Business

Hawai’i County Ranked Among Best Places to Buy a Home

January 12, 2016, 9:01 AM HST
* Updated January 14, 8:30 AM
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HawaiiLife.com file courtesy photo.

HawaiiLife.com file courtesy photo.

Hawai’i County recently ranked as the top county in the state to purchase a home.

A study conducted by SmartAsset, a New York financial technology company, found Hawai’i County to be the best area of the state to purchase a home over renting.

Gathering average rent and home prices, the company compared buying to renting in every county in America and used the breakeven point in every buy vs. rent decision. Using the data, SmartAsset determined where rent became greater than the total costs of buying, including mortgage rates, closing costs, and a 20 percent down payment.

The Hawai’i County breakeven year is 4.1, with an average monthly mortgage payment of $1,515, compared to an average rent price of $1,726.

Average home prices in Hawai’i County, according to the study, are $373,644 with a rent vs. buy index of 68.2. This compares to Honolulu, which ranked fourth on the list with a breakeven year of 5.3. Average home prices in Honolulu are $623,438, according to the study. Honolulu home buyers have mortgage averages of $2,527, compared to an average rent of $2,667.

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One of the highest breakeven points in the country was New York, N.Y. The study ranked the metropolitan hub with a breakeven point at 18.3 years. Other areas of the country, including the tech hubs of San Jose, Calif; Seattle, Wash.; and San Francisco, Calif.; had breakeven points in a similar range between 14.6 and 16.73 years.

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Areas in the Midwest, including Pittsburgh, Pa.; Chicago, Ill.; and Minneapolis, Minn. were reported to have breakeven points in the four year range. Texas and other southern counties saw a similar trend with breakeven years in the three to four year range.

Philadelphia, Pa. and Detroit, Mich. counties have some of the lowest breakeven points in the country with breakeven years at 2.9 and 2.6 years, respectively.

Hawai’i County also held SmartAsset’s top rating in the state in its 2015 rankings.

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