Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Hawaii posts
second-highest home
prices in the country

Hawaii had the second-priciest homes in the country in 2003, after California, according to a nationwide housing survey released yesterday by the U.S. Census Bureau.


Hawaii residents who took part in the home value portion of the U.S. Census Bureau's American Community Survey two years ago indicated they thought their house or apartment would sell for a median of $302,300.

While the survey's results for Hawaii ranked high, they were significantly below the state's published home valuation records, which use sales data to determine the median prices of land, condominiums and single-family homes, said Harvey Shapiro, a real estate economist who compiles housing statistics each month for the Honolulu Board of Realtors.

The median sales price of a home on Oahu was $399,000 in December 2003, according to the board. Condominiums sold for a median of $180,000.

Because Hawaii does not have a database that lists and sorts sales on all the islands, an overall statewide median value cannot be accurately computed, Shapiro said.

Last month, median single-family home prices were highest on Maui, where more than 50 percent of the homes sold for more than $696,000. The median home price on Oahu in April hit a record $545,000 and homes on Kauai followed closely at $540,000. The Big Island median price rose to $370,000.

Median condo prices, which hit $418,000 in Kauai in April, were highest on the Garden Isle. Big Island condo buyers paid the next-highest price, a median of $397,000. Condo prices on Maui topped out at $330,000, and $243,000 on Oahu.

Each year, the Census Bureau mails the American Community Survey to a random sample of about 3 million households throughout the country and Puerto Rico. Roughly 2.5 percent of the population participates in the survey.

According to the survey, the national median home value in 2003 was about $140,000, up nearly 16 percent in the last three years, while the percentage of million-dollar homes nearly doubled, rising from 0.5 percent to 1 percent.

California residents perceived their properties as the most expensive, with median housing values estimated to be $316,600. Massachusetts ranked third with a median home value of $300,800.

Of 88 cities in the survey, Honolulu ranked sixth with an estimated median home price of $362,099. San Francisco took the top spot, at $607,065.

Census Bureau - American Community Survey

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