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West Hawaii Real Estate Update: October, 2017

October, 2017
Volume 14, Issue 10 

Another strong month for Kona and a strong ending to the third quarter as well. I get asked all the time what is the best time of year to sell property. The graph below shows pretty clearly by the green bar that pops up out of the crowd the majority of years, that the second quarter has the highest transaction volume most years. However, that isn’t the quarter that they necessarily go under contract. There are a fair amount that do that towards the middle and end of the first quarter and then record in the second quarter. This highlights the the buying power of our winter visitors.

As the graph also illustrates, the third quarter is typically our second strongest and that is picking up the sales that went pending in middle to end of the second quarter and in the last few years, our spring and summer buyers. As long as we don’t run out of properties to offer them, I think our fourth quarter will be strong as well this year.

House inventories have stabilized this month but condo inventory keeps dropping, this will put upward pressure on pricing for the winter season if this trend persists. Pending sales are up, again with condos taking the lead, houses are holding. Land inventory and pending sales fluctuate some each month but the supply is steady for now.


I’ve had conversations with other Kona agents, all of whom were capable & willing to help me buy a property, but none of them showed anywhere near the knowledge of the area, market, sales trends and history. I personally wouldn’t sell, purchase or do a major renovation without touching base with Gretchen.

~ Hayes Properties LLC

Read more testimonials.

Notes from Gretchen

I started my real estate career full-time in 2003 and was curious to see how many houses/condos I had sold since that time. So I checked my primary areas of Kona/Kohala to see where I ranked. Since ranking usually denotes experience and strength, how far had I come from my rookie days?

In those 14 years I’m currently ranked number two for resales with 379 behind the talented team of Myers/Patterson. Coming in number two is a great honor since they had been selling real estate together for several decades before I even started!

Those sales represent $159 million in real estate and more importantly tens of thousands of hours learning my craft. If you prize experience, I’m your gal!

Water Restrictions

The County water update is good news! Two of the wells have been brought back on line, and we are back to only 25% water restriction. Now we can irrigate our landscaping as we desire… yay!

The three other wells, that are still being repaired, are scheduled to be back on line before the end of the year. The next one is currently due at the end of the month.

As an interesting side note, some of my clients really enjoyed the respite from their ever-increasing water bills and are considering permanently changing their landscaping to keep the high bills at bay in the future. Xeriscape may be the future for Kona.

Kona House/Condos/Land by Year by Quarter 


More Economic News

  • ChoiceMart, a South Kona grocery store, has really stepped up their game! They are now offering online ordering and home delivery… wow, that is a first for Kona. They also offer an app that can scan bar codes from your pantry items and reorder them for you. For a small fee they will deliver in most of North and South Kona, and they use a refrigerated truck so your ice cream never melts! Check it out today!
  • Have you been thinking about installing solar and selling your excess to HELCO? Sadly, the Big Island grid for new solar is currently tapped out. You can still install it, but you would have to store your excess in batteries. The electrical grid was designed to only have power flow from HELCO to the end user, not from the end user back. Hence, that design is not optimal for the latter and only a certain amount can be sustained or it will cause equipment failure. 
  • Biggest news this month… DLNR has approved the permits for the 30-meter telescope on Mauna Kea to be built! This is a huge win for the island and for all the local kids since educational opportunities for them are tied to the permit. 
  • The most current state economic report says, with the exclusion of the tourism industry, the overall trajectory of the economy is one that has passed its peak growth rate. Only modest job growth gains are expected annually in the .5% range till the end of the decade.

Out On the Town

A sight for sore eyes! Caught sight of one of the first of the now again daily trips from Tokyo to Kona by Japan Airlines… just wonderful news for our tourism industry that fought so hard to get them back after a 10-year hiatus. Great work team!

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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