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Real estate sales increase in Puna

Real estate sales are increasing in the Puna district and decreasing in South Hilo for the first quarter of 2014.

That’s according to a recent press release issued by the Hussey Appraisal Group Hawaii Inc., which collected the data from Hawaii Information Systems.

The statistics show residential sales in Puna increased by 27.5 percent in the first three months of 2014 when compared with sales during the same period last year, and the number of vacant land purchases in the district rose 46.1 percent during that same time period.

The increase in activity pushed Puna home prices up 21.2 percent and prices for vacant land remained unchanged, with parcels in the district averaging $20,000 each.

The South Hilo residential housing market, by contrast, saw a 14.8 percent drop in the number of homes sold in the first quarter of 2014, while the number of vacant land sales remained mostly unchanged.

Susan E. Lee Loy, president of Hawaii Island Realtors, said overall, the market is “stabilizing.”

“There’s stabilization going on. In 2013 in South Hilo, it was still fluctuating and trying to straighten out from years previous. What we’re basically seeing is sign of stabilization,” she said.

Lee Loy also said the drop in the number of homes sold in South Hilo from the same quarter last year is not significant.

“For first quarter 2013, there were 54 homes sold. In 2014, we have 46. That’s only eight less than the last quarter,” she said.

Stewart Hussey, president of Hussey Appraisal Group, agreed the real estate market is improving.

“There’s more light at the end of the tunnel. Definitely the market is getting stronger,” he said. “Most of the charts about the Big Island show we reached the bottom and are experiencing a general movement upward in volume and price levels.”

The report also shows prices of South Hilo homes sagged 9.5 percent in the first three months of 2014, while average prices for vacant land in the district increased 17.5 percent.

In the fourth quarter of 2013, prices of South Hilo homes rose 20.1 percent and vacant land in the area dropped 33.3 percent.

Ka‘u vacant land prices dropped in the first quarter, as well. There was a 33.3 percent increase in the number of homes sold in Ka‘u when compared to a year earlier, while the average price of houses sold in the district fell 13.2 percent.

The number of vacant parcels sold in the first quarter rose 9.5 percent, while the average price of land sold in the region dropped significantly, falling 42.9 percent when compared to the first quarter of 2013.

Housing prices in Kona increased as well, with South Kona home sales dropping 31.3 percent when compared with a year earlier, while prices spiked 73.7 percent.

The number of vacant parcels sold in the area doubled and the average price of vacant parcels sold dropped 28.4 percent.

North Kona home and land sales, by contrast, remained relatively stable.

The Hussey Appraisal Group Hawaii released the information Wednesday. According to a press release, the Hussey Appraisal Group is a team of certified and licensed real estate appraisers specializing in the valuation of residential, commercial, industrial, agricultural, vacant land and mixed-use properties in the islands since 1989.

Email Megan Moseley at


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