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newsletter January 2015

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“We had a wonderful experience selling our house with Gretchen. She was very professional and well prepared for the presentation of our property to the public. All behind the scenes activities were taken care of very swiftly and with such care. Although our house was empty, her crew and inventory of staging items made the house warm and inviting to all who entered. We closed in 40 days with a cash offer!”

Andrew & Leslie

Read more great testimonials on my website!

West Hawaii Real Estate Update

January, 2015: Volume 12, Issue 1

Kona saw house, condo, and land overall sales of 975 for the close of 2014. That is shy 74 units from 2013 and it is mostly attributable to the change in prices.

Price appreciation was substantial in 2014. In the under-a-million category, houses saw 64 fewer sales from the 13% increase. Condos saw the same 13% increase but sales were the same at 350. Land knocked one out of the proverbial ballpark with 27% increase in prices which led to only 11 fewer sales.

If you go back to 2011, we have seen a 27% increase in house prices since then and because of that we have truly priced a lot of buyers out of the market. The issue is being compounded by rents rising at the same rate and it is creating a stress in the community over housing. Lending, however, is getting more flexible so if you can buy, you should to avoid rents that would exceed what it would cost you to own.

Notes From Gretchen

The end of 2014 found me in Atlanta with my family enjoying all the usual holiday activities. What fun we had!My folks are in their 80s and going strong, having visited Russia in 2014 for some sightseeing.

My sister’s family includes four almost grown kids who have lots of stories to share, and my brother took a break from touring around the world. Even my new husband was able to join us for the first time, we all enjoyed some good old family togetherness!

Thank you to all that helped make 2014 such a great year, I finished #2 and the office was #9 in Kona residential resales!

Economic News

  • Palamanui, out by the airport, has said they can’t afford to build the mauka/makai connector to Mamamalahoa Highway but that they would be able to contribute to the midlevel road instead… the County is thinking about it.
  • Unemployment is down again in December! We are at 4.7% on this island, down from 5.1% in November, so a big drop!
  • Waikoloa is now ranked 8th out of the top 10 destinations in the U.S. on TripAdvisor in their Travelers’ Choice awards.
  • Bankruptcy filings have fallen to pre-recession lows… great news! Statewide filings dropped to 1,702 for 2014 and the state has close to 1.4 million people so a really low ratio.
  • The visitors are finally back! We saw a steep drop off last December because of high airfares, however, the recent trend is up… over 5% for Kona in November (91,442 visitors) and air seat capacity has increased 10% this year so we have momentum and capacity that will hopefully mean a stronger sales market for this year… yay!

Kona Houses Sold Under $1 Million

As the graph illustrates, sales were off this year in houses, down 57 overall from 2013. Condos were down 10 units for the year. Both can be tied back to rising prices and the lack of buyers in these new price ranges.

Featured Vacation Rental

Spacious 4 bedroom home with swimming pool, hot tub and ocean view!This beautiful island getaway is located just minutes above Kailua-Kona town.Check it out on VRBO.

Want to discuss the benefits of turning your Kona home or condo into a vacation rental?

Email me to set up a time to discuss!

Industry News

A shocking story surfaced this month through the Associated Press. It seems there are scammers working the vacation rental market and leaving tourists with no place to stay!

Hard to understand how truly low one would have to stoop to advertise a for-sale property or worse, one occupied by its owners, as a vacation rental on the internet. The unsuspecting tourists pay the money for their rental and show up only to find that it isn’t a rental after all… awful!

Please be sure to always rent through a reputable agency, such as ours, to make sure you don’t get scammed.

Out on the Town

On our last day in Atlanta most of the family went to the Georgia Aquarium to see some of the most amazing exhibits. One that always makes me realize how large their tanks are is this one of a whale! This is a Beluga whale and there are three of them in this tank, just amazing what a feat of engineering this place is to hold so much water, let alone care for the thousands of marine life in the exhibits, including manta rays, penguins and all kinds of fun stuff.

If you ever are in the area, make sure you put it on your must see list!

Market Snapshot

Closed in
December, 2014

For Sale in
January, 2014


39 Homes
27 Condos
13 Land



20 Homes
17 Condos
4  Land


222 Homes
160 Condos
170 Land

For Sale


122 Homes
175 Condos
67 Land

Gretchen Osgood
Hawaiian Isle Real Estate, LLC
Principal Broker/ Owner
Direct (808) 329-5667

#1 in Kona Transactions – 2013
#16 in State of Hawaii – 2013
Creative Advertising Award – 2012
Broker of the Year – 2010

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