The Kona housing market is heating up as we head into 2014 with the the price of homes in North Kona jumping 42% year over year from January 2013 to January 2014 according to statistics from the Hawaii Information Service, Kona’s regional multiple listing service. While prices have jumped, inventory remains tight with sales dropping slightly from this time last year.
Median home prices increased 42% from $362,500 to $514,764 in North Kona year over year and increased from $338,500 in South Kona to $415,000, a 22% increase from January 2013 to 2014.
In North Kohala, prices jumped a whopping 124% from $357,000 to $800,000 as more high-end inventory left the market. South Kohala saw a 25% increase year over year from $310,000 to $389,000.
Vacant land seems to still be a draw in South Kohala with a 133% increase, a 75% increase in North Kona, and a 200% increase in South Kona, year over year.
According to Altos Research, a data research company that tracks real estate sales data nationwide, they have a few notable points in the recent data:
1. The housing recovery is marching into its FOURTH year after bottoming January of 2011.
2. We’re starting the year with median prices 12% above last year at this time. In past years, this early indicator carries around the same level through the whole year.
3. January’s uptick is strong, seasonal, and expected. No sign yet of higher mortgage rates or new qualification requirements hurting home prices.
“We are continuing to see homes that are priced well leaving the market in a matter of days or weeks in Kona right now. If a home is in good condition and priced right, there is a definite demand both from move up buyers and people looking to make West Hawaii home. Inventory of homes has been declining which is pushing prices upward,” said LUVA Real Estate agent, Lance Owens.
“Mortgage rates are holding steady, but the banks want strong credit scores and clean credit for new mortgages. Working with a mortgage broker now to see what you may qualify for and fixing any issues that are red flags is a prudent strategy,” stated Ron Sato, Point Financial in Kona.