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Monthly Newsletter Archive: May, 2010

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We were looking for a home to purchase and could not be “on Island” to see our prospects. Gretchen not only video taped the home and property but she also took us on a narrated tour of the neighborhood. When we arrived for the first time to enter our new home it was like we had been here before. She handled everything for us and is still there for us as we settle-in. She goes above and beyond the call of duty.(read more)

The Hemphills

West Hawaii Real Estate Update

May, 2010: Volume 7, Issue 5

Good news for April sales! Kona closed with 77 as of May 1st, the highest volume since March ‘07! There are still over 200 pending sales so May’s closing have great potential.

When I review the Kona records back to 1992, April has only had the highest closings of the year once and that was in ‘08 when it tied March with a dismal 62 sales, so I think we have the potential to see even better months ahead.

Houses had 41 closings up 6 from March, and the highest month since March ’07.

Condos dropped slightly with 24 sales but it was the 5th month with 20 or more so I think we are holding strong here for now.

Land sales were the big surprise, and I must say long over due, with 12 sales in April. Four were in the resorts, one was commercial, four were under $200K, and one was even under $100K! Of the two remaining, one was an acre in a gated community for under $300K and the other was 3+ acres for under $500K… but all 12 were for cash.

Kohala sales dropped slightly to 29 total but pending sales are the highest since ‘07 at 103. Cash is big here too with 52% for the month and year-to-date totals.

Luxury Real Estate

Kona sales of luxury property were very strong last month with 12 closings! Double digit months are rare for luxury and we have now had two this year, otherwise you have to go back to March of ‘08 for the last one.

The pending sales in Kona are a little light when compared to the last few months with only 13, but last year this would have been a huge improvement to the low back-to-back single digits months we were having.

Inventories in Kona are continuing to decline, now down 23% from April ’09, close to the general market that is down 22%.

Kohala’s sales were off substantially from their recent highs with only 3 sales, one each of houses, condos, and land.

Interestingly their pending sales have doubled from last month to 7, so things could be looking up for closings in May.

Inventories in Kohala are dropping also, now down 23% from April of ’09. That compares to the general market where inventories are down 20% in Kohala.

The proposed property tax increase will hit this group particularly hard since most of them do not call the Big Island home… so they will also face the 29.2% increase that the County is proposing… could have an impact on future sales.

Good news that the market is not retreating but still having great months!

hula girl

Urgent — Call to Action!!!

Representation with over taxation! That is what you are getting if they approve the current real property tax increases. Email your County Council testimony today by clicking on the link below or attend the video conference in Kona on June 7th to tell them what you think of this.

They will increase rental property taxes by 29.2% if approved. They know most of you are not residents and don’t vote; please tell them you still care! This increase means if you paid $2000 in property taxes last year you will pay $2584 this year… yikes!

Follow this link to email your County Council testimony today!
EMAIL County Council

You can also call the County Council directly. Click here for Contact Information

Notes From Gretchen

We’ve moved! Our new office is in the Hualalai Center just across the street from our old location. The new space will allow us to better serve our clients in the years to come and has great parking and easy access too… stop by one day and see for yourself!

Kona luxury land sales represented 43% of the lots sold in Q1… and in Kohala 24% of all sales were in the luxury category… wow! These buyers use little of our resources such as police, fire, and schools… but pay heavily in property taxes. And since they typically only visit, they use our service industry to keep their properties looking sharp! Go luxury!


Economic Update

  • The legislature raised the tax on transient accommodations (read: vacation rentals and hotels) by 1% starting July 1, to 9.25%. That is an 18% increase in the amount of taxes collected… you have to wonder, wasn’t there something else they could have done? Darn!
  • The Koreans are coming! Korean Air will begin 3 times a week flights to Honolulu now that visa waiver status has been granted between the two countries. Increased seats are approximately 780 a week… yippie!
  • Continental Airlines and Allegiant Travel announced new flights to Hawaii, but no dates yes… keep checking their websites!
  • Pualani Estates in Kona has recently restarted construction and with great success! They have sold 7 new houses, have 9 in escrow and they are on track to complete 14 more this year… yeah!

Market Snapshot

in Apr., 2010
For Sale
in May, 2010

41 Homes
24 Condos
12 Land


14 Homes
11 Condos
4 Land

347 Homes
284 Condos
254 Land

For Sale

185 Homes
240 Condos
108 Land

Gretchen L. Lambeth

Hawaiian Isle Real Estate, LLC
Principal Broker|/ Owner

Office (808) 329-5667
Cell (808) 987-1012

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

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