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Monthly Newsletter Archive: March, 2010

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Gretchen is the absolute best! We chose her because of her newsletter. We were impressed with her honesty of the true picture of the market. If the market was good she said it was, if it was bad she said it was horrible and backed it with data. When it came time for us to buy she not only found us the house that met all of our wants, she found us a house in an area that we did not think we could afford.

The Beach’s

West Hawaii Real Estate Update

March, 2010: Volume 7, Issue 3

It was another great month in sales for Kona real estate for a total of 52 closings again in February. That brings us to 104 for ‘10, over double what had sold in ‘09 at the same time… yahoo!

Pending sales are way up as well, hitting 178, a number we haven’t seen since early ‘07. That includes 94 houses and 69 condos, also double the number we had this time last year, and 15 pieces of land… making me believe that this run of strong sales will continue. Some of these are short sales that take months to close so we will probably see only slightly elevated closings as they begin to get approved.

The big story continues to be how much cold-hard-cash changes hands for these transactions, the hallmark of conservative buyers. In February, the 37 all cash sales accounted for 71% of all sales and added up to… $62.9 million… wow! This topped our recent high of $35 million in September of ‘09. In ‘09 we hit an 18-year high of 41% or 210 overall all cash sales.

Inventories are down 12%… sales and pending sales are both up 100% … check out my website to start getting ‘in’ on what looks like the bottom of the market!

Luxury Real Estate

The ultra private Kukio resort is having a ‘fire-sale’ on houses and land these days. Of the ten sales that they closed in February the list to sold price ratios had an average reduction of 48%… the highest was 60%… Wow!

Kona’s luxury sales of seven houses and seven lots in February represents an overall increase in luxury sales of 1,400%, and no that isn’t a typo… we only had one sale in February of ’09. Pending sales are still high so look for good closings in March as well.

The top honors for highest priced sale so far this year goes to Kukio with an $11.7 million house to a European corporation… a 16% reduction off of its almost $14 million price tag. It is a 7,706 sf house on 2.63 acres with over 2,000 sf of lanai’s and a pool.

Kohala saw fewer closings with less dollar volume in Februarythan Kona. They closed one house, three condos, and three parcels of land. The land is the most notable with side-by-side lots at Ka’unaoa at the Mauna Kea going to the same buyer. Over 2 acres were sold for $3.6 million before it was even published in the MLS. The other parcel was an oceanfront in Puako that sold to a Canadian corporation for $1.6 million … or less than a $100 a square foot… in just 46 days on the market

Of note, all 21 luxury sales in both areas were paid for with all cash, no lending was used in any of the sales… cash is king!

hula girl


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Kohala Update

The big story is the distressed property sales that closed last month, both short and foreclosures… they represented 45% of the 24 sales! Wow, that is amazing considering we had only been seeing a few close each month. Five houses and six condos make up the total of eleven.

Pending sales in all categories remain high with this February seeing a 23% increase over ‘09.

In the available inventory of all types of properties, we saw a 17% drop from February ‘09.

Cash sales are running high here representing 67% of all sales at $12.7 million in February ‘10.

Notes From Gretchen

It’s that time of year again… the dreaded property tax assessments! Now I know when I opened mine today, I had to chuckle since it isn’t even close to the last sale on my street in 2009.

For the price of a postage stamp and the $15 filing fee, you can appeal it. Doing so could be a significant savings to you if you were to get your assessment lowered and hence your tax bill … and the filing fee is even reimbursable.

They need neighborhood comparable sales from 2009 and I can provide that for you to send in with your form. Call or email me today with your property’s taxmap number… the deadline is April 9th! Check out my website Links page for the forms and instructions!

Economic Update

  • Okay, I think everyone that wasn’t here was wondering how the Tsunami evacuation went… and the opinion was unanimous… it went better than hoped and had a great outcome… however, the price tag was $274,000… wow, that was a lot of man-hours in a 24-hour period!
  • Hawaii is ranked 2nd highest in the nation in union members at 23%, just a tad behind New York with 25%. Alaska was 3rd with 22%, the national average is 12%.
  • Hawaii had the highest “well-being” of any state in the U.S. last year, with Honolulu ranking 3rd in the cities… we knew it was a great place to live, now so does everyone else!
  • Something you want to be “bad” at is traffic. Hawaii improved its ranking from 33rd to 38th this year… yes!

Market Snapshot

in Feb., 2010
For Sale
in Mar., 2010

19 Homes
25 Condos
8 Land


8 Homes
11 Condos
5 Land

396 Homes
300 Condos
282 Land

For Sale

204 Homes
260 Condos
116 Land

Gretchen L. Lambeth

Hawaiian Isle Real Estate, LLC
Principal Broker|/ Owner

Office (808) 327-1155 x107
Cell (808) 987-1012

#1 Residential Resale Transactions from Keauhou to Hawi in 2007 & 2008!

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