- Funny thing,
some of our local realtors insist things are slowing down while
others insist they're not. We just go by what the ads and the
sales are telling us: Prices are not coming down even though
in some price ranges there is more inventory now than there has
- Our personal
take on this situation is that more homes in the low-to-mid price
range are on the market because sellers feel they can still "cash
in on the last of the bubble." The price range in which
we see more inventory is $200,000-to-high $300,000. Of course
as we go look at some of these offerings, we see that many are
over-priced fixers. There are also some really nice homes for
these prices, depending on where you're looking.
- It's easy
if you watch what's going on. The houses that come up for sale
and stay on the market for weeks on end are overpriced. They
are either in tough shape, in a bad location, have no street
presence, or there is some other reason why nobody is interested.
But again, nobody is interested at the listed price. The
properties are overpriced for what they have to offer.
- Here are
some year-end 2005 stats from our local paper, The Hawaii
estate prices continue to soar on the Big Island in 2005, although
there were signs that the market was cooling late in the year.
you wouldn't know it from the construction boom. As of the middle
of November, 2005, the county had issued $935 million worth of
building permits, eclipsing 2004's record of $913 million for
the entire year."
- This same
article also stated that prices all over the state continued
to rise. The median price of the single-family home is now $379,000,
up from $318,000 a year ago.
- When going
into shock over these "median" prices, one needs to
keep in mind that Hawaii is unique in the number of WAY expensive
homes there are in proportion to total number of homes. It only
takes a few multi-million-dollar homes to push that median price
into orbit. The bottom line is that although there are still
homes for sale on the Big Island for less than $200,000, there
aren't a lot of them. The ones you will find for that amount
are either serious "fixers," or they are in outlying
- Pahala still
remains one of the areas of affordability. It is a beautiful
place. It is peaceful, quiet, close to a wonderful black sand
beach and close to Volcanoes Park. The downside for most folks
-- and this is what keeps the prices down -- is the long drive
to Hilo. If you are in a position where you won't need to make
frequent trips to town, this might be your spot.
- Just upslope
from Pahala is Wood Valley, a real gem of a location. Not many
sales up there, but when there are, it's fabulous! Again, the
distance from town keeps it affordable.
- The Puna
District, the most affordable area of the Big Island, is still
the fastest growing District. According to census estimates,
the Puna District is growing by about 2000 residents a year,
twice the growth rate of the 1990's.
- The Big Island
is gettting crowded. Traffic is becoming a problem. Long lines
everywhere are starting to be the way of life here. For those
of us who remember the simpler times here, it is sad. But we
can all make it work if we will always remember to
Mahalo for "listening."
- Skip Thomsen