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West Hawaii Real Estate Update: December, 2017

The Kona market is continuing to recover from the Great Recession, posting its best year in a long time in 2017. Cumulative sales have been climbing and as of the end of November there were 499 total house sales for the year, 441 condo sales and 113 land sales. Houses and condos have surpassed last year’s total sales already in November.

Pending sales are also holding strong with 164 overall, including houses, condos, and land; and that is up 8% from November 2016, showing that the increased sales volume should continue into 2018. Inventory for houses in Kona was 194, condos was 155 and we had lots of land still available with 179 lots.

Those numbers change drastically when you cap the high end at under $1 million, then you only have 103 houses available and we sold 29 in November… that means there is only a few months’ worth currently available. In condos it’s a little looser with 135 available and 33 of last month’s sales were under $1 million.

The West Hawaii market is mirroring some of the pricing increases and inventory shortages that the mainland is seeing. For sellers this is good news, for buyers with long term plans here they need to really be proactive to find the right property before it gets out of reach.


Gretchen is a great Realtor! We had a complicated sale of our house in Kona because the buyers had a VA loan and we were under a time crunch due to capital gains time lines. There were many ins and outs and ups and downs, but Gretchen got us through it all with her usual professionalism and competence.
~ Todd & Susan Lewis

Read more testimonials.

Notes from Gretchen

The Department of Water still hasn’t lifted the 25% restriction since not all of the wells are back on line yet. It has now been a year since the water restriction was put in place and it is disheartening to see it taking so long to remedy this issue. I’m hoping Santa can manage to get this lifted for the new year!

As the new year quickly approaches and we become consumed with the holiday visits and parties, let me thank you for taking the time to read this. I so enjoy writing for you each month and I know by the calls, emails, and drop ins that you enjoy it as well. Feel free to share it with a friend and encourage them to sign up for their own copy… its free! Mele Kalikimaka a Hau’oli Makahiki Hou!

Tax Reform

The Senate and House have come to terms on the tax reform legislation — it looks like there isn’t too much damage to real estate.

They kept the capital gains exemption for homes you have lived in two out of the last five years… whew, this was a biggie in Kona.

They left in the property tax exemptions up to $10,000, that is better than the none that was in one of the drafts.

They also had taken out the interest for second homes and that is now also back in and available to use.

And then the interest that is deductible for your personal residence is now capped to a loan of $750,000 instead of $1 million.

Residential Inventory, Pending, and Sales Under $1M 


More Economic News

  • Alaska Airlines has launched a new nonstop service between San Francisco and Kona. The flight departs at 11:15 am arrives in Kona at 3:15 pm and the return flight will be at 4:15 pm, arriving at just after 11pm.
  • A new project with 44 units oceanfront near Anaehoomalu Bay has been proposed. The same group that developed Lava Lava Beach club and the bungalows next door to it are proposing this project as well. It would be contiguous to their award winning complex.
  • For those of you that might want a few days on Maui before arriving on the Big Island, Hawaiian will launch a new daily nonstop from San Diego to Kahului as of May 1st.
  • Overall, Hawaii state visitor arrivals surged 42.5% from Japan and 21% from Canada. Year-to-date arrivals are up 13.4%… wow, that’s a lot of people!
  • Hawaii Island hotels reported a 4.7% increase in occupancy to 72.9% for October, and year-to-date a 5.5% increase… good news for the hotels!
  • There is a new commercial center proposed for downtown Kona! It is between Lanihau Shopping Center and Henry Street, the vacant land you drive through to get out the south side of Lanihau. It is proposed as 185,650 sf of leaseable space including a 63,000 anchor building. Safeway is considering moving to this anchor building when completed.

Out On the Town

Some people have commented that they don’t see me around town anymore… well not to worry, I’m here! I just changed out my wheels to something more low profile so you might have to look a little closer. My license plate frames still carry my slogan “Never Underestimate the Power of a Redhead!” so you will have to keep an eye out for them instead.

Well Randy and I just couldn’t resist going to see Santa this year and tell him our Christmas wishes… what a blast, but the little kids in line wanted to know why we were there… pretty funny… Merry Christmas!

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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