The first quarter of this year saw homeowners lose equity on average across the country. In the Islands, however, homeowners with mortgages gained an average of $24,900 in value. Compared with the same period last year, U.S. homeowners with mortgages collectively lost equity in the first quarter of this year for the first time in more than a decade. Hawaii, however, saw the highest average equity gain in the country.
In terms of house values, Hawaii had the biggest gain - an average increase of $24,900 - followed by Florida with $24,500, Rhode Island with $23,700, and New Jersey with $22,000. According to an earlier report this year, 58% of Hawai'i homeowners have at least 50% equity in their homes. The Hawai'i home price index is not declining. As mortgage interest rates and inflation have increased since early 2022, prices in Hawai'i have held steady despite significant declines in sales.
O'ahu's median price for a single-family home last month was $1.1 million. Although that was a 3.9% decline from the record $1.15 million last year, it was an increase of 10.9% from April's $999,995. According to statistics from the Honolulu Board of Realtors, the median price has only fallen below $1 million three times since August 2021. Also, single-family home sales jumped 26% from April to May compared with May 2022, but declined 23.8% from April 2022 to May 2023. There was a higher number of homes for sale in May than in any month in 2021 or the first half of 2022, despite the low inventory compared to last summer and fall.
In May 2020, at the beginning of the pandemic, the median price for a single-family home on Oahu was $797,000, so the median price in May 2023 would be 39% higher.,The rise in the median price represents the amount of equity people have accumulated since Covid-19 pushed up prices and demand.
According to the statistics, the median price gains in single-family homes on Neighbor Islands varied over the same three-year period:
Kauaʻi - 6%, from $772,500 to $1.12 million
Maui - 9%, from $800,000 to $1.27 million
Hawaiʻi Island - 7%, from $399,000 to $495,000
Condominium owners on Oahu saw their median prices rise 26.5% from May 2020 to May 2023, from $399,000 to $505,000. The Neighbor Islands increased:
Kauaʻi - 7%, from $350,000 to $615,000
Maui - 7%, from $680,000 to $835,000
Hawaiʻi Island - 4%, from $319,000 to $550,000
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Sean Ahearn & Jim Karlovsky