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West Hawaii Real Estate Update: September, 2012

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“As an out-of-state buyer, I was not sure what to expect when trying to purchase a Kona property. Wow, Gretchen did a fantastic job and went above and beyond all expectations. The closing process was handled electronically and was flawless. Gretchen promptly answered any and all questions and the transaction went smoothly. Highly Recommend!” Steve & Maggie (read more)

West Hawaii Real Estate Update

September, 2012: Volume 9, Issue 9

Kona sales were down substantially in August, dropping from a high of 84 to just 66. As expected houses saw the biggest decline triggered by the lack of inventory under $300,00, going from 43 sales in July to just 29 in August. The good news is that the house inventory went up by 15, and I’m hoping that was mostly in the lower end. Pending sales are still holding over 100 for houses so that is good news for sellers.

Condos also saw a decline but not as substantial, dropping to 29 sales… but their inventory dropped slightly so this market is still running low on quality lower end options for buyers.

Land sales are holding steady in the high single digits with the help of Kona Vistas subdivision sales. A new agent lowered all the prices and put a fair chunk on the market, and they have been a very hot commodity the last few months… which really helps out our land sales and gives us most likely some new spec inventory to look forward to in the next year or so up there.

If you are a buyer, this is the time to move, interest rates are still super low but quality inventory is getting tough to find!

Luxury Real Estate

Another unusual month in Kona luxury sales with only one resort sale recorded. This month it was in Kukio with Hualalai getting the short end of the stick… what is up?

So I’m thinking… maybe it’s the inventory… currently there are 42 properties available in Hualalai… if you take out the two highest listings at $16 and $28 million, the average price is $3.4 million with nothing under a million.

Houses 10
Condos 25
Land 7

They also have 4 pending sales with three condos and one house, none are listed over $5 million.

Kukio has 55 available with the highest listed at $25 million. You can see by the breakdown below that the two projects have very different inventories, with four land parcels listed under $1 million here.

Houses 25
Condos 5
Land 25

There is one pending land sale listed at $3.2 million.

Of the five Kona luxury in-town sales, none was over $1.3 million and all were houses in various locations.

There is something afoot, and I’m thinking it is the elections.

Inquiring Minds Want to Know…

Tourism is rebounding with almost a 7% increase this year but vacation rental occupancy on the Big Island is still not seeing the same expansion… unfortunately. I believe this is from the type of guests that are driving this overall state growth. A lot are first-time visitors so most will pick Oahu as their primary destination, and they are unsure of what a vacation rental would entail or the quality to expect so they opt for the “safe” option of a hotel.

With hotels on Oahu nearing 90% capacity this should begin to force visitors to look towards other islands and less traditional housing options like vacation rentals. Hopefully this will not be their only visit and as they enjoy their stay in Hawaii, they will branch out into vacation rentals on their second or third visits. Brighter days are ahead for owners!

They’re Back…!

Kohanaiki development, just North of Hina Lani (Costco Road) has restarted! The 500-home luxury project shut down four years ago and has just recently begun construction on their oceanfront club house, sales pavilion, and remaining infrastructure… great news for our construction industry!

The golf course was installed before the shut down but I’m sure it will need an overhaul of some sort to bring it back to the high quality course it was designed to be… meaning more dollars for our hard-pressed families that rely on construction to survive.

This should be the first of many new projects in the coming year and it is very exciting to see Kona beginning to grow economically again.

Notes From Gretchen

On a sad note, the Keauhou Beach Hotel is closing its doors permanently at the end of October and is slated for demolition next year. The move by Kamehameha Investments is to make way for its new educational center. For the 112 employees, vendors, and businesses housed in the hotel, this is a very disheartening turn of events. We wish them all well as they move through this trying time.

On a more upbeat note, please remember that along with our sales services, we also offer vacation rental management, long-term rentals, and property oversight… plus it is always more fun to work with someone you know and trust… call today to find out more!

Out On The Town

What a fun day a few weeks ago! The races were long distance canoe races to past Captain Cook… the women paddled down and finished their race and the men were there waiting to get in the canoes and do their race back… hundreds and hundreds of paddlers… boats everywhere… a wonderful fun day in downtown Kona.

Market Snapshot

Closed in
August, 2012
For Sale in
September, 2012


29 Homes
29 Condos
8 Land


21 Homes
17 Condo
5 Land


264 Homes
179 Condos
248 Land

For Sale

140 Homes
127 Condos
93 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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