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West Hawaii Real Estate Update: September, 2017

September, 2017
Volume 14, Issue 9 

August 2017 sales in Kona looked much like August 2016 with one exception… there were 126 less properties to choose from! That is a lot less choice, and I think it is beginning to impact some buyers who are stopping their search since they can’t find what they want at the price they are willing to pay. It has also created a spike in land sales as buyers look for creative options. However, building wait times will turn some of them off to this idea.

Late summer is typically a slower season in Kona although we do usually see a local buyer up-tick after the kids are back in school. That said the annual sales have surpassed last years to the end of August. So if the momentum continues in the fall we could have one of our highest transaction years in a decade with over 1,000 house/condo/land sales. However, to put this in perspective, in 2004 we had 1,600 sales so we are still way off the high mark of yesteryear.

Prices are increasing at roughly 6-7% a year depending on location and age of the property. As an example, in 2011 you could have bought in Lokahi Makai for $335,000 and today the same house would cost you 40% more… that is a huge jump in values for sellers but sticker shock for buyers. Look for this pricing trend to continue.


We met with Gretchen to discuss the sale of our condo and her advice & suggestions were spot on. She is very well connected & knows how to get things done. She assisted with appliance replacement, condo repairs & service people who were very dependable. Her thorough attention to detail left no surprises at closing & she was always available to us when needed. Thank you!
~ Chris & Diane Kim

Read more testimonials.

Notes from Gretchen

It is with great honor I tell you we once again have made the top 50 list of residential sales offices in Hawaii… go team! It wouldn’t be possible without all of our local clients and fans… thank you!

This coming winter season in Kona should be very interesting and if you are coming, please book early. We will have an additional 1,200 airline seats available a DAY starting for some as early as October. I believe that could put a strain on rental cars, rental units, and activities… so don’t miss out, make your reservations today!

We have had a wonderfully calm hurricane season this year and are grateful for it… our hearts and prayers go out to those in Texas and Florida who didn’t.

Water Restrictions

The County water update is good news compared to last month in some ways. The restriction on landscape watering has been modified to roughly no lawns and hand watering “precious plants.” This has stabilized the water infrastructure and so far no one has lost water usage or pressure… yay, one for our side… finally!

The other news is that they were aware of the communities concerns about our big influx of visitors during Ironman, and they believe they have it covered. Let’s hope so!

Also, the mayor has declared a state of emergency for this issue so that parts that are needed can be expedited without additional paperwork… more good news!

Kona House/Condos – Available – Pending – Sold Under $1M


More Economic News

  • Hawaii state visitor spending jumped 10% from July of 2016.
  • Hawaii state hits record low crime rate in 2016… always a nice plus especially since our visitor population is booming.
  • Okay, its official. The state has raised the transient accommodations tax rate by 11% to 10.25% to help pay for the rail project in Honolulu. There was a hew and cry from the neighbor islands but it went unheeded. To help soften the blow the state agreed to rebate roughly $2 million in additional revenue to each county.
  • Buried in a back section of the paper the other day was news that Waikoloa Village is getting a new… shopping center! Wow, I would have thought that would have been front page. It is set to open the first stores in December 2018 and finish the build out by December 2019. It is fully approved and financed. It sits on 15 acres by the post office with 35 retail stores planned.
  • Here is one that is hard to believe, Kona ranked 6th overall in Reward Experts list of 2017 Best American Foodie Towns… and we were ranked 2nd in the Pacific West… hmm, interesting!
  • Title Guaranty, my favorite escrow and title company, just started their 30% discount for active and former military veterans. Make sure to let me know if you qualify if you are buying or selling, this is a good deal!
  • Cruise ship travel to Hawaii is up a whopping 27.5% in 2017!

Out On the Town

I had a chance Labor Day weekend to spend a few hours at Magic Sands beach and I think every kid in town was in the surf break with their boogie boards having a fabulous day! Sometimes I think we get so wrapped up in living in a beach community we can forget how relaxing and smoothing it is just to sit at the beach in the warm sun with cool breezes and watch the surf roll in. I know for me, I need to do this more often. See you at the beach!

West Hawaii Real Estate Market Snapshot

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As always, thank you for subscribing and reading my monthly newsletter! If you have any real estate questions about West Hawaii please feel free to call or email me today!

Aloha! ~ Gretchen

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