Real estate rising

LIHUE — Median sale prices for single-family homes last month rose by nearly 49 percent compared to the same time last year, causing a boost in Kauai’s real estate market that is seeing more homebuyers than inventory, experts say.

According to a recent report released by Hawaii Information Service, median sale prices for single-family homes in August was $685,000, compared to $460,000 during the same month last year.

These increases, according to the report, were based on 37 home sales, compared to 25 made last year.

In all, 20 of those homes were sold in the Hanalei and Koloa areas of the island, where median home values exceed $530,000, according to a August 2013 report released by Old Republic Title and Escrow of Hawaii last month.

What is also driving prices up, Kauai Dreams Realty Owner and Principal Broker Julie Black said, is the dearth of more affordable homes on the market and a rise in the amount of people seeking homes on Kauai.

“People always want to buy at what prices were two years ago, and no, things have changed, so the price point has come up a little bit,” Black said. “It’s hard. The buyers who are out there are a little picky.”

The median sales price for condominium properties also experienced a slight boost over the past year after prices jumped from $242,000 in August 2012 to $274,000 in August 2013.

The uptick came despite a 22 percent reduction in sales volume from $11,894,401 in August 2012 to $9,302,650 last month.

But the upward trend, according to the report, was not equally spread across the local real estate market.

The median sales price for commercial properties fell from $1.3 million in August 2012 to $627,000 in August 2013. The total amount of sales for those properties also fell by 71 percent last month to $1.3 million from $4.3 million a year ago.

“I think what you’ll find, when you compare that to a year from now when the stats come out, there won’t be as many sales after a while because there’s not as much inventory,” Black said. “There aren’t that many buyers who can afford $750,000 or a million dollar homes, when there’s a lot of buyers in the low $400,000 range and they’re having a hard time with the inventory.”

• Darin Moriki, staff writer and photographer, can be reached at 245-0428 or Follow him on Twitter at @darinmoriki.


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