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Kaua‘i housing market state’s most expensive

LIHU‘E — A calendar year that featured some eye-popping real estate transactions cemented the County of Kaua‘i as the priciest place for a single-family home in the Hawaiian Islands.

The housing market ended the year with a statement, as the median sales price climbed to $1,180,000 in the 12 months ended Dec. 31, 2022, from $1,100,000 in the 12 months ended Dec. 31, 2021.

That marked an increase of 7.27 percent in the period, according to monthly data pooled from multiple sources by Hawai‘i Realtors in Honolulu. The data is deemed reliable, but not guaranteed.

The County of Maui and the City and County of Honolulu ranked second, as each market weighed in with a median sales price of $1,105,000 for a single-family home in the 12 months ended Dec. 31, 2022. The County of Hawai‘i rounded out the list of markets tracked monthly by Hawaii Realtors at $500,000.

“It always bounces around from Maui to Oahu to here,” said Jimmy Johnson, broker in charge at RE/MAX Kaua‘i, on the year-end median sales price of a single-family home.

But 2022 was Kaua‘i’s year atop the leaderboard, which came amid a steep drop in the number of single-family homes that exchanged hands in the calendar year.

Sales of single-family residences on the island plunged 36.38 percent to 474 in the 12 months ended Dec. 31, 2022, from 745 in the 12 months ended Dec. 31, 2021. The percentage decrease was the largest among the four counties last year.

Sprinkled in among those sales in 2022 were some notable eight-digit transactions, including a $10 million deal in November and a $10.3 million close in December. Both of those transactions occurred on the North Shore of Kaua‘i.

The Maui housing market followed with a 25.76 percent drop in sales to 1,023 from 1,378 for the second biggest percentage drop off. O‘ahu ranked third with a 23.24 percentage decline to 3,474 from 4,526. Hawai‘i Island was the lone island to post an increase in sales at 12.41 percent to 3,614 from 3,215.

The decline in sales across the island chain came amid a swift rise in long-term mortgage interest rates, which reached a two-decade plateau of 7.08 percent in late October and early November of 2022.

Those highs, which were more than double the year-ago rates for the same periods, came against a backdrop of the Federal Reserve’s battle to cool inflation with a series of increases to its benchmark lending rate.

While the strength of those increases has eased, the fight against inflation has carried over into 2023. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said in a Feb. 1 news conference that although “inflation has moderated recently, it remains high.”

That suggests the Fed will likely continue to raise its benchmark rate in the months ahead, in turn keeping pressure on home sales because of the higher costs associated with financing a purchase.


Wyatt Haupt Jr., editor, can be reached at 808-245-0457 or
Source: The Garden Island

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