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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Big Isle, Kauai condo sales spiked in March

by Andrew Gomes
Advertiser Staff Writer

The Big Island and Kaua'i experienced a resurgence in condominium purchases and a lesser uptick in single-family home sales last month.

Sales data from Hawai'i Information Service for homes sold in March on the two Neighbor Islands showed that the number of condos bought last month more than doubled from the same month last year.

The biggest increase was on Kaua'i, where there were 30 condo sales in March, up from 11 a year earlier. On the Big Island, condo sales rose to 49 from 24 in the same period.

Single-family home sales on the Big Island rose to 130 last month, up 40 percent from 93 a year earlier.

On Kaua'i, single-family home sales were up by one, to 24 from 23.

Median prices were mixed, rising on Kaua'i but falling on the Big Island, though the relatively small number of sales often results in the median being influenced by the mix of homes sold.

The median is the point at which half the sales are for more and half for less. A greater preponderance of luxury sales can boost the median, or a greater preponderance of older and smaller homes can bring the measure down.

For instance, the median price for Kaua'i's condo sales in March was $315,000, up 43 percent from $220,000 a year earlier.

Much of the change was influenced by condo sales in Hanalei, which includes Princeville Resort and represented the most sales among five regions on Kaua'i. There were 11 Hanalei condo sales for a median price of $520,000 last month. A year earlier, there were three sales for a median $600,000. Even though the Hanalei median was down, the islandwide median was up because high-end condos represented a majority of sales. A year ago, they didn't.

Kaua'i's single-family home sale median price last month was up 3 percent to $495,000, from $479,000 a year earlier. On the Big Island, median prices were down by 7 percent to $286,500 from $307,250 for condos, and by 5 percent to $305,000 from $320,000 for single-family homes.