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Monthly Newsletter Archive: January 2010

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West Hawaii

Real Estate Update

Volume 7 • Issue 1
January 2010


Good news all around for the market in Kona at the end of 2009. House sales were up 16% for the year at 290. Hard to believe but land sales closed up just slightly as well at 54. Condos remained down against 2008 by a slim 10% at 166. That gives us a grand total of 510 or an increase of 6% from 2008. We did it! We turned the corner on the down market… hurrah!

I get asked all the time why house sales are up and it’s easy to see when you review by price range. The hottest price range was under $400K with 40% or 115 sales. The four previous years (2005 through 2008) had only 73 total sales under $400K since there were no more houses to buy! When you combine quality low-priced inventory with pent-up demand and historically low interest rates, you have the formula for good sales.

Escrows are holding at their third highest level of 2009 so that bodes well for closings in January… yeah!

But even better news is that inventories dropped 7% to 947 to break under 1,000 for only the sixth time in 31-months.

Call me today to buy your piece of paradise!

(View graphs here)

Kohala Update

Kohala mirrored Kona in many ways, houses were up for the year, land was one short compared to 2008, and condos were off some. For the year the total fell short by 19 or just 6% less than 2008.

House sales under $400K accounted for 98 transactions or 57% of all house sales in Kohala in 2009. That included 26 foreclosures and 8 short sales, or 35% of the under $400K market… there were only 2 other distress sales above $400K.

Condo sales over $400K lead the way here with 67 or 61% of the total, showing that our resort market still has some ‘teeth’ in the higher end.

The all-cash transactions were amazing… 48% of all sales in December, and closing out 2009 at 36% of all transactions, just off the record set in 2008 of 37%.

This shows that there are few better places to put your cash than real estate these days.

Luxury Real Estate

Kona’s luxury house sales represented just 10% of the overall sales with 31 and condo sales were at 10 or just 6% of the overall market. Luxury land sales stole the show with 13 sales or 24% of the market. Doesn’t sound like mch until you count the dollars… literally.

Out of the 54 luxury sales only 10 used financing for $18 million in sales, the rest were all in cash. Representing $132 million for deals with 7-figure list prices plus the 8-figure sales representing another $42 million for a grand total of $192 million. That is 51% of the total dollar value for all category sales in Kona out of $370 million… wow! The luxury market is huge for Kona’s success!

The top sale of 2009 was in

December for $26 million in cash at Hualalai Resort… wow!

Kohala had 38 total luxury sales with houses representing only 8% of the overall market at 14, but condos were better with 17% or 19. Land sales of 5 were 13% of the overall land market.

Cash paid for 76% of all luxury sales with 29 and only 9 used lending. All luxury sales represented $93 million with $79 million of it cash. All Kohala sales came to $191 million and luxury represents 41% of that… huge!

The top sale in Kohala for 2009 was a house at Napaka Place in Waikoloa Beach Resort taking top honors at $9.5 million or 20% off of its $11.9 million price tag!

Distress Properties Stats…

Available foreclosure inventory at the end of 2009 was 32 in Kona and 25 in Kohala, and 134 and 70 respectively for short sales. Escrows for foreclosures in Kona were 26 and 9 in Kohala, and short sales were 32 and 17.

2009 Sales Kona

ForeclosuresShort Sales

2009 Sales Kohala

ForeclosuresShort Sales

Call to get more info!


Notes from Gretchen


Okay… non-real estate tip of the day… an online music jukebox programmed to your favorite genre of music… and it can figure out what you like by just putting in one artist!

Our winter visitors are here, but not in the numbers we typically see. Town is less crowded and when I was out at Waikoloa Beach Resort last week the food court was not full.

Although I think the quality of our visitors may be up this year with repeat guests… we are seeing long term returnees buying. Especially if they have less than a 5-year time frame for retiring here… their dollars will go further now.


Gretchen never gave up in trying to sell my condo even though the market wasn’t moving. It took months to get the first offer, but we got one! Then it took five months to get the bank’s approval for the short sale. While we waited she kept everyone, including the buyer’s agent, up-to-date so that when the approval came, the buyer was still committed to closing. I couldn’t be happier with her and her excellent services!


Market Snapshot
Closed in December 2009
For Sale in January 2010
s p a c e
30 Homes
15 Homes
380 Homes
193 Homes
21 Condos
11 Condos
300 Condos
270 Condos
6 Land
4 Land
267 Land
113 Land