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West Hawaii Real Estate Update: August, 2013

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“Gretchen is dedicated to finding the perfect property for each of her clients. She listened to me describe exactly what I wanted and then hung in with me for more than a year, searching diligently. Mahalo Gretchen! I couldn’t be happier with my purchase.” S.Sakai

Read more of this great testimonial on my website!

West Hawaii Real Estate Update

August, 2013: Volume 10, Issue 8

The big story this month isn’t the amount we closed… but the average price that we closed them at… but more on that later.

At 88 overall sales of houses, condos, and land, it was a good month, not our highest, but solid. Land sales are still riding strong and houses were weak but the quality and quantity of the house and condo inventory (or the lack there of) is really driving this issue.

Pending sales are at their 2nd highest level of this year which is a very good sign that our strong market continues.

Average price… the lowest quarter for residential values (houses & condos) listed under $1 million came in the 3rd quarter of 2011, $296,920. At the end of the 2nd quarter of 2013 it is $390,526… that is a 24% increase… wow! To put this in perspective the highest average price in the last 10 years was in the 1st quarter of 2006 at $557,152… so we have a ways to go to the top!

Economic News

Natural Energy Lab (NELHA) here in Kona, more commonly referred to by the acronym OTEC, has almost $30 million in renovations and new construction already under way. Pacific Business News in August gave us the below update and there is more for 2014! This means lots of jobs for our local economy… yeah!

  • West Hawaii Explorations Academy’s $8.5 million new charter school.
  • Shrimp Improvements Systems new $6 million headquarters.
  • NELHA’s own deep-sea pipeline repair for $4.7 million.
  • Cyanotech’s new office building and facilities totaling $4.5 million.
  • Marine Mammal Center $3.2 million.
  • Taylor Shellfish’s $1 million expansion.
  • Destiny Deep Sea Water has $2 million in construction.

In the works for 2014 is over $20 million in additional improvements… and this doesn’t include anything outside of OTEC… Kona is on a roll!

Notes From Gretchen

Much Recently I was reminded that there is another type of housing my office doesn’t represent, but one I wanted to highlight for those that might need this service.

The Regency at Hualalai is an assisted living facility in downtown Kona. They do short term, as well as, long term stays which surprised me. So if you want to travel with someone that needs additional care while they are here you can rent a suite for a few weeks or months… what a great idea for great-grandma who wants to be included in your Hawaii trip!

Kona Residential Under $1 Million – Average Price

We are up almost $100,000 in average sales price since the low point in our market… wow! I would say it is mimicking the 2003 trend… if so, hold on!

More Economic News

  • Hawaii’s unemployment rate for the state dropped to 4.6% in June, Hawaii County’s stood at 7.5%.
  • In May, the Big Island had the least expensive average hotel room rate of all the islands at $188.37… compare that to Maui at $241.46… wow, big difference if you stay a week! Its like getting two nights free in Kona!
  • Hawaii is the number one state to grow old in… the list is for where you would live the longest if you were 65 today… in Hawaii it is 21 more years… great news for all of us baby-boomers!

Out On The Town

Last month’s photo was Kyra and I at the Kokua Kailua street fair that happens once a month. There are some great handmade items and lots of fun to be had. I must say that the hand-blown water/wine glasses are one of my new favorite gift giving ideas and I found them at the street fair… come by and check it out the next time you are in town!

This month I had to get on an airplane to get the shot of this gorgeous blue water bay where we had a nice day away from it all… the tip is that I was very close to the newest Disney project, a themed hotel in the islands… to win, name this known resort area and for extra credit the name of the Disney resort. Winner gets a Starbucks $20 gift card… Realtors, family and friends as usual are welcome to play but aren’t eligible to win… good luck!

Market Snapshot

Closed in
July, 2013

For Sale in
August, 2013


36 Homes
33 Condos
19 Land



19 Homes
24 Condos
7 Land


192 Homes
122 Condos
193 Land

For Sale


114 Homes
104 Condos
81 Land

Gretchen L. Lambeth

Hawaiian Isle Real Estate, LLC
Principal Broker/ Owner

Direct (808) 329-5667

WHAR Creative Advertising Award 2012
Broker of the Year – 2010

75-170 Hualalai Road, D-115

Kailua-Kona, Hawaii 96740

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