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West Hawaii Real Estate Update: March, 2012

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Honestly, we were looking for the impossible house… huge, cheap, and in need of mostly only cosmetic repairs… and in town. I told my wife the house didn’t exist, yet one week later we found it! The short sale was done in record time and we love the house!The Bryds (read more)

West Hawaii Real Estate Update

March, 2012: Volume 9, Issue 3

The big conversation these days in Kona real estate is about the lack of inventory and buyers who can’t find anything to buy. So what’s up with that?

In Kona, in 2011, there were 101 houses sold under $300,000 and at the end of the year we only had 25 available left to sell… hmm, that could be a problem. Now it’s down to just 18… half of which have been on the market over 60 days, some with big issues.

This means buyers have to shop over $300,000 now to find a quality house, so it’s a good thing interest rates are still low to help make up the difference.

In 2011, we sold 187 condos under $200,000, with 53 left available at the start of 2012. Today we have 64 so that seems to be looking better, but what is that inventory like?

Twenty of them are leasehold… something not every buyer wants. Ten of them are under $100,000 and usually 1 bedroom (down 33% from January!). And in 2/2 condos… the most popular floor plan… we only have 14 available under $200,000 in Kona… yikes!!!

Bottom-line… the lack of inventory is slowing sales and prices are increasing… email today for more info!

Luxury Real Estate

February was unique in Kona luxury sales in that there were more land transactions than houses or condos. Two of the parcels were in resorts, Hualalai for $3.4 million and Kukio for $2.8 million… but the largest was on Alii Drive for 6 acres at $3.5 million. Oddly enough the buyer was the County of Hawaii… let’s hope its’ going to be a park!

The other two sales were a condo at Hualalai for $1.8 million and a house at Kukio for $5.1 million. The house at Kukio was on almost an acre with 3,972 sf of living area and a pool on a huge lawn overlooking the blue Pacific… amazing, what a great place to spend your afternoons.

Kohala had a strong month with five overall sales. One was a house at Champaign Ridge at the Mauna Lani for $1.9 million, with 3,467 sf—a good price! A Waimea home on almost an acre for $1.1 million… a condo at Kaunaoa at Manua Kea went for $2.8 million, a condo at Waiulaula at Mauna Kea closed at $950K, and another condo at Halii Kai in Waikoloa for $1.1 million.

The most expensive house in West Hawaii today is a Kukio property with 9,382 sf of living area and 1.33 acres of land… for $29.6 million, and it isn’t even oceanfront… yikes! The second one on the list is at Hualalai for $28 million and is fronting the ocean and golf course with 6,654 sf of living area … wow, what a way to live!

Economic Update…

    • Hawaii state unemployment dropped another notch in February from 6.7% at the beginning of 2012 to 6.5%. Seasonally adjusted jobs grew 4,400 from February 2011 to 2012… that is pretty substantial!
    • Four Seasons Resort Hualalai took top honors in the state in Travel & Leisure’s “Top 500 Hotels Worldwide” 2012 rankings. The Hapuna Prince was 6th and its sister hotel, the Mauna Kea was 7th… we do have some great hotels in West Hawaii!
    • Visitor spending is expected to grow 6.4% in 2012 after growing 15% in 2011… yeah!
    • Blue Hawaiian Helicopters, operating on the major islands, has ordered 10 new helicopters … that is a whole lot of investment!
    • Sunset magazine rated Hawaii Island as one of its top “fantasy towns”… places its readers may want to move to.

      Notes From Gretchen

      Most people come to Hawaii to play and have fun… those of us that live and work here sometimes lose sight of that in the day-to-day of doing life. That’s where snowbird friends who ask you to tag along on their adventures can come in handy!

      The attached photo was from an early morning fishing trip to “Ono Lane”, one of the best spots in the world to catch Ono I’m told. We got ‘skunked’ but had a great time anyway enjoying the beautiful water and view of Kona’s shoreline. Come join the fun!

      O’ Canada

      I was joking with a Canadian client the other day that I’m going to have to learn the words to the Canadian national anthem since we have so many Canadians here now.

      In checking sold properties  for 2011, 28 Canadians bought in Kona.   That left 9 other foreign sales with one Hong Kona man snapping up 3 condos in different projects, 5 Japanese, and 1 Austrian.

      In Kohala of the 39 foreign buyers noted in the tax records, we had one each from England, Germany and Japan but from Canada we had 36!

      So in the combined markets Canadians bought 5%!  Yeah!!!

      Market Snapshot

      Closed in
      February, 2012
      For Sale in
      March, 2012


      30  Homes 
      24  Condos
      8  Land


      17  Homes
      12  Condos
      2  Land


      294  Homes
      206  Condos
      235  Land

      For Sale

      171  Homes
      163  Condos
      95  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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