Home sales slow down on neighbor islands
Neighbor island home sales continued to slow last month, while the median prices of those transactions continued to edge upward.
Some real estate experts said it appeared that sellers were flooding the market with inventory in their quest to unload properties before the residential real estate cycle weakens.
Monthly statistics showed that most single-family home and condominium median prices rose across all islands in April. However, real estate brokers and agents have reported that sellers are having to drop their asking prices more often and negotiate with buyers.
"Every day the listing inventory is getting larger," said Keone Ball, president of the Realtors Association of Maui. "I think people are realizing that if we aren't at the end of the cycle that we are close to it and are now rushing to put properties on the market."
The Maui market -- which posted a $780,000 single-family median price last month, the highest ever seen in Hawaii -- is stabilizing, and sellers can't expect to get the price appreciation they have had in the past, Ball said.
Kauai single-family home prices led the islands again in April, with the median resale price hitting $740,000, up 23 percent from $600,000 in the same month last year, according to data released yesterday by the Hawaii Information Service.
But the number of houses sold fell 40 percent to 41 from the year-earlier 68, while condominium sales rose about 27 percent, to 76 from 60 in April 2005. Meanwhile, Kauai's condominium prices decreased 15 percent to $351,750 from the year-ago $414,000, according to the Hawaii Information Service.
The slowdown Kauai is experiencing has been good for the marketplace, said Ken Kubiak, principal broker at Century 21 All Islands. "The market was moving too fast," he said.
Maui's median price for a house, which has generally been the highest in the state, was $690,000 in April, up 2.4 percent from $674,000 in April 2005.
Single-family home sales on Maui fell about 41 percent, to 68 from the 116 that were recorded in April of 2005, while condominium sales dropped in half to 111 from 222 a year earlier.
The median price for a condo on Maui jumped 64 percent, to $539,000 from $329,500 last year, according to the Realtors Association of Maui.
The median sales price for a single-family home on the Big Island rose 12 percent to $439,900 from $390,000 last year. The number of homes sold on the Big Island decreased 30 percent in April to 168 from 241 in April 2005.
While the number of condominium sales on the Big Island plunged 54 percent to 59 from the year-earlier 128, prices increased 53 percent to $580,000 from April 2005's $379,950.