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Kauai and Big Isle home sales fall, but Kauai prices rise


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POSTED: Wednesday, May 06, 2009
                       
This story has been corrected.  See below.

Residential real estate sales and prices continued to drop on the Big Island in April; however, the market was mixed on Kauai, according to a report released yesterday by the Hawaii Information Service.

               

     

 

Home sales

       

        Median sales prices for single-family homes on the neighbor islands:
       

Kauai

       

                                                                                                                                                                                                               
April 2009$600,000
April 2008$575,000
Change+4.4%

       

       

Big Island

       

                                                                                                                                                                                                               
April 2009$240,000
April 2008$385,000
Change-37.7%

       

       

Source: Hawaii Information Service

       

Only 90 single-family homes and 21 condominiums changed hands on the Big Island in April, resulting in a 22.4 percent drop in single-family home sales and a staggering 53.3 percent drop in condominium sales.

More than half of single-family home buyers on the Big Island spent at least $240,000, a 37.6 percent drop from the year-prior median. The median price paid for a Big Island condominium fell 46.2 percent to $269,000.

Big Island prices have come down so much from their 2004 peak that it's possible for buyers to get a three-bedroom, two-bath home on an acre for $250,000, said Denis Fuster, a real estate agent with Aloha Coast Realty.

“;The opportunities are amazing, and it's starting to draw the bargain hunters,”; Fuster said, adding that credit-worthy retirees and baby boomers from the West Coast are still active in the market.

Single-family home sales on Kauai picked up by 9.5 percent, but the gain only resulted in 23 sales. While condominium sales fell 20 percent, the decline was brought on by three fewer sales.

More than half of Kauai's single-family home buyers paid $600,000, which was up by 4.4 percent from the same month a year ago. However, falling demand for the condominium market prompted a 47.1 percent decline in the median price, which fell to $222,250 from the same period a year ago.

Foreclosures and short sales, where the lender agrees to take less money than what is owed, are driving the Kauai market, said Phil Fudge, principal broker of Kauai Landmark Realty.

“;I spent all morning showing properties,”; Fudge said.

Signs of distress have prompted some fence-sitters to seriously consider buying, he said.

               

     

 

CORRECTION

       

 

       

Residential real estate sales continued to drop on the Big Island and Kauai in April, according to the Hawaii Information Service. This story originally said the data was for February.