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West Hawaii Real Estate Update: August, 2011

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Not only did Gretchen help us find a house she felt we would love, but the thing that impressed us the most was that she and her team were honestly interested in finding us a house that we would love to live in.  Thanks, Gretchen, for all your hard work. We are thrilled with the house we now have and look forward to living in it for many years to come.Stan & Nancy Begley (read more)

West Hawaii Real Estate Update

August, 2011: Volume 8, Issue 8

As I write this I’m flashing back to August of 2008 when the economy began its downward spiral.  The news this August is once again full of the “doom and gloom” talk that was the prelude to our market really taking a tumble.

I’m hopeful that this time we will not be affected  since the buyers and sellers I’m dealing with don’t seem fearful or afraid and most of them have equity to liquidate in their properties or discretionary cash to spend… all good things.

This past month we did see a slowing in sales to 67 overall in Kona but it is summer and it is typically not a busy time for us.  We are still on track to top 800 sales this year if nothing dramatically changes and this would be a respectable 5% increase in transactions for 2011.

Hula Dancer

Pending sales are sluggish as well with only 163 at the beginning of the month, off of our average for the year of 187.

House inventories in Kona rose over the 300 mark to 320 after having two months under that benchmark.  Condo inventories continued their downward trend for the 8th straight month to 214 and land was down slightly.  Call me for more details or check out my statistics page!

Luxury Real Estate

Luxury sales in both Kona and Kohala seem to be holding up under the great economic upheaval of the summer.

The big winner in Kona in July was Kukio Resort with four house sales, the highest being for $8.2 million… but wait, they also bought the adjoining lot for $3.2 million, bringing the total to $11.4 million.   Hualalai Resort had one condo sale valued at $2.2 million.  And there was one sale in Kailua town in Kona Vistas for $1.1 million… somewhat of a surprising price tag but always welcome!

Inventories went up slightly in Kona and pending sales are holding in the high single digits these days.  The good news is that overall 3-4% of luxury inventories are ending up as sales each month in Kona, up from 2% last year.

In Kohala they had four total luxury sales… three at the Mauna Lani and one in Waikoloa Resort.

Two sales were condos at the Mauna Lani, but the big story was the lot sale at Pauoa Beach.  Also located at the Mauna Lani it was listed over a million and closed under, making it the lowest priced sale in the history of the subdivision… wow, what a great buy!  Just FYI, the highest sale was $6.7 million oceanfront in 2007.

The house sale in Waikoloa Resort closed for $3.8 million, almost  two-thirds off of its original asking price of $11 million when it was first listed in 2006.  Call today to discuss your luxury real estate needs!

Economic News…

  • Great news!  Kona is getting a Pier 1 Imports in 2012 in the old Ross location… yeah!
  • The King Kamehameha’s Kona Beach Hotel, downtown on Alii Drive, will now be a Marriott Courtyard!  Wow, that huge 2-year $35 million renovation really paid off!  Our last mainland franchise hotel in downtown left in the ‘90’s when the Hilton brand moved out to Waikoloa… it’s about time we got one back… way to go King Kam!!!
  • One of our own, Constance Lau, chairwoman of Hawaiian Electric Industries (HELCO on the Big Island) was nominated to the 30-member National Infrastructure Advisory Council, which advises on security issues to the Dept. of Homeland Security…  guess she’s got our backs!

Notes From Gretchen

Mid-year statistics have the Big Island as the only Hawaiian island that had increased sales in both houses (5%) and condos (19%) from 2010 to 2011.  All the other islands had either none or just one category.  This tells us that our price point and property quality is still attractive to buyers… let’s hope it holds!

The first half of the year has our visitors up by a respectable 4.7% to 3.6 million… and they spent $6 billion… with a ‘b’… wow!  That is an 18% gain from 2010 total dollars.  I would say we are making some great strides in recovering our vital tourism industry… and that leads to a better real estate market… yeah!

Kohala Market

Kohala is having just an amazing year for overall total transactions!  They are just 7 sales short of 2009’s full year… and we still have 5 months left to go!

One of the reasons for these stellar numbers is the volume of foreclosures in this area.  Kohala was one of the hardest hit areas on the island since it had an ownership heavy in second homes and investment property.  The good news is that buyers are still snapping up the deals left and right, making for some great statistics.

Year-to-date for Kohala
Houses: 138
Condos: 159
Vacant Land: 34

It’s not too late to get one of these great deals… call or email me today!

Market Snapshot

Closed in
July, 2011
For Sale in
August, 2011

23 Homes
29 Condos
5 Land


17 Homes
17 Condos
4 Land

320 Homes
214 Condos
234 Land

For Sale

167 Homes
171 Condos
82 Land

Gretchen L. Lambeth
Hawaiian Isle Real Estate, LLC
Principal Broker/ Owner

Broker of the Year – 2000
Direct (808) 329-5667

75-170 Hualalai Road, D-115

Kailua-Kona, Hawaii 96740

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