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Median home price hits new high

LIHU‘E — Buoyed by some high-end transactions, the median price of a single-family home on Kaua‘i surged to its highest point of the year, and has the housing market on track to be the most expensive in the island chain for 2022.

The median price spiraled to $1,650,000 in November. That was up 36.76 percent from $1,206,500 in November 2021, according to monthly data pooled from multiple sources by the Hawai‘i Association of Realtors in Honolulu.

“Some big properties exchanged hands in November,” said Jimmy Johnson, broker in charge at RE/MAX Kaua‘i. “Here’s one for $10 million, $6.8 million in three days (and) $5.2 million in five days.”

He also noted those transactions were cash deals. The three high-end properties were among a total of 23 single-family homes sold in November, which was down from 48 in November 2021. That marked a decrease of 52.08 percent.

On the condominium front, the median price climbed 9.8 percent to $745,000 in November from $678,500 in November 2021, the monthly data showed. At the same time, sales plunged 64.15 percent to 19 from 53.

Island highlights

Price gains for single-family homes were less pronounced on neighboring islands, with one in negative territory. But that was not O‘ahu, which posted a 20.34 percent gain to $1,050,000 in November from $872,500 in November 2021.

O‘ahu was also the only market to record an increase in sales, which rose 9.76 percent to 371 from 338 in the same period.

The median price of a condo on O‘ahu also ended on a solid note at $500,000 in November, up from $420,000 in November 2021. That marked an increase of 19.05 percent.

The price hike was driven by strong sales activity, which ballooned 47.67 percent to 601 from 407, the monthly data showed.

Hawai‘i Island was the second most active market last month. However, the median price dipped 5.71 percent to $495,000 in November from $525,000 in November 2021. The decrease in price came amid a drop in sales to 171 from 230, or 25.65 percent.

At the same time, the median price of a condo slid 11.45 percent to $473,750 from $535,000 on the back of a sharp drop in sales to 30 from 73, or 58.90 percent.

And on Maui, the median price of a single-family residence inched up 2.50 percent to $1,025,000 in November from $1,000,000 in November 2021. But sales sank 40 percent to 63 from 105.

In the same period, the median price of a condo was up 18.10 percent to $856,250 from $725,000 despite a 54.55 percent pullback in sales to 70 from 154. The median price represents the point where half the homes sold for more, and half the homes sold for less.

The median price for a single-family home on Kaua‘i is on pace to be the highest in the island chain this year. Through the first 11 months of 2022, the median price stands at $1,150,000.

Maui ranks second at $1,120,000 and O‘ahu third at $1,110,000. Hawaii Island is well behind at $500,000.

Mortgage rates

The mixed bag of activity can be traced, in large part, to the higher cost of home financing amid steep hikes in long-term mortgage interest rates, which are still more than double what they were a year ago despite easing in recent weeks.

The 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage averaged 6.27 percent as of Dec. 22, down from 6.31 percent a week earlier. A year ago, the 30-year rate stood at 3.05 percent, according to weekly data from Freddie Mac, the Virginia-based mortgage giant.

The 15-year, fixed-rate mortgage averaged 5.69 percent as of Dec. 22, up from 5.54 percent a week earlier. One year ago, the 15-year rate averaged 2.30 percent.

Those rate hikes can add hundreds of thousands of dollars to the cost of financing a home over the course of a loan, depending on the purchase price and length of the financing mechanism.

That possibility has left a lot of would-be homebuyers on the outside looking inward, as they give thought to market conditions.

“Rates have declined significantly over the past six weeks, which is helpful for potential homebuyers, but new data indicates homeowners are hesitant to list their homes,” said Freddie Mac’s Chief Economist Sam Khater in a statement that accompanied the weekly data.

“Many of those homeowners are carefully weighing their options as more than two-thirds of current homeowners have a fixed mortgage rate of below 4 percent.”

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

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