West Hawaii home sellers can take a deep breath. Despite the eager wishes of would be home buyers, home prices are ticking up during this corona virus crisis—instead of down, according to April statistics from the Hawaii Information Services.
According to the May 3, 2020 Griggs Report, the higher end price range of $900K to $1.5M has the largest increase in sales year over year. There has been an increase of 31 homes sales in that price range while the total number of home sales is up 14% from the previous 12 months. Pending sales have declined Island wide.
HIS stats show that the median price for single family homes in North Kona increased by 17.64% month over month and 17.43% year to date. Condominiums increased by .54% month over month and dropped 4.42% year to date. Condos took a big hit in sales for April with a 62% decrease. 59 condos sold in April 2019, while only 22 changed hands in 2020.
West Hawaii is not alone with our market trend. From Realtor.com, "The slight increase in prices is because prices are 'sticky,'" says Realtor.com Chief Economist Danielle Hale. "Home sellers are strongly resistant to lowering prices.”
That does not mean prices won't eventually fall, and many experts predict they soon will. In looking at days on market in North Kona and when homes that recently sold went under contract, many homes that closed in April, were in escrow in February, before the pandemic. Furthermore, many buyers are not able to get to Hawaii Island to look for homes. We may find that buyers will refuse to pay top dollar given the sharp economic downturn that has resulted in more than 30 million layoffs thus far.
Inventory has been extremely tight in West Hawaii for years. Then the pandemic hit, and the supply of properties declined as some sellers took their homes off the market. The Griggs Report states the number of new listings plummeted 43.1%.
Because of pent up demand, the homes that recently have hit the market are selling and there are quite a few “back on market” homes courtesy of sellers wishing to capture the continued interest of people looking to buy in North Kona.
The Griggs Report is published semi-monthly by Michael B. Griggs, PB, GRI