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BLOG: High Income and Home Values Don’t Necessarily Jive

April 11, 2014, 5:42 PM HST (Updated April 11, 2014, 5:44 PM)
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If you’re looking for an ultra-ritzy neighborhood in Hawaii, don’t bother with the Big Island.

According to the latest “Fun Facts” release from the folks at the state’s Research and Economic Analysis Division, there are 11 census tracts in the state where the values of owner-occupied homes average a million dollars or more.

None is in Hawaii County.

Most are on Oahu: Portlock, Waialae Iki, Waialae-Kahala, Diamond Head, East Manoa, Round Top-Tanatalus, Kalaheo Avenue and Lanikai.

The neighbor islands have three: Wailea and Honokowai on Maui, and Haena-Hanale on Kauai.

According to an interactive map provided by the division, the closest on the Big Island is the Hualalai census tract, which consists of a broad area mauka of Kailua-Kona extending into both North Kona and South Kona.

By far, the most expensive homes on the Big Island are found in the Hualalai census tract in mauka Kona. Screenshot of DBEDT website.

By far, the most expensive homes on the Big Island are found in the Hualalai census tract in mauka Kona. Screenshot of DBEDT website.

The average home value there is $769,500, more than $200,000 higher than the area with the next highest value, the neighboring tract of Kaumalumalu-Keahou, where home values average $492,200.

Oddly, neither of those is at the top when it comes to median household income. That distinction is held by the Kawailani tract in Hilo, where families pull in $78,143 annually, followed by  neighboring Haihai at $73,276. Coming in at third at $71,886 is the Kawaihae-Waikoloa tract in West Hawaii.

The lowest average home value on the Big Island is in the Ka`u tract at $168,300, followed by Kalapana-Kapoho at $222,000.

But in keeping with the previous paradox, neither has the lowest average household income.

That distinction falls to one of eight census tracts in Hilo, University-Houselots (must have something to do with college students’ reputation as being poor) followed closely by Hilo’s Puueo-Downtown tract at $25,454. Located in between is the third lowest, Villa Franca-Kaiko`o, at $31,427.

But just a bit south of University-Houselots are the aforementioned Kawailani and Haihai tracts with the island’s biggest incomes, but also with relatively modest home values averaging $328,400 and $295,200, respectively.

And the latter is just barely above University-Houselots’ home values of $291,000.

Go figure.

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