.

Similarly, home sales in Puna increased by 2% from the previous quarter, climbing from $227,000 to $234,000. Sales during the same period in 2018 were squarely between the two totals, at $230,000. Total sales also increased slightly, from 209 to 229.

On the other side of the island, third-quarter home prices in North Kona climbed from $648,000 to $650,000, while home sales dropped by 17, to 144.

The only district to post a lower median sales price in the third quarter than in the second was North Kohala, whose median price was $1.06 million in the second quarter, but only $860,000 in the most recent. Twenty North Kohala homes were sold in the third quarter, one less home than in the second.

Every district had a higher median price than in the third quarter of 2018, although South Hilo, North Hilo and South Kohala all had fewer home sales than last year.

“Sales really slowed down in the first half of the year,” said Century 21 agent Lance Miyasato. “But it’s really picked up in the last two months.”

Miyasato said he partially attributes the little boom of the last few months to lower interest rates, although he said he has no idea how long the health of the market will last.

“Everything’s still so unpredictable,” Miyasato said. “In prior years, we could predict a strong finish to the year, but (not) these days. … Parts of the California market are struggling, and we tend to follow their market.”


Miyasato said Hilo remains a stable market for buyers, but added that markets in Puna and Volcano are no longer overly affected by the aftermath of the Kilauea eruption last year.

Email Michael Brestovansky at mbrestovansky@hawaiitribune-herald.com.

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