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West Hawaii Real Estate Update: August, 2012

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“My life had been so busy and stressful, but Gretchen took care of every detail of preparing and selling my condo. I had an offer on the very first day it was listed, and escrow closed in less than 20 days. If you are looking for someone who can get the job done and is a pleasure to work with, I definitely recommend Gretchen. ” Karen Tanaka (read more)

West Hawaii Real Estate Update

August, 2012: Volume 9, Issue 8

July sales in Kona rocked! We had 82 overall, the highest month of the year. Now since my records go back to 1992, I checked to see if July was ever the highest closing month of the year and the answer is “NO!” Great news for us since that means we have higher months to look forward to. In fact, it has only climbed past “80” in July six times in 20 years… wow!

Pending sales in houses, condos, and land drifted down some this month to 200, off 17 from last month. I attribute this to the low inventory that has plagued us for months now. I have buyers ready to commit but sellers are holding out for a little more appreciation in the market before they put them up for sale… causing pent-up demand so when they are released they sell quickly and for more money… supply and demand.

In August house and condo listings under $1 million numbered 300… under $500,000, a more average price point, they only numbered 200. Now we sell roughly 52 a month in this range so it doesn’t take much math to figure out that we only have about a 4-month supply left… which side of the fence are you sitting on?

Luxury Real Estate

In an unusual switch this month luxury house sales outside the resorts outnumbered the resort sales. We had a large property (over 600 acres) that sold as two parcels south of town for a combined total of $4 million. We also had an oceanfront property on Ali’i Drive close for $1.3 million and a Makalei property close for $1.2 million.

At Hualalai Resort we had two sales, one house for $6.3 million and a condo for $1.4 million. And no sales at Kukio… now that is odd!

So these peculiarities caused me to wonder what was in escrow… and again, not much at the resorts… just three waiting to close. Outside the resort, again, a big uptick with six properties with pending sales, primarily in town… none listed over $2 million.

Out in Kohala there were two house sales both at or just over $3 million… and two condo sales both at Waikoloa resort, one at Kolea for $2.4 million and a Hali’i Kai list over a million closed just under that.

Pending sales in Kohala are twice what they are in Kona with 12… wow, that is a nice change!

If you are interested in more details about our changing luxury market, email me today!

Inquiring Minds Want to Know…

I have received several emails asking about the new 3.8% tax on high income earners that sell real estate. To set the record straight I thought I would give you the right info… click here to get the scoop or go to my links page on my website to read about it!

Capital gains tax rates may be increasing in 2013 to 20% for federal… this could affect your sale and/or the timing of it, so make sure you get all the info… click here or check out my links page on my website.

Hurricane season is here! We rarely get them on the Big Island but the damage and destruction would be huge if we did, so make sure you are ready! Go to my website Links page to view easy instructions or just click here!

How We Compare

I receive the list of all foreclosure filings for the state each month so I went to check how many recently were in West Hawaii—Ka’u to Hawi. From January till July there were 369 filings for foreclosure. Now remember, associations foreclose for back dues as well so this is not all just banks.

The banks require you to stop making payments to do a short sale and they then begin the foreclosure process. So I looked up how many short sales—available and pending – in the same area… 210. Now throw in the sales, 130 since January, and the numbers gain some perspective.

This is good news that not all the filings end up as actual foreclosures; they will be sold before they get to that point… good news for all of us!

Notes From Gretchen

Great news! The Big Island was voted the No. 1 Best Island to live on in 2012 by Islands Magazine… yeah! They went through 40 top favorites in the world in a recent issue and you can view the spectacular photos online at their website.

And that leads me to my next thought… buying a piece of paradise! Interest rates have never been lower… still under 4% for most buyers… and our market is moving up in price, so if you have considered buying now is the time!

Call or email me to get set up on an automated feed that will send you all the new listings of the properties in the area you are looking in… aloha!

Out On The Town

Here at Lava Lava in Waikoloa you can eat your lunch with your toes in the sand and the water breaking just beyond… and often the kite surfers offer a great show on the water!

Fabulous service and good food make this a must… check out the comfy chairs! Stop by the next time you are close and you won’t regret it… and you might see me there!

Market Snapshot

Closed in
July, 2012
For Sale in
August, 2012


41 Homes
33 Condos
8 Land


17 Homes
18 Condo
5 Land


249 Homes
180 Condos
252 Land

For Sale

145 Homes
123 Condos
86 Land

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

Broker of the Year – 2010
Direct (808) 329-5667

75-170 Hualalai Road, D-115
Kailua-Kona, Hawaii 96740

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