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West Hawaii Real Estate Update: June, 2012

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“We became fans of Gretchen before we ever thought of selling our home. We followed her newsletters and kept current with the market for several years. Her savvy business sense and exceptional knowledge of the housing market is truly impressive. When I found myself needing to sell after the death of my husband, Gretchen was my go-to agent. She streamlined the process and secured a great price!” K. Osborn (read more)

West Hawaii Real Estate Update

June, 2012: Volume 9, Issue 6

The big story in West Hawaii real estate continues to be about the residential inventory, or better said the lack of quality properties priced to sell. The last two sales I put in escrow had multiple buyers and/or offers… yes, I know hard to believe what you just read but it is true.

Last month in Kona we had 38 house sales and 31 condos, watch for those numbers to drop in the future since there is almost nothing left to sell. And this isn’t just a Kona story… I saw it last week in the national news as well. Phoenix is down 50% from last year, yes, the foreclosure capital of the USA is running out of things to sell too.

This ties into a national news piece about how 42% of the buyers are cash investors buying more than one property since they can’t get any revenue from CD’s or savings accounts and rents make cash flow possible… and we have high cash sales here too.

So what is available today in Kona… there were 15 houses under $300,000, 42% less than was available this time 2011. In condos under $200,000 there are 49 or 30% less. These are drastic declines that are leading to price increases in some areas.

Luxury Real Estate

Luxury sales in Kona are up 15% year-to-date over last year and land sales have a healthy portion of those 41 overall sales with 14, up 36% from 2011.

Now these aren’t your ordinary lots… 6 of them cost well over $3 million… each! Now as you might expect 100% of them were cash sales. The really good news is that these buyers will most likely begin making plans to build huge gorgeous news homes on them, helping out our construction industry here in the very near future.

Last year at this time we had three condo sales for the year over a million in Kona, this year we have a whopping 24 and all at Hualalai Resort! That is so startling I don’t even know where to start… yeah… wowza… yippie! Luxury in Kona is back!

Luxury house sales year-to-date in Kona are down from last year but the price point is up $100,000 and the days on the market are down about 30% so they are getting there!

In Kohala, luxury sales are up for the year with a total of 24, up a few from 2011. The real story out here also are the condos… 15 sold so far this year. Notable are the 6 at the Mauna Kea which hasn’t had many of late, 5 at Mauna Lani, and 4 in Waikoloa Resort. Interestingly some of these properties have been on the market for literally years and are now selling… great news for all of West Hawaii!

Call me to discuss real estate in West Hawaii there is a lot more to it than I have room for here!

South Kohala Update

While Kona had okay sales in May, Kohala rocked with their highest closing volume of the year at 49. Houses pushed it over the top with 22, the first time in the 20’s since a year ago. Land sales picked up again with 4 helping move this month to the top of the list. May marked the 3rd consecutive month with condo sales in the 20’s a good sign that the resort market is recovering.

Inventories here are also an issue… houses and condos had their 5th consecutive monthly decrease in both categories. Land inventory is declining out here as well, something that is not the case yet in Kona.

Pending sales are high at 130, Kona is also experiencing high pending volume… still up over 200.

West Hawaii in general is seeing lower inventories, high pending sales, and strong sales volume… with high volume of cash buyers… things are looking up for Kona!

Notes From Gretchen

As you can see from the sales information above and the new retail in Kona (Starbucks is building a new drive-thru at Henry St. too) that Kona is on the upswing. When big business starts building here in this small out of the way place, you know they expect big things or they wouldn’t take the risk.

I remember back in the late ‘90’s we thought Costco and K-Mart were crazy to build here but their long range projections showed something we couldn’t see… huge growth was coming to Kona and they wanted to be in front of it… and they succeeded! We are there again…

Kona is Hopping!

Well much to everyone’s delight, Pier 1 Imports opened this weekend in the old Ross location in the North Kona Shopping Center! As you can imagine the store was bombarded with shoppers the first few days but I did sneak a peak and thy have lots of fun decorating stuff we don’t typically see in Kona… yeah!

Also, this same weekend, the new Ane Keohokalole Highway that runs from Henry Street to Hina Lani (Costco Rd.) opened. What fun it was to drive it… twice… the first day! Even though the speed is a strictly enforced 35 mph it was WAY faster than the lower highway… great for Kona!

Market Snapshot

Closed in
May, 2012
For Sale in
June, 2012


38 Homes
31 Condos
7 Land


22 Homes
23 Condo
4 Land


265 Homes
180 Condos
244 Land

For Sale

143 Homes
134 Condos
83 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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