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West Hawaii Real Estate Update: February, 2013

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“I have been trying to write the perfect mahalo but it kept going too long because you do so many things so well. We now compare to you all listing photos, property descriptions, open house presentations, and even television shows. We’ll say, ‘This house would have sold if Gretchen had had the listing . Gretchen is the GOLD STANDARD!’ ” Laurel & Kirk (read more)

West Hawaii Real Estate Update

 February, 2013: Volume 10, Issue 2

As expected sales in Kona for January were not spectacular given that we ‘stole’ so many into December at the end of the year. But noticeably this January was the best start to the year since 2007 and pending sales did go back over 200 as expected… yeah!

Inventory stayed fairly steady, which is good news but a little bit of a surprise. A lot of us were hoping sellers were waiting for our high-selling season to put some much needed inventory on the market… but that was not to be. Anything new on the market is snatched up right away these days if it is priced right.

As you have read in this column many times the market is changing, and last week I had a seller stick to their price and terms like I haven’t seen in years… and the buyer caved and gave them what they wanted. Buyers, it is no longer your market… we have started a new chapter!

Email me to see how this market can work for you!

Luxury Real Estate

Kohala surprised us in January by recording 8 luxury sales from what at the time was 6 pending sales in December… not bad! Three houses, three condos, and one lot. Hats off to Yvonne, the undisputed queen sales bee at Mauna Lani Realty with 6 sides of those transactions… wow, she was Bee-zzy! In fact most of the sales out there involved the same agent on both sides… only 2 didn’t.

Four of the sales were at the Mauna Lani… one in Waikoloa and two in the Waimea area.

In Kona the resorts were also holding sway over most of the five sales that this area saw. Only one sale was outside the resorts, and it was upcountry on 5 acres with a 2,500 sf house for $1.1 million.

The other resort sales were Hualalai with two condos for high $1 millions and a lot in the same range. Over at Kukio they had one of their ‘cottages’ sell which looks just like a single family dwelling with a pool but with condominium ownership… for $3 million.

If you want to know more about the luxury market in Kona, call me today!

Seeing Is Believing

View more graphs on my website!

Notes From Gretchen

Private sales are becoming more prevalent… I have 4 that I’m working on now, and I would imagine other agents do too… another sign of limited inventory.

These sales are not in the MLS yet and in two of mine they knew each other and worked out the details, then hired me to write and run the contract for them.

For another, I had a buyer who had me search a complex for a seller… in another, we had an upcoming listing and sold it to our buyer before putting it on the market. Call me if you need help with yours!

Distressed Properties

Foreclosures are continuing to dry up very quickly… in December in Kohala there wasn’t one foreclosure sale! In January there were 3, and available inventory shows 1 house and 2 condos.

In Kona there were five sales each in December/January and available inventory is showing 2 houses, 2 condos and 6 pieces of land… not much to choose from!

Short sales are fairing better with 13 houses and 7 condos available with 10 sales in January… but there are 55 in escrow!

In Kohala they have 10 houses and 10 condos available with just 4 sales in January.

Out On The Town

Congratulations to last month’s winner, Andrea Jasper! She was the first person to send me “Cheeseburgers in Paradise” on Maui… she is persistent as are most of the winners… they consistently play every month!Join them in guessing this month’s very tough photo taken from the water on a slightly hazy day so some of the features of this well-known and highly controversial housing development aren’t crystal clear… but for those that are used to seeing the coastline from this angle there are sufficient landmarks to take your best shot! (Hint: I helped build it over a decade ago.)

Market Snapshot


Closed in
January, 2013

For Sale in
February, 2013


 31 Homes
27 Condos
4  Land



 14 Homes
21 Condos
3  Land


 241 Homes
172 Condos
244 Land

For Sale


 145 Homes
142 Condos
90  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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