Big Isle Condo Prices Continue to Soar
by Denise Laitinen
Big Island condominium prices ended on a high note last year while the median price of single-family homes saw only modest gains.
In December, the median island-wide price of a condo on the Big Island jumped 53% to $328,500, compared to $212,500 in December 2011 according to data released by Hawaii Information Service and reported in Pacific Business News.
Last month’s dramatic increase in median prices island-wide for condos continues an upward trend. In November 2012, HIS data showed that median condo prices were up 46% over November 2011 prices.
While sales prices increased, condo sales volume in December decreased. Last month 52 condos sold island-wide, 17 less than the 63 units sold in December 2011.
Some real estate brokers attribute the increase in median prices to decreased inventory in the entry-level condo market.
“We had a lot of inventory under the $200,000 mark a year ago in terms of entry-level and foreclosed condo properties,” says Derinda Thatcher, who has worked as a real estate broker with Clark Realty Corporation for 20 years.
“A lot of what was on the market was the lower end and that has been absorbed,” explains Thatcher.
“Now there is little inventory condo-wise in West Hawaii, so your median price increases.”
Taking a look at the entire year, there were 590 condos sold in 2012 on the Big Island, 2% less than the 605 sold in 2011.
However, the median price increased 23%, up $48,000 from $212,500 for all of 2011 to $260,500 for all of 2012.
The median price of Big Island single-family homes also increased in December, although not nearly as much as condo prices.
Last month the median price of a single-family home was $306,650 compared to $287,500 in December 2011. The number of homes sold last month increased 27% to 156, compared to 123 home sales in December 2011.
“Inventory has definitely gone down on single-family homes,” says Dawn R. Clark, a real estate broker with Clark Realty.
“We’re actually starting to see sales of vacant land in North Kona, which we haven’t seen in three or four years,” adds Clark who has been a Realtor on the Big Island for 15 years.
Looking at the entire year, home sales declined just slightly this year with1,609 homes sold in 2012 compared to 1,619 homes sold in 2011.
The median price of homes increased 5% from $247,000 in 2011 to $260,000 in 2012.