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West Hawaii Real Estate Update: June, 2013

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“Gretchen, we want to thank you so much for handling the sale of our condo! Everything went unbelievably smooth thanks to your expertise. Mahalo, mahalo, mahalo!” G&C Caylor

Read more of this great testimonial on my website!

West Hawaii Real Estate Update

 June, 2013: Volume 10, Issue 6

Kona has something to cheer about this month on the real estate front… it hit the highest recorded transactions in 7 years for houses, condos, and land at 98… hip-hip hurray!

Land sales carried the day with 24… that is an amazing amount considering we are typically closing less than 10 each month for years and years now. The graph on my website highlights this trend (click here).

Condo owners are seeing rapid price appreciation with the average price increasing 10% over last year already. Houses are up 14%!

Sellers, the reason land is selling like hotcakes at a fireman’s breakfast is buyers can’t find what they want in our current inventory so they opt to build instead. If you have been thinking about selling, now might be a good time to reconsider since our market is up in price and down in inventory… equaling a good time to sell! Call me today for your free market analysis!

Economic News

  • American Savings Bank is getting close to completing their new building at Palani and Kuakini Hwy.
  • Hawaii unemployment dropped to 4.9% in April, the state’s lowest rate since October of 2008.
  • Once again the County is thinking about changing Ali’i Drive to one-way traffic… really a tough idea to implement but we shall see!
  • Foreclosures nationwide fell 23% from March 2012 to March 2013. Activity peaked in 2010 and has since dropped 52%.
  • In Kona, we had 172 MLS foreclosure sales in 2010 compared to 90 in 2012, a 48% drop and only 27 sales so far in 2013.
  • Holualoa Inn was selected as a “Top 10 Inn for Finding Zen” by
  • Hawaii Tourism Authority is projecting visitor arrivals to the state to hit 8.5 million in 2013. 2012 was a record breaking year with 7.99 million… that’s a whole lot of leis and mai tais!
  • Keauhou Country Clubs courses are closed… the ocean one will be renovated and the Mauka one is undetermined… darn!

Notes From Gretchen

Much to my dismay warnings of rising interest rates are coming to pass! I was stunned this month when at one point it was at 4.5% with good credit and 20% down… wow! That number used to start with a “3” for so long I don’t think any of us thought it could jump so fast but it can.

The good news is I think it has settled back down some but don’t delay your purchase any longer if you are using lending. It will make a big difference in your monthly payments if rates are up a 1/2 point or more… call me today to get more info!

Kona House Sales 1992 thru May 2013

It’s only May and 2013 house sales are almost at 50% of last year… if we can get the inventory this part of the market should do well this year… yeah!

Kohala Update

Kohala inventory, as of this writing, has slipped under 100 houses for sale and only 68 of those are listed under $1 million! This is a huge milestone when considering that hasn’t happened since September of 2005… wow, 7 years ago!

That bodes well for sellers, especially those that have been sitting on the fence wondering when the next good time to sell would be. I would propose it might be now. The average price for houses listed under $1 million was $338,000 this time in 2012. Today the average is $383,000… or a 12% price appreciation. Condos are up 7%.

With so few to choose from buyers who want to own will pay a little bit more to get what they want. Email me today for your free pricing review!

Out On The Town


All of you that missed the Big Island Jazz Festival this year really missed something! We rocked the place out with all kinds of jazz played by internationally acclaimed artists. Dancing in the aisles and great food where just some of the fun things going on that evening under the stars. Be sure not to miss it next year… it was just absolutely terrific! Name this great venue to win a free Starbucks gift card… as usual, attendees and Realtors are not eligible to win the prize but feel free to play the game!

Last month’s location was the Blue Dragon in Kawaihae… another great place for jazz and live music! Joy Baldino won for her speedy answer… way to go Joy!

Market Snapshot

Closed in
May, 2013

For Sale in
June, 2013

44 Homes
30 Condos
24 Land


22 Homes
12 Condos
5 Land

186 Homes
140 Condos
209 Land

For Sale

102 Homes
116 Condos
92 Land

Gretchen L. Lambeth

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

WHAR Creative Advertising Award 2012
Broker of the Year – 2010


75-170 Hualalai Road, D-115
Kailua-Kona, Hawaii 96740

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