It’s a fair question, after all. Interest in relocating to paradise has never been higher – and really, who can blame anyone looking to get more aloha in their life? 

Bear with us…but it can be hard to say!

First off, let’s take a broad look at things:  as of September 2021, the median sales price on the Big Island clocks in at a cool $499,000 – which, in comparison to the rest of the state in September, sure sounds like a bargain:

  • Kaua’i: $1,172,500

  • O’ahu: $1,050,000

  • Maui County (Maui, Moloka’i, Lana’i): $996,500

However, a deeper dive into the numbers reveals that things are invariably a little more complex than that – and, when it comes to making the move to paradise, you truly get what you pay for. 

Why the median sales price? 

It’s important to keep in mind that real estate values tend to utilize the median price, or the value of the midpoint between all the available sales numbers for any given period of time, because it’s often far more indicative of the overall movement of the market than the average, as the average is more prone for outliers on either end of the spectrum to skew the overall numbers. By way of example, let’s consider the following five numbers: 

[ 1, 2, 3, 4, 99 ]

Figuring for the average (sum divided by total numbers), that comes out to 21.8! But is 21.8 truly reflective of the overall set? In this case, it could be argued that, since four of the five numbers are far lower than 99, the 99 is skewering the average because it is so far above the rest of our set. 

Along these lines, the median, or middle number of the set, is 3 – and utilizing the median not only lends a balancing point to the set (by landing in the direct middle, with equal amounts of numbers above and below), it is also not prone to influence by any unduly high or low figures at the tail end of the given set. 

What neighborhood are we talking about? 

Having said that, it still doesn’t mean the median sales price can’t be misleading…especially here on the Big Island. 

When it comes to assessing real estate, you know what they say: location, location, location! That goes double for the island of Hawai’i, as the general area and location in which a single-family home or condominium is located has a major effect on the typical sales price a buyer can expect to encounter.

For example, single-family homes in the Puna area had a median sales price of only $310,000 in September, whereas homes in the Kona region sport a median sales price of $887,000!

Ultimately, where you purchase your home will undoubtedly have an outsized impact on the expected sales price. Low inventory and high demand will continue to drive prices forward in the foreseeable future, especially in many of the Big Island’s most-desirable areas. 

Ready to get started?


Needless to say, when it comes to landing a big fish in the proverbial real estate pond, you need an expert to help you navigate all the changing tides of the season. Give Karen a call today and let’s get started on making all your island dreams come true.