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West Hawaii Real Estate Update: September, 2016

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Having purchased and sold several properties with Gretchen’s assistance, we are continually impressed with her professionalism, courtesy and knowledge. Gretchen has our highest recommendation.
The Kanes

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West Hawaii Real Estate Update

September, 2016: Volume 13, Issue 7

 Kona sales in August were strong, even in condos, which was a nice change of pace this summer.

An interesting piece is the type and price range of some of the condos. There is an estate that is selling off a large volume of Kona Kai condos, and along with a few other sellers the project has sold 15 so far this year. The average sales price is… $36,000. No, that isn’t a typo. These are very old wood built condos that are on leasehold land and the lease is not expected to be renewed in 2034. But if you want just the tiniest bit of paradise, it will cost you only the price of a fancy new car!

House sales saw 12 closings at $500,000 or under and we have 28 in this range pending… very strong. In the next bracket up, $500K-600K, we sold 6 and there are 22 pending… out of an overall pending of 85. So 50 of the 85 are under $600,000… wow!


hula-girl-ivory back

Notes from Gretchen

Referrals are the backbone of my business and I always so appreciate the great referrals I receive from my past clients and friends… thank you! If you have any question on your home or need a handyman, electrician or plumber, feel free to give me a call for a referral, I’m here to help.

On another note, I was reminded recently that it is critical to keep your wills and trusts current as well as the beneficiaries of your life insurance and pension or retirement plan. You never know when a situation or illness might strike and leave you unable to address the changes you wanted to make… don’t delay, do it today. Aloha!

Kona Condo Sales Under $1 Million

Great news this month… looks like there was some pent-up demand as condo sales jumped up 38% from July to August… yay! It’s only been this high or higher seven times in the last three years!

Economic Update

  • If you ever wanted a taste of old Hawaii but wanted it with style… you might not have to look any farther than the Kamuela Inn. Recently renovated rooms are available in this chic paniolo inn.
  • Honolulu purchase loan originations are down 16% so far this year. The reports attribute this to lack of affordable properties as the underlying cause.
  • Completed construction projects in the state hit a new record in 2015 of $8.1 billion. As of March 2016 there were 40,200 construction jobs in the state, also a new record.
  • AAA’s Five Diamond designation was awarded to the recently renovated Four Seasons Resort Lanai. The only other Five Diamond hotels in Hawaii are the Four Seasons Resort at Hualalai, the Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea and the Ritz-Carlton Kapalua Maui.
  • Sharwil avocados, thought by many to be the world’s best gourmet avocado, are again being exported from Hawaii! In 1992 export of them was banned because of the fruit fly, but recent easing of the US Department of Agriculture export regulations has allowed this type with its tough skin to be exported since it is a low risk of carrying the pesky critters.

Luxury Sales

Having already mentioned in the Economic News, the Four Seasons at Hualalai I thought it would be fun to see what the sales looked like so far this year and what their prices were — so here goes!

In condos someone scored with a $1.2 million dollar purchase of a 2,000 sf upstairs ocean view foreclosure condo but the average sales price of the 9 sales year-to-date is actually $3.4 million. The highest sale was $10 million but this was a free standing house with its own pool, so not what you think of as a condo.

Out on the Town


At the end of July I had the most amazing opportunity to attend the naval RIMPAC exercise as a guest of the Navy and the Salvation Army, which I support.  As you can see from the photo (that’s us in the back row, the tall people) we were flown out to an aircraft carrier for the day.  What an adventure!  First they put you in a life jacket, then a really uncomfortable helmet and then strap you into your backwards facing seat with a 4-star crash belt.  Now just imagine… you are in a small prop airplane, with only two small windows (think very dark), there is almost no air conditioning and it is summer in the Pacific.  Yes, it stressed every one of my anxiety points but I was bound and determined not to chicken out… just breathe!

Well now that I have set the stage the next part was almost easy… after about an hour of flying the crew started screaming and waving their arms like mad and suddenly we came to an incredibly abrupt stop with a tail hook landing… yikes!

After disembarking we had lunch with the Admiral and toured the 1,000 ft vessel… exhausting, 10,000 walking steps and probably another 100 steps on tiny staircases they use on ships… but we had a blast!  The Navy does an amazing job since almost all 5,000 sailors on board are under 24 years old.  I don’t know about you but at that age I might let them work on my car but probably would think twice about my jet!

They let us up on deck to watch the jets land and take off… no way to describe the incredible noise and the deck hands work in it day in and day out.  They have to use only hand signals for everything since they can’t yell loud enough.

So now it is time for us to go home… back on the plane, now it is 4pm so it is REALLY hot and there is NO air conditioning this time and to make matters worse we are backed up to a catapult launch and the exhaust from the plane is filling the cabin… oy vey!  Well after 20 minutes of waiting the crew started screaming and waving their arms again and you guessed it away we went!  It was like watching time stand still… your arms raise up involuntarily and they look like something out of Wile E. Coyote in suspended animation.  And just as you are thinking wow, this is cool, it stops and it’s as if aren’t moving at all… and then you drop about 100 feet straight down as you clear the end of the ship… think elevator falling!  An hour later we were back at Hickam Air Force base and hitching a ride to the airport with one of the other attendees.   Thank you Navy and Salvation Army for an experience I won’t ever forget… go Navy!

Market Snapshot

Closed in
   August, 2016
For Sale in
September, 2016

40 Homes
38 Condos
10 Land


24 Homes
31 Condos
3 Land

259 Homes
209 Condos
212 Land

For Sale

127 Homes
201 Condos
72 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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