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West Hawaii Real Estate Update: January 2012

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West Hawaii Real Estate Update

January, 2012: Volume 9, Issue 1

What an exciting roller coaster year! But we still ended up posting sales gains… yeah!

In Kona, in 2011, we had 824 sales of houses/condos/land up 6% from the 774 total closings in 2010.

Houses lead the way with 417, an increase of 8%. Our house inventory is now under 300 and shrinking, primarily in the lower end, where there are only 14 fee simple houses left under $300,000 today.

Condo sales for the year were also up with 325 or a 6% increase. Of note, 40 closings occurred in December… wow! Inventories are down, with the lower end also getting skinnier. Currently in Kona there are only 7 fee simple condos under $100,000 available.

Land sales were slightly off with only 82 after closing 86 in 2010… so there should be a lot of good deals out there this year.

Pending sales remain steady in all categories so I’m hopeful that we will keep up our momentum in January.

For the best selection, plan to buy soon before prices start to rise… real estate runs on a supply and demand economy and certain ranges are drying up… call me to better understand your options today!

Luxury Real Estate

The headlines say that luxury is often the top selling niche of our current real estate market so lets see how Kona and Kohala luxury sales stack up to the overall market here.

As a percentage of the overall Kona sales it represented 9% of our houses/condos/land. House sales were at 10% , condos at 5% , and almost 20% of our land sales. Hmmm, guess that tells you where our construction crews will be busiest in 2012.

In Kohala, their overall luxury sales also represented 9% of the market… interesting that both areas had the same percentage of luxury sales. Houses and condos were both 8%, and land was a big winner here as well with 16% of the market share.

How did they do on prices? In Kona the list to sold price ratio increased from 78% in 2010 to 87% in 2011 and the Average sales price stayed the same at $3.5 million.

In Kohala the news was mixed… the list to sold price ratio increased from 86% to 88% and sales went up… but the average price dropped from $2.3million to $1.7 million… ouch!


North Kona —Total 75
Houses 44
Condos 15
Land 16

South Kohala—Total 44
Houses 18
Condos 19
Land 7

Kohala Update

    Kohala had a terrific year as well… racking up 489 overall sales in houses/condos/land. That is a whopping 17% increase over the 404 sales in 2010… way to go Kohala!

    The sales were mostly in houses and condos… houses seeing 214 sales and condos seeing 232. Sales last year for houses was 180 and condos, interestingly enough, was exactly the same. Land sales for the year, like Kona, were down slightly with 43 after seeing 44 sales in 2010… so there should be a lot of deals out there too still.

    Available inventories have dropped almost 100 in Kohala since December of 2010. Pending sales are off their highs of over 100 and have settled the last few months in the 90’s.

    Quarterly sales have been dropping since their high in March. This has me slightly concerned since we had posted 6 consecutive quarters over 100 and the 4th quarter of 2011 dropped to just under at 98… something to watch.

    Notes From Gretchen

    I realized today that I’ve been writing this newsletter every month for nine years now… wow, that is a whole lot of research and statistics! It has been worth it to have such a deep understanding of what the market is doing so I can better assist my clients in buying and selling.

    Take for instance our cash sales… in Kona 52% (Kohala 50%) of all sales were for 100% cash in 2011… that is astounding! My stats go back to 1992 and we have never seen anything close to this since then.

    All cash buyers are very conservative and want a secure purchase with little risk. They perceive West Hawaii as a good place to invest their hard earned cash!

    Year End Statistics


    Percentage of Overall Market 28%
    Houses 126—30%
    Condos 105—32%
    Land 3—4%

    Percentage of Overall Market 26%

    Houses 70—33%
    Condos 55—24%
    Land 3—7%


    Percentage of Overall Market 13%
    Houses 54—13%
    Condos 52—16%
    Land 2—2%

    Percentage of Overall Market 14%

    Houses 17—8%
    Condos 49—21%
    Land 1—2%

    Market Snapshot

    Closed in
    , 2011
    For Sale in
    January, 2011

    32 Homes
    40 Condos
    5 Land


    16 Homes
    21 Condos
    2  Land

    293 Homes
    202 Condos
    236 Land

    For Sale

    174 Homes
    184 Condos
    91 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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