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“ We so appreciated the ample time Gretchen took with us helping us buy our first home ever! We felt that she was not just trying to make a sale, but really cared about placing us in the best home that would fit our budget, lifestyle and personalities. She was professional, knowledgeable, and personable and not afraid to tell it how it is. We recommend her wholeheartedly! ”C. & S. Fox (read more)
West Hawaii Real Estate Update
April, 2011: Volume 8, Issue 4
Outstanding! That is what Kona’s first quarter of ’11 was. With combined closings of houses, condos, and land at an eye-popping 209, it blew past ’10’s first quarter by 30 sales overall. I had forecast it to be in the high 100’s but this was a nice surprise.
But let’s not get ahead of ourselves since that is only part of the story for our stellar month. Overall inventories of houses, condos, and land dropped by 42 or 5% in just one month. If you take out the luxury properties listed over $1 million that only leaves us 208 houses, 205 condos and 171 lots to choose from. Since we sold 61 residential properties in March under $1 million, we have less than a 6-month supply left… wow!
Pending sales remain high in the 190’s, with houses leading the way and looking very similar to the previous months that gave us this great quarter.
Pricing… no surprise that the lower end is outselling the upper but the upper end has been making some headway in houses priced over $500,000, with sales increasing 20% since the first quarter in ’10. Condos have been primarily selling under $400,000 the last two quarters… and under $200,000 is where most of the action still is.
Luxury Real Estate
Luxury residential real estate in Kona saw slightly increased volume up 3 to 18 for the first quarter. But the really good news for sellers is that the average list to sold price ratio has improved by 7% over the first quarter of ’10… yeah! The prices are not yet improving and we have even seen some further erosion in the overall numbers but the days on the market are improving down to 146 from 203, hopefully making for less anxious sellers.
Of the 18 residential sales, half fell between $1 million and $2 million; of the over $2 million sales, the largest closing was at Hualalai Resort for $16 million this quarter.
Land sales last year numbered 11 just in the first quarter… this year there were 2, one at Hualalai and one at Kukio… big difference! Not for lack of trying, there are 18 lots available between the two resorts now, with the majority at Kukio… hmm, wonder what is up?
Kohala had exactly half the luxury sales Kona had with 10 overall this quarter. One land sale at the Mauna Kea compared to 5 last year… wow, big difference… again!
In the residential category in Kohala they had 3 less sales than in ’10 but their list and sold price averages are up, albeit not by much, but the list to sold ratio jumped from 83% to 91%… that had to make the sellers really happy. The cost however was that the average days on market doubled to 413… yikes, hope it was worth it!
Inventories are down to about 30 listings in Kona and about 15 in Kohala most likely due to the ‘robo-signing’ issue that slowed some of these from hitting the market. And to put a rumor to rest, no, banks won’t take just any offer. The newer the release, the higher their price expectations just like any seller… if it has been hanging around for awhile you might be able to get a chunk off of their asking price but most of them have price reductions every 30 days if they haven’t sold.
Notes From Gretchen
Sorry this is a week late this month! My phone has been ringing off the hook and my email is overflowing… what great news for our market!
Now a lot of this business is short sales that take at least 3 months typically to close so we should have somewhat steady sales through the next few months… hopefully! Also a lot of it is cash or high down payment buyers which is also really good news… means these buyers make a great addition to our community as financially conservative people… yeah!
Our weather has been gorgeous the last few days so if you aren’t here you should plan a trip!
Amazing! Kohala’s sales were at 65 in March… almost double most months. Pushing the quarter’s closing to 143 for houses, condos, and land… wow!
House sales were strong for the quarter at 54, but condos beat them handily at 75, a margin of almost 30%. Here is the breakdown:
Gretchen L. Lambeth
Broker of the Year – 2000
75-170 Hualalai Road, D-115
Kailua-Kona, Hawaii 96740