Anticipated initial impacts from COVID-19 restrictions on local housing markets appeared to show in two neighbor island home sale reports released Tuesday.
Residential property sales on Hawaii island and Kauai in April plummeted between roughly 20% and 60%, according to the report from Hawaii Information Service based on data from the Hawaii Island Realtors and Kauai Board of Realtors.
The biggest decline was for condominiums on Hawaii island, where there were 43 sales in April, down 61% from 109 in the same month last year.
Big Isle single-family home sales fell 19% to 176 last month from 216 a year earlier.
On Kauai, the number of single-family home sales dropped 29% to 41 last month from 58 a year earlier.
Kauai condo sales fell 22% last month to 32 from 41 a year earlier.
Local residential real estate brokers in late March and April began to forecast that efforts to curtail the spread of the novel coronavirus would begin to depress home sales in the months ahead.
Typically, completed sales reported in a given month reflect signed purchase agreements made one to three months before. So the impact is expected to be greater in May and June.
In some cases, sellers prefer not to have strangers in their homes to view even by appointment. Brokers also were prohibited from hosting open houses.
More major drags on home sales were anticipated because of job losses and wage cuts. More than 225,000 residents have filed unemployment claims since March.
Also, home purchases by visitors are being affected by the almost complete shutdown of tourism, impacting neighbor island resort home areas more heavily than Hawaii’s primary housing market on Oahu.
A less direct impact is expected on home sale prices.
In April, median prices in the Hawaii Information report were mixed, with increases for single-family homes and decreases for condos.
Single-family homes on Hawaii island sold for a median $365,000 last month, up 4% from $352,500 a year earlier.
On Kauai, the median single-family home sale price rose 17% to $725,000 in April from $622,504 a year earlier.
Kauai condos sold for a median $497,250 last month, down 10% from $550,000 a year earlier.
For condos sold on Hawaii island, the median price dropped 17% to $349,900 in April from $419,000 a year earlier.
The median price is a point at which half the sales are at a higher price and half at a lower price. This measure can be influenced by the size, age, location and quality of homes sold.
Hawaii Information’s report includes sales of previously owned homes and new homes sold by developers.