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Monthly Newsletter Archive: April, 2010

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Gretchen went so far beyond what you’d expect from an agent that buying long distance and sight unseen, was easy. Even after the closing, she was still taking care of us. This process couldn’t have been a better one for my family and I would highly recommend her. She truly embodies her website’s motto of making Hawaii real estate dreams come true with ‘the power of the Redhead’!(read more)

The Murrays

West Hawaii Real Estate Update

April, 2010: Volume 7, Issue 4

It’s official… first quarter sales in 2010 were double those of ‘09… yippie!!! This is the best start to a year we had since ‘07, and we finally have a trend that we can lean into after five consecutive months with over 50 sales each.

March’s closings at 68 represent a 24% increase over February. Houses were the big winners in March with 35 closings. Condos held up with 27 for the third month over 20 in a row. Land sales are still only in the single digits.

Pending sales are going strong too with over 200 for the first time since early ‘06. Once again houses are leading the way in this category as well with over 100, something we haven’t seen since early ‘07. Condo escrows have almost doubled since late last year to 76, another high since ‘05.

First quarter statistics show that house sales under $500K represented 75% of the 68 total closings under $1M with 54 houses. The bulk of the sales were in the $300K to $400K, with 29. Condos under $400K had a total of 59 sales or 90% of the market under $1M with only 6 sales combined from $400K to $1M. There were 10 land sales in Q1 under $1M with two under $100K.

Luxury Real Estate

Inventory in Kona of real estate listed over $1 million has dropped slightly from a year ago but the really big news is that the pending sales volume has more than doubled to 20. With six sales in March it is holding strong, but we might be in for another big jump in April closings.

The sales last month in Kona represented two condos, one Kukio lot, and three houses. Only one of these was at a resort but it was a ‘whopper’ closing at $13 million at Hualalai with a 15% discount.

Houses have pending sales of 10 and are unusual this month since only two are out at the resorts and the other eight are in town, another great sign that the whole market is picking back up again. Condos show two in escrow both at Hualalai. Pending land sales total eight with four at Kukio (thanks to those 60% off specials they seem to be running), three are commercial parcels, and one is at Hualalai.

Hualalai Resort phoned last month to remind me that not all of their inventory is on the MLS so our numbers aren’t always complete… good to know… so when looking to buy a property in the resort call me to get the full list.

Kohala’s inventory is down 28% from a year ago to 156 luxury properties, great progress! They tied Kona with six sales last month but all were condos with only one over $2 million. Escrows are showing three, two houses, and one condo, all under $2 million.

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Kohala Update

Kohala’s sales were strong like Kona’s, up 25% from February to 32 in March. Condos outsold the houses with 17, up six from February and the highest since April of ‘08. With only 14 sales this month houses were not the strongest sector but showed improvement from single digits in February. Land sales have struggled to stay consistent and only showed one sale for the second time in five months.

Pending sales are also up by 22% which bodes well for closings in future months. Houses have 33 pending, condos have a slight advantage again with 37. Land sales are showing strong in pending with 9.

First quarter house sales totaled 27 under $500K and represented almost all of the market with only two sales above that. Condo sales were very different here with the under $1M market showing 27 total sales, the under $400K had 11 and the $400K to $1M had 16… wow, what a difference! Land had 6 sales mostly in the low $100K’s.

Notes From Gretchen

It is very refreshing to have good news to talk about these days… so let’s get started! Kona closed over $138 million in houses, condos, and land in Q1 with 173 sales, three times the dollar amount of Q1 ‘09. Kohala saw an increase of 25% from the same time in ‘09 to $48.9 million, representing a dollar increase of $12 million, with 79 total sales.

When sales of this quantity and dollar volume ramp back up, it puts people back to work not just in real estate related fields but in renovations, cleaning, gardening, furniture sales, and lots of other fields. Let’s hope this economic trickle grows into a stream here in the next few months. Email me if you want to be a part of this trend!

Economic Update

  • Hospitality Advisors, LLC says hotel occupancy in Hawaii increased four out of the last five months… for a 3% increase from January ‘09… yeah!
  • The Department of Business, Economic Development expects visitor arrivals to improve by about 120,000 this year and double that in 2011… sounds like we are back on track!
  • Department of Labor statistics show that unemployment claims are dropping in Kona averaging 164 less per week then the same time period last year.Okay, I think everyone that wasn’t here was wondering how the Tsunami evacuation went… and the opinion was unanimous… it went better than hoped and had a great outcome… however, the price tag was $274,000… wow, that was a lot of man-hours in a 24-hour period!

Market Snapshot

in Mar., 2010
For Sale
in Apr., 2010

35 Homes
27 Condos
6 Land


14 Homes
17 Condos
1 Land

274 Homes
287 Condos
280 Land

For Sale

199 Homes
266 Condos
113 Land

Gretchen L. Lambeth

Hawaiian Isle Real Estate, LLC
Principal Broker|/ Owner

Office (808) 327-1155 x107
Cell (808) 987-1012

#1 Residential Resale Transactions from Keauhou to Hawi in 2007 & 2008!

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