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West Hawaii Real Estate Update: May, 2015

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“Gretchen is vastly experienced and very knowledgeable about Kona real estate. She has studied market trends over many years and knows the options! She is a very hard worker and very skilled with documentation and offers. Finally, she is both tenacious, always looking for suitable homes, but at the same time pleasant to work with. She is an awesome, reliable Realtor.”  The Moes

Read more great testimonials on my website!
West Hawaii Real Estate Update
May, 2015: Volume 12, Issue 5

House sales made significant strides in April with 48 closings, up 38% from March sales. Condo sales held steady at 37 and land sales kept up their relentless pace with 14.

If you cap house sales to everything under $1 million you have 43 sales with an average sold price of $598,458, that took an average of 82 days on the market to sell. Up $46,000 over last April’s average price or 8% more.

hula-girl-ivory backIf you cap condo sales at $500,000 in April 2015 you would have 33 sold at an average price of $246,236 with 105 days on the market. That is down from 2014’s average price of $263,488. However, the issue here is the buyers’ ability to qualify for higher loans and that process is dictating what they can afford to buy. If you dug into the 33 sales you would see they are of lesser quality and smaller than the year previously, as the market eroded their buying power.

Notes From Gretchen

Well today, Memorial Day as I write this, is my birthday! As I reflect on my life at the ripe old age of 56, one thing I’m very glad of is that I pursued real estate. Even though I tried hard to avoid it, it turns out it is a natural fit for me. I have so much fun helping my clients get and hold the right properties that it often doesn’t even feel like work.

Thank you to all of you who have come back time and time again to trust me with your real estate transactions, you are the heart and soul of my practice… mahalo!

Economic News

  • Visitors from Australia to the state were up 21% in the first quarter and from New Zealand they were up 23%, odd given that their currency is down against the US dollar but good news nonetheless!
  • Building permits statewide are up a whopping 71% in the first quarter overall. Residential permits were up 220%… Wow! Wish that was for the Big Island but thinking it is mostly Oahu.
  • Timeshare sales were up 4.9% for the first quarter and are showing an 85% occupancy rate, the highest in the US.
  • Hawaii County’s unemployment rate declined in March to 4.9% from 5.3% in February. March also marked the third consecutive month of declines in the islands rate. This is from a high in 2011 of 11%.
  • Kona’s new judiciary complex got the green light from the legislature with 100% of the funding approved for the $90 million complex to be located on Makala Blvd. by Macy’s.

Kona House Sales Listed Under $1 Million

One of the highest sales months in recent memory for houses, nice to see it spring back from the lows of earlier this year.

Featured Vacation Rental

Peaceful Ocean View

Located away from the hustle and bustle, the Orchid Inn is perched on 1 1/2 acres of lushly landscaped grounds, facing the Pacific Ocean.
Find out more here.
Want to discuss the benefits of turning your Kona home or condo into a vacation rental?
Email me to set up a time to discuss!

Vacation Rentals

This type of ownership requires a lot of extra work and has many unknowns as the economy ebbs and flows. However, if done right, it can also maximize your income.

The hardest part is keeping the property in top shape as the parade of guests moves through it. An eagle-eyed person needs to check after each guest since there are no ‘usual’ places to look for damage. We require all of our guests to purchase an insurance policy that covers damage for a nominal fee.

Some owners try to manage on their own from the mainland but this is fraught with issues… better to hire a pro!

Out on the Town

We had a great two hours watching Henry Kapono play old favorites to a packed house at the Royal Kona Resort last week. Unbeknownst to me he plays other bands’ songs and not just his own and he had the crowd singing along and dancing away with all of the tunes he played.

They fly him in from his home on Oahu once a month and the crowd comes early to get a table to be close to the action.

Definitely worth the price of a drink or two for the 5-7pm show… come join the fun the next time you are in town!

Market Snapshot

Closed in
April, 2015
For Sale in
May, 2015

48 Homes
37 Condos
14 Land


36 Homes
32 Condos
5 Land

240 Homes
183 Condos
155 Land

For Sale

135 Homes
194 Condos
75 Land

Gretchen Osgood
Hawaiian Isle Real Estate, LLC
Principal Broker/ Owner
Direct (808) 329-5667#1 in Kona Transactions – 2013
#16 in State of Hawaii – 2013
Creative Advertising Award – 2012
Broker of the Year – 2010

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