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Monthly Newsletter Archive: October 2009

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West Hawaii

Real Estate Update

Volume 6 • Issue 10
October 2009


Great news again this month for Kona… with the reporting of the 3rd quarter statistics, we currently are seeing a trend that says our sales are getting stronger… yippie!

We closed the 3rd quarter with 127 total sales only 4 less than our 2nd quarter. That is two back-to-back strong quarters over 100 after 3 consecutive ones under. Our under $1 million inventory is back down to 781 (houses, condos, land)… the lowest we have seen since October ‘08 after it tried to break 900 earlier this year.

The pending sales, a good indicator of sales to come in the next few months, are still over 100 again for the last 5 out of 6 months.

Kona is now only 10% off of 2008’s year-to-date totals… and if we stay on course of 40+ sales a month we might just meet or beat it. This would turn the tide on 4 consecutive years of progressively less sales… wouldn’t that be great?

I promised to tell you when I thought we had ‘found’ the bottom and it looks like we may have in some categories. Baring any unforeseen financial crisis, I think we could be there in Kona. So don’t put off buying much longer… call today!

Kohala Update

Kohala ended September with 40 sales, the most in one month since February ‘08… way to go! This also pushed the 3rd quarter totals to 101, the highest since March ‘08, ending a five quarter streak of all under 100.

Inventories are holding and not increasing, but we were up a few houses and down a few condos. Condos are getting close to dropping under 300… something we haven’t seen since ‘07… wouldn’t that be great? I’m often asked if the inventories are dropping because of sales or seller’s taking them off of the market. The statistics showed 44 properties ‘expired’ and weren’t relisted with the same agent in the 3rd quarter.

Pending sales in Kohala are back under 60 indicating that their may not be a whole lot of sales in the remaining months of ‘09, but we’ll see!

Luxury Real Estate

Luxury sales have been slow since August of ‘08, but they have recently sprung back to life in West Hawaii! This month Hualalai Resort was the big recipient with 7 total sales… 3 condos, 3 houses and 1 lot… or $35.2 million in sales… wowza! To put this in perspective, the resort had had only 9 sales year-to-date representing $43.2 million by the end of August, so they almost doubled their sales for the year in one month!

And as if that wasn’t enough to polish off their year, Hualalai still has 4 in escrow—2 houses and 2 condos representing another $20 million.

Kukio is getting in on the action, too, with 3 lots in escrow totaling $17.3 million.

The list to sold price ratio in Kukio and Hualalai this year is running at a stunning 87% which is probably why these two projects have been rated a “buy” for the super rich.

The other sale was in Kailua town for just over $1 million in Kahakai Estates and there is one in escrow at Kalana Io.

In Kohala things were a little quieter with 2 land sales totaling $2.5 million and 2 houses at the Mauna Kea for $5.8 million. There are also two in escrow, a foreclosure at the Mauna Kea and a house in Puako, both under $2 million.

So if a luxury purchase has been “haunting” your dreams, now might be the time to try to fulfill it! Call me today to find out…

Economic News

The sales held over 30 for the 2nd month in a row, a first since the Spring of 2008. Houses led the way but condos weren’t far behind… although land was a ‘no show’ this month.

Escrows are up… way up! They were at 70 for the first time since August of 2007… yippie! Houses by far are the leader here with 41 so look for some strong closings in the months to come.

Inventories are down here also… off 13% from their November 2008 highs by 116 properties. Houses are under 200 for the first time since June 2007.

Year-to-date overall sales numbers show a great improvement up 5% over last month to only 25% off of 2008… more great news!

Notes from Gretchen

September is often a little slower than the rest of the year since our summer visitors return home… but first time home buyers filled the niche this year! Also, the first investors showed up in the last month snatching up the great condo buys… yeah!

I’m still one of the top 20 agents in West Hawaii in resale transactions and the office is still in the top 20 as well, but it has been a fight to stay there. Several offices have given up and merged while others have just gone out of business… crazy times in real estate but we are still here!

We are optimist that the coming months will bring great deals for our buyers and sales for sellers who still want to sell in this market. If either of these appeal to you… call today!


“We have personally sold four homes on our own over the last 15 years. HOWEVER, with the challenges of a difficult economy/housing market in Kona, we needed help! We subscribed to Gretchen’s newsletter and were always impressed with her honesty and forthright assessment of the changing market. She has great insight and professionalism. She was able to bring in a buyer in two days! The buyers loved our home and we closed within two weeks! We are privileged to have known her and would highly recommend her services to anyone who asks.”

The Lees

Market Snapshot

Closed in September 2009
For Sale in October 2009
s p a c e
24 Homes
19 Homes
387 Homes
200 Homes
14 Condos
14 Condos
330 Condos
304 Condos
6 Land
7 Land
286 Land
116 Land