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West Hawaii Real Estate Update: October, 2016

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Thank you Gretchen for giving us very accurate advice on the market and on pricing. Your insights got us an offer within 2-3 days of listing, and to the close of a complicated deal, while other comparable units remain unsold. We are so glad you were our Realtor and for staying the course.
The Platzs

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West Hawaii Real Estate Update

October, 2016: Volume 13, Issue 8

Kona passed a milestone in September. The average home listed under $1 million had an average sales price of $605,000 in the third quarter. That might explain some of the sluggish sales we have seen this year. That is a 35% increase from the first quarter of 2012, just three and a half years ago, and that incudes a 12% increase in 2016.

Condos are hanging just under $300,000 as an average, having flirted with crossing it in the second quarter. Condos are up 28% from the first quarter of 2012. and up 2.5% in 2016.

hula-girl-ivory backSellers looking to take advantage of the price increases flooded the condo market last January with overpriced properties that eventually were withdrawn after months on the market.

We now have very low inventory, 55 condos under $300,000 and 60 houses under $600,000. That’s only a few months’ worth, so I am betting prices will go up again.

Notes from Gretchen

Title and escrow companies are the unsung heroes of actually recording a sale.

They have to make all the numbers work for the buyers/sellers/agents/lenders and coordinate all of the documents needed to make it happen, including ordering the deed and reviewing it for accuracy.

Make sure you ask your agent why they are suggesting the title company they are, because it is definitely true they are not all created equal!

  • Title insurance and coverage
  • Customer service attitude
  • Response times when you call/email
  • Ability to answer questions
  • And lastly, ability to work with lenders.

Kona Average House Sales Price Listed Under $1 Million

The 35% increase since the first quarter of 2012 was slow and gradual over 18 quarters but substantial nonetheless. With the average price sitting at $605,000 it will be interesting to see how that affects the volume of sales.

Economic Update

  • If you rent your house through Airbnb you might have some headaches if you are trying to refinance. Short term rentals blur the lines between residential and commercial property, lenders are looking for it on tax returns. If your home is rented out for fewer than 15 days a year, the tax code may allow you to pocket the money tax free, check with your CPA.
  • The Home Affordable Refinance Program or HARP will now continue through September, 2017. It allows people who owe more than their home is worth, or who have little equity, to refinance at current low interest rates. C, check with your lender today, and if you don’t have one, there is a list on my website.
  • Visitor counts top 780,000 people in August, a new record for the state. That is a 3.1% increase compared to last August. Visitors increased from the mainland and foreign countries but declined from Japan and Canada.
  • University of Hawaii Economic Research Organization says the construction industry will begin to slow down by 2018. They think it will be more of a plateau then a decrease after all the high rise towers in Honolulu finish up. Currently there are 5,000 construction workers in the state.

Luxury Sales

There were ten luxury sales over $1 million from Kailua to the Mauna Lani this past month. The most notable was a house listed for $15.5 million that sold for $9.75 million… now that is a lowball offer but it won the day… no details yet but I’m sure it’s a great story! Of note, it was our highest sale in September but not for the year.

That honor so far for the year goes to a 2.43 acre parcel set inside a wilderness park between Hualalai and Waikoloa Resorts. A completely off the grid 3,500 SF estate for $15.7 million. It also would have made you one of only 7 neighbors of world renowned medical device creator Earl Backen at Kihilo Bay.

Out on the Town

This amazing photo is of Jan Frodeno, the Ironman World Championship winner, and runner up Sabastian Kienle exiting the bike-to-run transition area during the race. Five miles later the distance between them became greater and Jan finished roughly 4 minutes ahead of Sebastian in a hard fought race that saw Jan improve his previous win time from 2015 by 8 minutes.

So if he would have run the same time as last year he would have finished 4 minutes after Sebastian this year, and like a lot of things in life that little bit of extra effort really payed off for Jan … congrats!

Market Snapshot

Closed in
   September, 2016
For Sale in
October, 2016

35 Homes
33 Condos
5 Land


23 Homes
15 Condos
7 Land

249 Homes
184 Condos
204 Land

For Sale

132 Homes
205 Condos
65 Land

Gretchen Osgood
Hawaiian Isle Real Estate, LLC
Principal Broker/ Owner
Direct (808) 329-5667

Top 100 Agents in Hawaii – 2013 & 2014
Creative Advertising Award – 2012
Broker of the Year – 2010


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