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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Friday, March 10, 2006

Home sales down on Neighbor Islands

By Dan Nakaso
Advertiser Staff Writer

Sales of single-family homes continued to drop on the Big Island, Maui and Kaua'i in February as prices steadily rose.

Condo sales were up on Kaua'i for February, but down on the Big Island and Maui.

"The market is off and the national trends say we'll be down 4 percent on volume this year and Hawai'i's reflecting this trend," said James Wright, president and CEO of Century 21 All Islands. His company's sales are nevertheless running 20 percent ahead of last year, Wright said, and "even with the drop off, it's a positive market still."

The Big Island had 135 single-family sales compared to 174 a year earlier, for a 22 percent drop. Condo sales fell to 48 from 75 the year before, down 36 percent, according to data from the Hawaii Information Service.

The median price of a single-family home on the Big Island rose nearly 17 percent, from $360,000 to $421,000.

A surge in sales of luxury condos led to an 89 percent increase in the median condo price, from $319,900 to $605,000.

"We have had a lot more of the expensive condos sell more so than before," said Mike Metcalf, who specializes in condo sales on the Big Island as a Realtor with Hawaii Resort Management.

"A lot of the higher-priced condos have been sold to Mainland investors, especially from the West Coast. Especially if you're from California, a two-bedroom condo on the ocean in Kona can go for $800,000, whereas that same condo in California would cost $1.5 million."

Single-family home sales on Kaua'i decreased 32 percent, dropping from 53 to 36. Condo sales were up nearly 122 percent, from 23 to 51.

Median single-family home prices on Kaua'i rose 10 percent, from $589,000 to $649,000. Condominium prices nudged up nearly 6 percent to $439,000, from $415,000.

On Maui, single-family sales dropped 30 percent, from 81 a year before to 56. Condo sales fell 29 percent, from 149 to 106.

Median single-family home prices on Maui jumped 22 percent, from $575,000 to $699,000. Condo prices went up 26 percent, from $353,523 to $443,960.

Reach Dan Nakaso at dnakaso@honoluluadvertiser.com.