If you’re a homebuyer looking at the Puna real estate district and all you know about it is volcanoes, you’re missing the real story. Puna is actually the fastest growing area on the Big Island. The 2000 U.S. Census population here was 27,232. By the next census in 2010, that number grew to 45,326, a 66% increase - and it's projected to continue growing for the next 20 years. Why is this happening?
It’s because Puna has over 50,000 buildable lots, easily the greatest number on the Big Island. In recent decades large subdivisions were created from the vast holdings of private landowners. This development has been greatest in the northeast part of Puna, between Keeau and Pahoa, but especially in the neighborhood of Volcano.
That development is almost exclusively single-family homes, so if you’re set on a condo, it's best to look elsewhere. However, those looking for more affordable houses should take consider this district strongly because Puna has the most options for you.
Coffee was the primary crop here until the early 1900’s when sugar took over. The sugar plantations have now long been closed and coffee is making a big comeback. Some experts do prefer the Puna beans over even their better known Kona competitors.
You’ll find more than 40 other agricultural products being grown and cultivated here including fruits, vegetables and cattle, along with cut flowers, a well established industry here. Puna flowers are shipped out daily to floral customers worldwide. Outside of farming, much of the residents find employment in Hilo. Many not only work there, they also find it convenient to shop in the city where they can use the larger shopping centers when needed.
Pahoa is a community deep with Hawaiian history. Many significant archaeological finds have been made in the area, confirming that there were settlements here very early on. Today, Pahoa is a charming little town with small shops that sit along a real boardwalk. On the weekend you’ll want to stop at the nearby Makuu Famers Market with everything from fresh fruit to macadamia nuts straight from the farm.
Pahoa has 2 elementary schools, P ahoa Elementary School and Keonepoko Elementary School, which is found in the Hawaiian Beaches community . There‘s also the Pahoa High and Intermediate School to serve older students as well.
If you love living in Hawaii, but wouldn’t mind cooler temperatures sometimes, the higher elevations of Glenwood, Mountain View and Volcano are where you should look for your home. There's also more rainfall at these levels, a contrast to the drier conditions in the lower levels of Puna that are only a short drive away. Volcano is experiencing the fastest growth of any Puna neighborhood, but Glenwood is also adding residents quickly, experiencing a 40% growth between the 2000 & 2010 censuses.
Puna is a place of natural wonder, claiming not only the beautiful mountains, but also places like the Lava Tree State Park. You’ll find there a forest of trees that have been preserved in lava for almost 300 years. A breathtaking sight and a one-of-a-kind experience.
You’ll also have in easy reach a 12-mile string of beaches and camping sites on the coast, taking in: MacKenzie State Park, Isaac Hale Beach Park, Ahalanui Park (a large pond heated by the volcano), and Waiopae Tidepools Marine Life Conservation District (snorkelers will find awe inspiring exploring here in its connected tide pools). You can even breathe what scientists say is the World’s Freshest Air! It can be enjoyed in Cape Kumukahi, as you hike along its trails.
As you can see, Puna is much, much more than volcanoes. Why not start looking at real estate for sale in Puna now? It's going fast!
Puna Neighborhoods Include (Click linked areas to see all properties for sale): Keeau, Kurtistown, Mountain View & Glenwood, Pahoa, Volcano
Click on the links below for the Puna neighborhood you're interested in and you'll be looking at current home listings in seconds! Get started now and find your house on the Big Island.
Easy Puna MLS Search
Volcano Single Family Homes