Big Island Housing Market Shows Surprising Resilience

August 28, 2019, 9:37 AM HST (Updated August 28, 2019, 10:38 AM)

With contributions from News Director Debra Lordan

Elite Pacific Properties Agent Nate Gaddis provided an Big Island real estate update on Aug. 28, 2019.

Since the lava started to cool over Lower Puna about a year ago, the Big Island housing market has shown surprising resilience.


The volume of homes sold in Hilo is almost virtually unchanged in the second quarter of 2019 compared to the previous year, with 85 sales this year compared to 82 last year. Prices in the second quarter have inched up about 4%. The average house in Hilo is now priced at $375,000.

Last year, lava activity stared on May 4, right in the middle of the second quarter sales period.

To put this all in perspective, 63 homes were sold in the Hilo area in the first quarter of 2018, compared to 61 this year, showing a consistency in sales volume year over year, despite Kīlauea’s damaging eruption.

Hawaiian Paradise Park had 71 sales in the first quarter of 2019 compared to 72 sold during the same time frame in 2018—virtually no change.

Most shockingly, Leilani Estates, ground zero for the Lower East Rift Zone lava flow, had eight sales in 2019 vs. nine sales in the first quarter of 2918.

Fissure 8 in Leilani Estates Subdivision on July 18, 2018. PC: Crystal Richard.

Although prices decreased 22%, its still an impressive figure considering the effects of the eruption in that area.

Kona has seen home sales rise even higher with 161 sales in the second quarter of this year. Prices are down about 4% with the average cost at $650,000.

Last year’s first quarter in Kona showed a sales volume of 125 in the first quarter of 2019 compared to 121 in 2018.

We are in the middle of a trade war, Gaddis said, and signs of a recession are creeping in… so stay informed and look for Big Island Now’s next real estate update.



Nate Gaddis
A former journalist born on the Big Island, Nate Gaddis began his career in real estate designing marketing campaigns for complex estate properties. Now a full-time agent at Elite Pacific Properties, he has combined a deep knowledge of the islands with his strategic marketing skills to help navigate the sale and purchase of Hawaiian real estate, including some of the largest transactions in East Hawai‘i's history. He currently writes guest columns covering land use, politics and popular culture.


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