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2014 Newsletter February

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“Gretchen is vastly experienced and very knowledgeable about Kona real estate. She has studied market trends over many years and knows the options! She is a very hard worker and very skilled with documentation and offers. Finally, she is both tenacious, always looking for suitable homes, but at the same time pleasant to work with. She is an awesome, reliable Realtor.” The Moes

Read more great testimonials on my website!

West Hawaii Real Estate Update

February, 2014: Volume 11, Issue 2

Kona had an average month to start the year with 63 overall sales in houses/condos/land … not bad but certainly not stellar. We started 2012 with only 62 sales and it was a bang-up year so look for an upward trend.

Houses are seeing a new low end price point emerge. We are on the verge of losing houses under $400,000 with only 14 fee simple ones currently available. There are still a few under $300,000 but typically they have serious issues that dissuade most buyers from taking them on … bad location, bad condition, or very small.

In condos, the under $200,000 range is being strongly challenged with a dozen left, mostly in associations with high maintenance fee issues.

Investors, there are few properties left that will give you a monthly return while you wait for the appreciation. Kona price appreciation in 2013 in under $1M for houses was 13% and condos 8% … call today!

Notes From Gretchen

Driving through Kona yesterday I was struck by how much new home construction was under way by small companies building for private owners. That is good news for our economy.

What I noticed was missing was the big projects we had during the last upturn. Our current uptrend will be shortened if we don’t have the 400 houses and 400 condos added to it by the big builders. That type of building spurs interest by buyers and allows our prices to increase gradually, without it we may jump up in price and then plateau.

My Soapbox Forum

Continuing the series in the 5 Traits to Look for in Your Agent written by Tara-Nicholle Nelson.

(Part 2 of 5)

Deep, varied expertise. Buying or selling a home is much more of a lifestyle design experience than it is a financial transaction, truth be told. To do it with results that work well for yourself, your family and your finances for the duration, you need an agent that’s an eager partner with you. One that will deep-dive into all the nooks and crannies of your aesthetics, your psychology, your life plans, your financials and even your relationship dynamics.

You also need an agent with deep – not surface – understanding of homes, neighborhoods and local real estate market metrics, practices and contracts, and someone who deeply *gets* the home buying or selling process itself – so they can brief you on it and coach you through it.

Have you ever taken a class from a novice teacher vs. a class from an experienced professor? The difference is nuance: a deep, mature understanding of a complex subject allows the more experienced instructor to give you insights into patterns they’ve spotted over time and repeat transactions. Same goes for your real estate pro: you want to make sure that either your agent or someone that will be working with them on your transaction (like their manager or broker) has deep knowledge and understanding in most or all of these areas, so they can share the nuanced insights and patterns they have spotted in the past which you can harness to your advantage in the present.

South Kohala Residential/Land Sales

South Kohala had a strong year in 2013 and if inventories hold, look for another one just like it in 2014. Average prices for houses and condos rose 4%.

Kohala Trends

  • Ended 2013 with 216 house sales, 208 condos, and 67 pieces of land or 489 total … up just a few properties from 2012.
  • Cash sales for 2013 totaled 231 or 47% of all sales, off the high of 50% in 2011 but still very strong.
  • Highest sales prices in 2013 were: $4.7M for a house, $2.4M for a condo, and $5.6M for a parcel of land
  • Average prices listed under $1M were $405,000 for houses, $425,000 for condos, and $206,000 for land.
  • January’s 40 sales is the best start to the year since 2006!

Market Snapshot

Closed in

January, 2014

For Sale in

February, 2013


27 Homes

29 Condos

9 Land



16 Homes

17 Condos

7 Land


220 Homes

154 Condos

190 Land

For Sale


137 Homes

144 Condos

82 Land

Gretchen L. Lambeth

Hawaiian Isle Real Estate, LLC


Principal Broker/ Owner

Direct (808) 329-5667

WHAR Creative Advertising Award 2012

Broker of the Year – 2010

75-5995 Kuakini Hwy, Suite 521

Kailua-Kona, Hawaii 96740

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