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Median home price hits new high on Kaua‘i

LIHU‘E — A staggering leap in the median price of a home on Kaua‘i vaulted the housing market into rarefied air in August.

The median price of a single-family residence soared to $1,800,000 in August from $957,500 in August 2022, according to monthly data pooled from multiple sources by Hawai‘i Realtors in Honolulu. That marked an increase of 87.99 percent in the period.

The median price is the point where half of the homes sell for more and half sell for less.

The $1.8 million price tag eclipsed the previous high of $1,650,000 in November 2022. A median price of $1,625,000 in December 2021 ranks as the third highest, according to the monthly data. The data covers January 2011 through August 2023.

The highlight of the August closing period was a $7.6 million sale for a 3,200-square-foot residence in Kukui‘ula on the South Shore of Kaua‘i. The residence, which sits on roughly one-half acre of land, sold in approximately nine days.

The lofty home prices were posted amid another month of lackluster sales, as a total of 19 single-family residences exchanged hands in August. That was down 54.76 percent from 42 in August 2022.

Sales of condominiums were also off in the period. A total of 24 were sold in August, compared with 44 in August 2022. That marked a decrease of 45.45 percent.

However, the median price jumped a massive 88.55 percent to $1,012,500 from $537,000 in the same period. Both the median price for a single-family home and condo were the highest in the four major island markets reported in the monthly data.

“Vacation rentable condos are selling very well for top dollar,” said Jimmy Johnson, who is broker in charge at RE/MAX Kaua‘i, on what is driving upward pricing momentum in the market.

“Why? Where would you want to park your money … You could build a spec home, but it’s speculative. … A no-brainer is to buy a condo … $400 is the average per night for a vacation rental.”

Neighbor islands

Sales and prices were somewhat mixed across the island chain in the period. O‘ahu posted a 19.75 percent decline in single-family home sales to 252 in August from 314 in August 2022, while the median price eased 1.38 percent to $1,110,000 from $1,125,500.

Condo sales dropped 16.93 percent to 422 in August from 508 in August 2022, while the median price rose 3.31 percent to $515,000 from $498,500.

Maui recorded a 35.63 decline in single-family home sales to 56 in August from 87 in August 2022, while the median price climbed 21.75 percent to $1,197,500 from $983,575.

Condo sales slipped 4.76 percent to 100 in August from 105 in August 2022, while the median price fell 4.28 percent to $773,750 from $808,379.

Hawai‘i Island notched a 10.19 percent retreat in single-family home sales to 185 in August from 206 in August 2022, while the median price rose 2.33 percent to $495,000 from $483,725.

Condo sales were down 12.07 percent to 51 from 58, while the median price was up 4.69 percent to $625,000 from $597,000.
Source: The Garden Island

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