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West Hawaii Real Estate Update: September, 2011

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When I first met Gretchen, I told her how in 2003 we sold our house on the mainland in six days for the price we wanted. She pointed out that this was a very different market, and she was right! This time around, in April ’11, we sold our house in five days for the price we wanted! Gretchen is the most effective Realtor I have ever worked with, here or on the mainland.D.Wills (read more)

West Hawaii Real Estate Update

September, 2011: Volume 8, Issue 9

Well even with all of the “doom and gloom” headlines of last month the market here in Kona keeps marching forward… yeah! We closed August with a respectable summer total of 67 transactions in houses, condos, and land… up 12% over last August. This keeps us on track to top the overall sales from 2010, hopefully giving us our third consecutive year of growth.

Now some of you would not think that this is progress since our prices have only gone up slightly in houses and down in condos recently… but I would disagree. The inventory count is still dropping with overall (houses, condos, land) available down to 748, making it the lowest volume since January of 2006… and this is 100 properties down from January! Currently there are only 19 houses under $300,000 available in Kona… down from 31 at the end of the year… now that is pricing progress!

The overall foreclosure market in Kona has been steadily dropping since its peak at the end of 2010, and now with the non-judicial foreclosure moratorium this will accelerate, leaving less pricing pressure on other sales… i.e. higher prices. Check the website for some great graphs on this!

Luxury Real Estate

Luxury sales in Kona were flat in August and really flat when compared to last August when they had that bang-up fire sale of auction houses. At Hualalai Resort.

The real news this month is in the pending sales… one house at Kukio for almost $10 million and two houses at Hualalai Resort listed over $12 million! Wow… that is some big bucks!

But wait… there is more! Between the two resorts there are four houses or condos in escrow listed between $4-6 million so things are hopping out there!

There are three houses in Kona listed over $1 million in escrow, all in gated communities. Land has a whopper pending for big acreage in Holualoa… listed value is $4.3 million for 60+ acres of producing coffee. All told there were 14 luxury properties with pending sales in Kona at the end of August.

Out in Kohala things aren’t as prosperous… they did have four condos and one house sell and they have the same quantity with pending sales as well, all in the $1-2 million range… pretty light to have much in the way of sales in the next few months… darn!

The one bright spot was the $5.9 million house sale at The Cape at Mauna Lani. Seller took 10% off of the asking price to close it.

The luxury market is selling roughly 3-4% of its inventory a month, which for now is a good start! Call me today to discuss all the great deals out there!

Economic News…

  • Alaska Airlines is increasing their flight schedule from Oakland and san Jose to Kona in March of ’12 to a new every day schedule versus a few times a week… got to love more choices!
  • Hawaiian Airlines will begin flying daily service all year round to meet higher demand from Australia. The Honolulu to Sydney rout will start on December 14th.
  • State visitor spending was up in July by 5.2% despite a drop in arrivals of 1.9%… but Canadian arrivals jumped 28.6%! Guess we aren’t just a winter destination for them anymore… yeah!
  • U.S. News and World Report “16 Best Adventure Vacations in the USA” included three Hawaiian Islands—Kauai #3, Maui #4, Hawaii Island #7… we always knew it was true!

Notes From Gretchen

Hula Dancer

Mid-year statistics have the Big Island as the only Hawaiian island that had increased sales in both houses (5%) and condos (19%) from 2010 to 2011. All the other islands had either none or just one category. This tells us that our price point and property quality is still attractive to buyers… let’s hope it holds!

The first half of the year has our visitors up by a respectable 4.7% to 3.6 million… and they spent $6 billion… with a ‘b’… wow! That is an 18% gain from 2010 total dollars. I would say we are making some great strides in recovering our vital tourism industry… and that leads to a better real estate market… yeah!

Seascape Condos

This project had the great misfortune of being originated right at the start of the downturn and is now on its third developer. But its fate may have improved greatly this time. On October ___ the new owner will auction off 40 brand new 2/2 never-lived-in 1,000 sf condos with a starting bid of just $99,000!

Now this project currently has no amenities and a 30-day rental requirement making it a poor choice for a vacation rental but for a 2nd home or primary residence its location out by the airport (close to great beaches) makes it a great buy!

They are saying that before they complete the rest of the project they will even add a pool… yeah!

Call me today for the details!

Market Snapshot

Closed in
August, 2011
For Sale in
September, 2011

31 Homes
26 Condos
10 Land


17 Homes
24 Condos
1 Land

302 Homes
214 Condos
232 Land

For Sale

189 Homes
182 Condos
79 Land

Gretchen L. Lambeth
Hawaiian Isle Real Estate, LLC
Principal Broker/ Owner

Broker of the Year – 2000
Direct (808) 329-5667

75-170 Hualalai Road, D-115

Kailua-Kona, Hawaii 96740

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