Market Trends

What’s Happening to Real Estate in Pahoa?

I am lucky to have great clients that trust me and often come back to me to buy and sell their homes. Lately, I have been getting several calls about what is going on with the lava flow and how it is affecting the value of real estate in Pahoa. I currently have two clients that were planning on listing their home this fall when the most buyers are back on Island and now have to think about the lava flow and how it will affect them. What I found was interesting and I thought I’d share it with you.

As we all know, the lava flow that began in Leilani Estates in the beginning of May has been front page news for what seems like forever. When the lava first started flowing, many people who were buying real estate in Pahoa became nervous and had every right to do so. All of the questions about financing and insurance came to the front and when there is uncertainty, we tend to back off and see what is going to happen. Now that we are old hat and Oahu traffic is back on the local news before the flow again, it is time to revisit real estate in Pahoa and buying homes in lava zone 2.

Pahoa Subdivisions

Although there are Lava Zone 3 areas nearby, I want to talk about a specific area of real estate in Pahoa that is in Lava Zone 2. Directly below Pahoa Town is a group of subdivisions. They consist of Hawaiian Shores, Hawaiian Shores Recreation, Hawaiian Beaches and Hawaiian Parks. This area was hit pretty hard when the lava first started flowing because of the uncertainty of loans and insurance in lava zone 2. It has been a very popular place to buy homes during the past several years for several reasons. Prices are very affordable and you get a lot of house for your money. It is also close to the cliffs and has a great park at the bottom to watch the whales go by and enjoy the beautiful blues of the Pacific Ocean. Pahoa and all of its restaurants and little shops are within 10 minutes and the new 10 acre Puna Kai shopping center is being built and will provide many more options. I have attached the link to the new shopping center here.

Lava Impact on Pahoa

When the eruption first began, it was unclear where the lava would flow and what areas were going to be impacted. Now, the flow has made it to the ocean and has been pushing slowly down the coast away from these subdivisions. At the time of this report, there are currently 7 homes that are contingent or under contract in the area which shows that people are still buying and moving forward with their lives. The listing prices range from $175,000 to $375,000. Since the lava started (about 3 months), we have closed 18 homes in the same area ranging in price from $87,000 to $435,000. This is a clear indication that loans and insurance are still available and real estate in Pahoa in Lava Zone 2 is still active and people are choosing to buy and live in this area.

What it comes down to is people want to live in Hawaii and not everyone can afford Oahu, Maui, and Kauai. The news made it appear that lava was everywhere in the area and that the Big Island wouldn’t be a place to buy homes any time soon. This just isn’t the case. Pahoa very seldom gets the vog from the volcano as the trade winds send it around the Kona side of the Island and off to Maui. The air quality has been good and the glow from the volcano is bringing people into Pahoa to see raw nature. If the state can find a good viewing area that is safe for people to come in and view the lava, I feel the tourism will increase and when people see how affordable and nice the area is, they will buy. The area around Pahoa is beautiful and the feelings of Aloha are still strong. I feel blessed to live here and I think you will be happy too!

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Chrystiana Sailer

August 2, 2018

Aloha & Mahalo for such a beautiful article! I live in Pahoa a few streets up from the beach/cliffs and agree with everything you have wrote about Pahoa. The first lava flow in 2014 was a bit of a wakeup call yet very pleased it ended/stopped. Now this year 2018, looked forward to see family and friends. Went to San Diego in late May to early mid June 2018. Did make arrangements with cousins to vacation here while watching the house and animals while enjoying this beautiful island. Never did I expect a few days later getting the calls and messages . . . “The volcano blew!” thought it was a joke until my cell phone started going off with emergency notifications. The rest is playing out as we all wait and see – Mahalos for writing this article which is clear and easy for all to understand – beautifully done!!!


December 28, 2018

Aloha Ron,
I have some questions about property in Pahoa. Please shoot me an email.

Gary De Campo

March 27, 2021

Interesting article I see land is very cheap as well , would building a house be a nightmare? and reasonably priced.

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