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Bill Babbitt's Blog

By Bill Babbitt R(B) | Broker in Kailua Kona, HI

December 2012 Real Estate Sales Report

Big Island Hawaii

The 2012 year end statistics are in and finalized for real estate sales on the Big Island of Hawaii. Gross dollar volume, including sales of homes, vacant land, and condominiums for the entire island for 2012 topped the $1 billion dollar mark, surpassing 2011 volume by nearly 3%.

I think the main theme for 2012 was the fact that declining inventories continued to push prices higher in most areas. With the declining inventories of homes and condominiums available for sale, the number of island wide closed transactions struggled to keep up with last year’s pace, and ended up flat compared to 2011. However, the median price of a single family home on the Big Island jumped a healthy 6.7% from a year ago, to $306,650. The median price of a condominium on the Big Island is now $328,500, up a whopping 53% from a year ago! Needless to say, condominiums have been a hot commodity on the Big Island, and that is reflected in the December 2012 median price jump.

North Kona in particular showed strong gains across the board.  In December, the median price of a home in the area that includes popular Kailua Kona jumped 11.3%, to $399,500, while the median price of a condominium sprang from $153,000 in 2011 to $290,000 by year end 2012. Closed transactions year over year for homes were up 2.6% for 2012 in Kona, while condominium transactions were up 4.6%. Dollar volume for single family homes was up 46.5% in the month of December, but was down year over year by 8.6%. However, dollar volume for condominiums sold in North Kona made up for the decline in home volume, and was up a whopping 21.2% compared to the year before!

Not all areas in the Big Island saw an increase in median prices however, as ongoing adjustments are made in the marketplace.  South Kohala for example, home to Waikoloa Village and the luxury resorts of Waikoloa, Mauna Lani, Hapuna, and Mauna Kea saw a decline in median prices. The single family home median price is now $402,500, down 11% from a year ago. The median price for a condominium in South Kohala is $411,500, down 4% from last year.  I don’t see this downward trend continuing, and look at this as an opportunity to get into the market in South Kohala before prices start to climb again in 2013.

In summary, the 2012 year for real estate sales on the Big Island was full of positive news, which reflects the great health of our market. Although the number of transactions was flat, we saw an increase in both dollar volume and median prices.  All in all, it was a great year for real estate on the Big Island. Feel free to contact me with any questions or comments about this report. Check out our website at www.bigislandreale.com.

Bill Babbitt, R(B)

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