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West Hawaii Real Estate Update: November, 2012

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“Connections, knowledge, technology, and personality were the four main attributes that made Gretchen the best choice for a West Hawaii realtor. She was always professional and on top of things, anticipating and reacting to each step with efficiency and promptness. She was also cheerful and optimistic about our transaction.” Tim Dirks (read more)

West Hawaii Real Estate Update

November, 2012: Volume 9, Issue 11

Yippie! October sales did just what I expected and had a killer month! With 89 overall closings in houses, condos, and land it was the second highest closing amount in 2012, just trailing July’s 91.

In a national survey by Corelogic, Hawaii ranked fourth in home price appreciation with an 8.9% increase in house prices. In Kona, when capped under $1 million, that statistic is 7.8%; uncapped it is 11%. So prices are definitely continuing to go up. Great news for sellers but for buyers it means they need to get moving and find the right property before it costs them more and interest rates rise.

Inventory, the driving force behind this price appreciation, or better said the lack of it in certain ranges, is continuing to decrease. There are only 71 houses under $500,000 available and 124 condos… 4 of those are foreclosures… 20 are short sales. When you consider we sold 56 condos and houses under $500,000 in October alone, you can see we only have a few months of inventory available.

Check out the statistics page for great graphs illustrating these trends… or call me today!

Luxury Real Estate

The luxury market in Kona sprang back to life also this month with 9 closings! The 5 houses, 3 condos, and one parcel of land reversed a three-month trend of dropping sales.

Those sales represented 4 houses, although technically a 5th was included but it was sold not for the house but for the commercial zoning that went with the purchase. The highest house sale was at Hualalai Resort for $4.6 million, with the others being in town. The highest town sale was $1.7 million on 3 acres with over 5,000 sf.

Of those 3 condos all were at Hualalai and they ranged from $1.3 to $2.1 million.

In Kona at the end of October we only had 2 houses and 2 condos with pending sales… since then that count has increased to 9 so everyone can breathe a sigh of relief that this segment of the market isn’t moving in the wrong direction.

Kohala hit one out of the park with a $9.9 million sale in Black Sand Beach at the Mauna Lani… its other sale was a condo at Mauna Kea.

Kohala pending sales have doubled since the end of October too… so brighter days ahead!

Call me today to talk luxury!

State Economic News

  • Economic forecasts have the construction industry increasing in dollar volume a whopping 48% this year to $3.4 billion… yeah!
  • Visitor spending in the state increased to $1.1 billion in September, up 16% from last September. That brings the 2012 total to $10.7 billion or 19.5% more than 2011 year-to-date… great news!
  • The Big Island unemployment rate fell to 7.5% in October, down from 7.9% in September… but the huge news is that it was 10.1% in June 2012… way to go employers!
  • Alaska Airlines is flying direct from Anchorage these days… daily flights will continue thru April 7th.
  • Shrimp Improvement Systems is moving their breeding farm to OTEC after buying out a Kona-based supplier. They are one of the world’s largest providers… can you say more jobs… yeah!

Inquiring Minds…

I‘m often used as a resource for people when they need a good plumber, handyman, etc. so I thought in case you were in need this holiday season, here are a few of my favorites that I have used time and time again:

PSI or Plumbing Strategies Inc.
808-325-2502 or

Edgar Jarvis
Handyman extraordinaire!

Akamai Appliances
Repairs and Replacements

808 Computers
They come to you!

Notes From Gretchen

As I write this, Thanksgiving was yesterday, a testament that the end of the year is close and as always, a time of reflection as to how well it went.

· We are on track to surpass last year’s dollar volume as a company and me personally.

· I recently won Advertiser of the Year from our Realtor association… a very nice tribute to my newsletter.

· Kona’s economics are picking up and moving forward… yeah!

Thank you to everyone who refers their family and friends and you die-hard newsletter followers who trust me to be your real estate expert here in West Hawaii. Mahalo!

Out On The Town

Thanks to all who turned in guesses for my photo location in last month’s newsletter! It was correctly guessed by several of you but the first one came from a So. Cal gal who knew the area well… way to go Laura! It was the Santa Monica Pier.

This month’s photo will definitely be trickier given its remote location and few indicators to give you help in guessing… but I’ll give you one… it was taken on the Big Island. The first correct guess by a non-Realtor gets a $20 Starbucks card! Send me those guesses!

Market Snapshot

Closed in
October, 2012
For Sale in
November, 2012


47 Homes
32 Condos
10 Land


21  Homes
9  Condos
2  Land


237 Homes
173 Condos
235 Land

For Sale

129 Homes
116 Condos
101 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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