In 2017, Hawaii saw several record-breaking statistics in the local economy.
Statewide labor force, employment and payroll job count all registered at historical high levels, while visitor arrivals reached 9.4 million for another record year.
The real estate market performed well, too, with median home sale prices up across the state. According to Title Guaranty Hawaii’s 2017 year-end residential report, sales volume was up in all counties except Kauai, which saw a 3.7 percent decrease for the year.
“Data can be complex,” said Jimmy Johnson, real estate broker at RE/MAX Kauai. “Single-family residence sales volume is off a tad, but vacant land sales volume was up a whopping 28.2 percent, and condos jumped up 22.3 percent. So overall for Kauai real estate sales volume, we were up a healthy 4.66 percent.”
During 2017, a total of 993 properties were sold on Kauai, 6 percent of the state’s total, while 60 percent of real estate sales took place on Oahu.
On Kauai, Johnson said that “1,245 properties changed hands in 2017, about 100 a month, about three per day.”
“Now that home prices have recovered and we are at an all-time high, the flow is just starting to ease with a 2.8 percent decrease in the number of houses sold last year,” Johnson added.
Last year, the number of single-family homes sold on Kauai was down 3.7 percent compared to 2016, with 546 homes sold at a median sales price of $661,250. Condominium sales on Kauai were up 19.8 percent, with 447 condominiums sold at a median sales price of $437,000, according to the sales report.
“When prices are low, a lot of people buy property,”Johnson said. “As prices rise, the number of houses sold starts to slow down due to affordability and value perception.”
The most popular area to purchase property on Kauai in 2017 was Koloa, where 30 percent of the island’s sales took place, with 388 sold totaling more than $299 million. According to the report, the median price of a single-family home in Koloa was $695,000, and condos averaged $599,000. Total sales for vacant land in the area reached nearly $47.6 million.
According to Johnson, the number of land sales shot up nearly 55 percent. He said two impacting factors are “South Shore project sales and people opting to build their own home after not finding an existing house they like.”
Hanalei neighborhoods generated the island’s most money for 2017, totaling more than $315 million for 287 homes sold. The median price for single-family homes in Hanalei was $1.15 million, while condos there averaged $521,000. Total sales for vacant land in the area reached $45.78 million.
The largest number of single-family homes were sold in Kawaihau, 157 at a median price of $585,000. Just 59 homes were sold in Lihue at a median price of $539,000, while 104 condos were sold here averaging $262,500 each. Waimea saw 54 single-family homes sold in 2017 with a median price of $415,000.
“The median sales price for a home on Kauai increased a healthy 5.5 percent,” Johnson said, “and is now at $660,000.”