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West Hawaii Real Estate Update: September, 2013

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“Gretchen was recommended to me by someone from all the way on the East Coast. Now I know why. Her intimate knowledge of the Kona market found me the house of my dreams and in a price range I could afford. It has always been a dream of mine to own a home in Hawaii, and she made it happen. If I ever am in need of an agent in Kona it’s Gretchen!” J & E Smith

Read more of this great testimonial on my website!

West Hawaii Real Estate Update

 September, 2013: Volume 10, Issue 9

Kona sales closed just shy of 100 this month at 96. The 4th highest month this year. We are now just 160 sales away from all of 2012 so this is going to be a great year for sellers!

Land sellers are particularly happy after years of sluggish sales things are picking up. This years sales have already surpassed all 2012’s with 124 as of August, a 10% increase.

House sales bounced back to 46 after seeing a sluggish July. Condo sales are holding at 33, all good news that the market is strong and steady.

The one area of concern is that pending sales have fallen off some in the last few months. Not sure if this is tied to the recent increase in interest rates or the lack of inventory, only time will tell.

Sellers if you are thinking that you are ready to move on to your next dream property, call me today for a free price opinion!

Economic News

  • Lava Lava Beach Club in Waikoloa made the’s list of the Top 10 Beach B&B’s around the world!
  • Hawaii hotel revenue is running 14% higher than their last high in 2006.
  • Japanese tourists to the Big Island in July – 19,229.
  • Japanese tourists to ONLY visit the Big Island in July was up 31%… Amazing!
  • Hawaii’s state unemployment rate dropped to 4.3% in August. We added over 4,000 tourism-related jobs in the last year.
  • The state of Hawaii has 614,850 people employed and 27,850 unemployed.
  • Commercial real estate sales dollars are through the roof! The largest 35 deals combined brought in $680 million, a 51% increase from last year’s top 35!
  • Kohanaiki Beach Park dedicated its facilities this past summer, complete with parking spaces, bathrooms, and walking trails… check it out the next time you are in town!

Notes From Gretchen

Thanks to all of my great clients, I head into the last part of 2013 the top sales agent by transaction count in Kona/Kohala… thank you! With 15 happy sellers and 17 excited buyers this year, I’ve been a busy girl, but I’m never too busy to talk real estate.

Those of you that have met me know that I never tire of talking about the market and how to craft a long-term plan for owning and selling real estate. I view my role as a consultant, someone you need before you want to buy or sell, so that you can time the market to your life and not the other way around! Call me today!

Kona Land Sales — 1992 through August 2013

This trend comes when buyers find it more cost effective to build rather than buy, it also occurs when inventories don’t provide sufficient selection for buyers to choose from.

Flood Insurance

October 1, the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012 becomes effective requiring new rule and rate changes to the National Flood/Insurance Program (NFIP). While the changes themselves may not affect all of us, floods can happen to any of our properties, so we need to assess our options. Specifically, since only flood insurance, not homeowners’ insurance, covers floods, you may wish to consider purchasing a flood policy.

To find out what flood zone your property is in, go to and click on the Flood Hazard Assessment Tool. If your property is located in a zone starting with an “A” or a “V”, you are located in a high-risk zone. For specifics, contact your insurance carrier.

Out On The Town

Congrats to Tim Dirks for guessing Ko’olina resort on Oahu! What a pretty beach they have there and the Marriott resort we were at was very nice as well.

This month we kept the adventure local… can you guess which boat I’m getting on at the pier? We had a grand time and I’ll share more photos next month but doing so now would give it away! So the first correct answer from someone who hasn’t won this year and isn’t Realtor will win my Starbucks gift card. Hopefully this will encourage all of you that don’t usually play to take a try at it this month… good luck!

Market Snapshot

Closed in
August, 2013

For Sale in
September, 2013


46 Homes
33 Condos
17 Land



20 Homes
23 Condos
4 Land


194 Homes
124 Condos
191 Land

For Sale


107 Homes
112 Condos
77 Land

Gretchen L. Lambeth

Hawaiian Isle Real Estate, LLC
Principal Broker/ Owner

Direct (808) 329-5667

WHAR Creative Advertising Award 2012
Broker of the Year – 2010

75-170 Hualalai Road, D-115

Kailua-Kona, Hawaii 96740

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