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“The bionic woman…Gretchen knows how to get things done. She’s a vault of wisdom about Kona properties, well-connected with buyers and sellers, and a freight train when it comes to staying on track and moving things forward. And, she does it all with professionalism and graciousness!” Charlie & Susan (read more)
West Hawaii Real Estate Update
October, 2012: Volume 9, Issue 10
Kona’s sales for the quarter squeaked past last year’s 198 with a total of 206. And we are still 8 sales ahead of 2011’s total at this time… now that is really saying something given how low sales have been for the last two months.
Sales plummeted to 53 in September. Pending sales are increasing, and are now at 204… meaning they are stuck… sometimes it is lending… sometimes a short sale but whatever the reason it is wreaking havoc with the closings.
House sales this quarter were down to 94… condo sales were down to 82… land sales were up to 30. The rising land sales are an early indicator that house sales prices may have reached a point where it is less expensive to build then buy… although pending sales are off their recent highs so too soon to tell.
Inventory… still dropping like a rock… down to 248 in houses and 165 in condos… land is holding. In the under $500,000 range we have 180 houses/condos available and we sold 132 last quarter. That is a little over a 3 months supply… so something has to give and soon!
Luxury Real Estate
The luxury market in West Hawaii is trending with the lower end of the market on the sales side. We had two sales in Kona and two in Kohala in September. To put that in perspective in September ‘11 we had 11 sales in Kona, now granted that was a very good month but wow… huge difference!
Of the two Kona sales, one was a condo in Hualalai Resort and the other a house in town… nothing over $2 million though.
The two sales in Kohala were both in condos, one at the Mauna Lani’s Ka Milo for $1.3 million and another in Waikoloa Resort in Kolea for $1 million.
The good news is in the pending sales in Kona… of the 8 only 2 are in the resorts, the other 6 are in town. There are 2 condos, 3 parcels with multiple acres, and 3 houses. The combined average is just under $2 million.
Now out in Kohala that is a another story! We have a brand new oceanfront $11 million house pending at Black Sand Beach at the Mauna Lani. There are 5 others pending 4 condos and a house in Puako.
Email today for a print out of this market.
South Kohala Quarter Stats
Kohala is mimicking Kona in its line graph trends… so that actually gives me hope that the huge drop off in sales in this area is not specific to it but indicative of the larger issue of inventory and a changing market.
House sales were actually only 9… hard to believe with 61 pending sales that’s all we could get closed. Condos didn’t fare much better at 12, but that is closer to their norm. Land sales are holding in this area but every time a few sell a few more come on the market.
So far none of the quarters has surpassed last years and inventory continues its march to the bottom, losing another 16 houses and 8 condos in September. That makes it official… we are back to 2005 levels in inventory now.
There was only one foreclosure notice issued in Kohala in August, which may be contributing to the lack of low-priced inventory.
I often get asked about average prices in condo complexes in town… thought this might be interesting for everyone! But we all know that location, view, size, and condition all play into average price. If a lot of the smaller units have been selling the average will drop… if a lot of the larger ones are selling most likely it will rise… so keep that in mind… read on!
Notes From Gretchen
This year has just flown by! I can’t believe that it is the middle of October and Christmas decorations are starting to appear in stores!
As it has raced passed us I’ve become acutely aware of a new momentum and pulse in the West Hawaii market… it is surging upwards! In conversations with others they feel it too… agents with buyers and nothing to show them… only 7 foreclosure notices in all of Kona in August… escrow companies with more files than people to process them… you’re getting the picture.
So if you have been thinking about selling but were waiting till the momentum was moving up… now might be the right time!
Out On The Town
I made a quick weekend trip to the mainland in September and a friend snapped this pic… can you guess where it was taken? First person to correctly email me the answer wins a $20 Starbucks gift card!
Gretchen L. Lambeth
Broker of the Year – 2010
75-170 Hualalai Road, D-115