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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Big Island home sales decline as prices rise

By Andrew Gomes
Advertiser Staff Writer

Sales of single-family homes and condominiums on the Big Island fell significantly in January, as fewer buyers bit at still-rising prices in a market where most previously owned homes are selling for around $400,000 or more.

There were 142 single-family home sales last month, down 25 percent from 190 a year earlier, according to data released yesterday by Hawai'i Information Service. The median sales price was up 11 percent, or $39,200, to $392,450.

The combined sales drop and price rise was more dramatic for condos, with a 31 percent change for both measures. There were 61 Big Island condo sales last month, compared with 89 a year earlier. The median price rose $100,100 from $324,900 to $425,000 in the same period.

On Kaua'i, the market was more mixed and volatile, in part because the relatively small number of sales tends to skew statistical median figures.

There were 35 single-family home sales on the Garden Isle last month, down 34 percent from 53 a year earlier. The median price was up 30 percent, or $150,000, to $650,000.

Kaua'i condo sales last month totaled 53, up 33 percent compared with 40 a year earlier. The median condo price was down 6 percent, or $30,098, to $440,402 for the same period.

The median is a point at which half of the sales are for more and half for less.

O'ahu home sales for January were released two weeks ago by the Honolulu Board of Realtors, which reported single-family and condo sales fell roughly 10 percent from a year ago on relatively stable prices.

Maui home sale data for January hasn't been released yet.

Reach Andrew Gomes at agomes@honoluluadvertiser.com.