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West Hawaii Real Estate Update: October, 2011

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We recently purchased our “dream come true” oceanfront property, and we definitely have Gretchen to thank! I communicated with her for over a year and without her detailed understanding of the market, professionalism and all of the little nuances that she alerted us to, we would have missed out on something spectacular. We wouldn’t hesitate to recommend her!Marzocchi & Gall (read more)

West Hawaii Real Estate Update

October, 2011: Volume 8, Issue 10

The results are in for the 3rd quarter and they are all good! Inventories across the board dropped again in Kona, with houses falling below the all important threshold of 300. Condos are on the brink of pushing thru the 200 threshold, at 208, which would be a first since November of 2005… wow!

Pending sales remain strong, though below their winter season highs. Condos have seen the biggest drop in recent months which is attributed to our ‘snowbird’ buyers not being here… I hope they hurry back!

Sales are still sluggish at 58 this month but for the quarter we surpassed 2010 and year-to-date we are still ahead of 2010 overall. Transactions paid with all cash are over 50% of the sales… an amazingly high number.

Price point wise we are seeing fewer houses and condos at the lowest end of the market and the quality has diminished… which should generate some price bracket shifts in the next few months. For houses that would mean nothing under $300,000, currently only 19 left. For condos that would be nothing under $100,000, with currently only 16 left.

The graphs on the website offer a great visual for this… check them out today!

Luxury Real Estate

Okay, it would be a long shot to try to convince buyers that Hawaii is a bargain when it comes to luxury real estate but this ought to do it… keep reading!

Hualalai Resort this year had two categories of houses… the sort of expensive and the triple the price type of expensive. The average square foot price of $1,316 was calculated off of 5 sales… the truly exceptional ones averaged $3,237 per square foot, the combination of two houses.

Kukio has had 6 home sales this year and their average per square foot price is $1,481.

Now for the “knock your socks off”, “oh, my gosh” per square foot prices of other desirable luxury destinations that make us look like affordable housing!

$78, 200 Severn Street
Hong Kong, China

$76,600 Kensington Palace
London, England

$69,700 Ave. Princess Grace
Monte Carlo, Monaco

$62,700 Chemin de Saint
Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat, France

$62,700 Fifth Avenue
New York City, New York, USA

$44,600 Qai Anatole
Paris, France

$43,000 Rue Bellow
Geneva, Switzerland

$23,700 Via Romazzino
Porto Cervo, Sardinia, Italy

$20,900 Wolseley Road
Point Piper, Sydney, Australia

Kohala Update

Although Kohala had the second lowest sales month of their year in September, it is only because they have so blazed thru the other months with huge closings there just weren’t enough buyers left to sell anything to! They are up almost 100 sales year-to-date over 2010 with 389… wow! Of those sales, 52% were all cash transactions… just amazing!

As expected with slower sales, the inventory increased, adding some in all three categories, but mostly condos, for an increase of 20 properties to a total of 470. Statistically now condos have a 3-month supply (under $200,00) and houses a 6-month supply (under $400,00).

The list-to-sold price ratios vary but for both condos and houses it is running from 5-8% off of the asking price. The good news to that is that we aren’t seeing 10% in this statistic anymore… hopefully it will tighten up further as the market continues its strong forward momentum!

Notes From Gretchen

I was asked by a newcomer to Kona to have dinner at the finish line of Ironman this year… I hadn’t been in years, being the jaded local that I am, but I reluctantly agreed. What a blast! I’ll probably never miss another one. The enthusiasm and esprit de corps was just an outstanding experience and I would highly recommend it to anyone who hasn’t tried it… even if you are a non-athlete like me!

Town is gearing up for the arrival of our snowbirds and by the rental activity it should be a good season. This hopefully translates into more sales when they decide that this idyllic location called West Hawaii is somewhere they want to spend more time!

State Economics

  • Well we are doing something right… the state’s median household income is now $58,507, up 5% from 2009… not a bad way to come out of a recession!
  • August arrivals from Canada grew by double digits for the 14th consecutive month up 15.7% fueled by the great exchange rates… yippie!
  • Sam Choy’s new Kai Lani restaurant opened September 9th… great food, fabulous prices, and a million-dollar view from the old Keauhou Wendy’s location… stop by or ahead call for reservations!
  • Hotel occupancy was up in August for the state to 77.5%, a 1.8% increase over August 2010.

Market Snapshot

Closed in
September, 2011
For Sale in
October, 2011

32 Homes
20 Condos
6 Land


16 Homes
15 Condos
2 Land

294 Homes
208 Condos
218 Land

For Sale

191 Homes
194 Condos
85 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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