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Monthly Newsletter Archive: December, 2010

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Gretchen, there are no words to express our appreciation for the wonderful service you provide to your clients. Your knowledge of the market trends and help in pricing our unit was the ticket to a successful and FAST sale. Your staging presented our property to the very best advantage. When seller’s follow YOUR lead, they will be happy with the results! B. & H. Beljean (read more)

West Hawaii Real Estate Update

December, 2010: Volume 7, Issue 12

As we near the end of the year our Kona numbers are still strong in every way… inventory, though up slightly this month, is down overall for the year by 18% , pending sales are up 14%, and year-to-date sales are up 35%… yeah!

Condos showed the most improvement with a whopping 88% increase in sales from 143 to 269. The median price dropped from $261,250 to $220,000, but the days-on-market is down from 102 to 70, selling a whole month faster than ’09. The list-to-sold ratios are also much improved from 93% to 95.3%, with prices firming up.

Surprisingly land is in second place with a 59% increase in sales but we won’t break 100 for the year so it is still weak. Since ‘92 we have had 11 out of 18 years with sales over 100… this year will be our fourth in a row to not break that number, so land is still a really good buy.

Houses had a strong showing with a 33% increase year-to-date, going from 257 to 343. The median price is down slightly from $425,000 to $410,000, with the days-on-market dropping from 74 to 63. The list-to-sold price ratio also improved from 95% to 96%.

Email me today to discuss how this affects your real estate dreams!

Luxury Real Estate

Well if the private jet count at the airport parking lot is any indication of wealthy people in town, we are packed! The tarmac is just full of jets of all sizes including one almost as big as the commercial plane I was on as we rode past it.

In November Hualalai Resort had two sales… one parcel of land and one condo but Kukio had another amazing month with their screaming deals. Three parcels of land and three houses with highest sale of $5.7 million or $1,285 a square foot. Interestingly, the highest per square foot price tag of $1,429 was on one of their cottages close to the Beach Club… now mind you this is a 5 –bedroom house with just over 3,000 square feet of living space so ‘cottage’ is slightly misleading. It also has its own 2-bedroom guest house of its own.

Out in Kohala there was a raw land sale of $5.6 million, oceanfront for 6.76 acres. It was originally planned for an 8-lot subdivision and ended up being sold as one lot as a short sale. The previous owner paid $8.8 million for it in ‘07… ouch!

Most of the luxury properties that sold in November were on the market for a year or more. For buyers this means there are some really great deals to be had since sellers are often disillusioned thru the long wait and will take less then one ever dreamed… call me today!

Economic Update…

  • Foreclosures in the state were down 22% from September (1,617) to October (1,271), a good sign that we are headed in the right direction.
  • Unemployment—Hawaii saw 25% fewer initial claims the week ending Nov. 20th compared to the same week in ‘09… Maui had 54% fewer initial claims… great news!
  • Hotel occupancy for the state was almost 71% up 4.5% from last year. On Oahu was at 78%, amazingly high, and Waikiki was at 80% in October. Daily room rates are still down with an average of $163 a night.
  • University of Hawaii economists say that we have rebounded in visitors from ‘09… U.S. arrivals are up 6.4%, Japan is up 4.3% but the rest of the world arriving in Hawaii made a huge difference with a 20.6% increase… wow!
  • The states general fund tax collections are down in October almost 6% for the same time this year… uh oh…

Notes From Gretchen

My apologies on getting this out so late this month. Holiday travels and a busy work schedule are my excuses.

I also spent a lot of my “newsletter writing time” on an extensive article about the many year journey that culminated in my winning Broker of the Year. It was fun to write and since it was published in West Hawaii Today, I heard from a lot of people who really enjoyed knowing how I got here, so I will send that out as a separate email next week for those of you who don’t get the paper… aloha!

View the Broker of the Year article.


I haven’t written about development in a long time since there hasn’t been much going on, but there are a few making some making headlines… here they are:

Palamanui—groundbreaking for the road into the new University of Hawaii campus is scheduled for early 2011, with campus construction to start in the Fall, although as of 11/20 they still didn’t have the needed permits.

The Villages at Aina Lea—Lulana Gardens—is working hard to get an extension on completion of its under construction affordable housing from the Land Use Commission. Permitting and technical issues are not working in there favor… another meeting is scheduled for January.

Market Snapshot

Closed in
November, 2010
For Sale in
December, 2010

30 Homes
17 Condos
10 Land


17 Homes
9 Condos
2 Land

318 Homes
249 Condos
252 Land

For Sale

171 Homes
223 Condos
126 Land

Gretchen L. Lambeth

Hawaiian Isle Real Estate, LLC


Principal Broker/ Owner

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

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