West Hawaii Real Estate Update: April 2023


The end of the quarter saw Kona having its highest closing total for March since September, very good news. Even better is that the pendings as of this writing are higher than March’s 130. April is  often our highest closing month each year, and I think it will be this year. But without a doubt, the second quarter has been the highest since 2010. So unless there is a pandemic, here’s hoping that is true this year!

But you can tell by the graph that we are off to a slow start for the year. We are down to 184 sold properties for the first quarter compared to 290 last year, or 36%. But wait! That was the good news, we are down 58% from 2021 sales.

The bright spot in all of this, from my vantage point, is that sales on the mainland are leading to tax-deferred 1031 exchanges and those buyers are less price sensitive since they just sold theirs at solid profit, hence the need for the exchange. Most of them are also all cash, which makes the transactions simpler than with lending since almost all of our condo sales now are requiring 60-day closings. Houses with lending are closing in 45-days.

Inventory is still running light so there isn’t much for buyers to choose from, which leads to its own set of issues if they can’t wait.

Call if you would like additional info!


Gretchen has been a godsend in making our Hawaii dream a reality, without her we wouldn’t have gotten our dream home. She is very knowledgeable, kept us informed every step of the way, and offered great advice. In addition, her connections and reputation in the real-estate community helped our offer stand out above all the others. Her commitment to her clients doesn’t stop when the sale is closed, she ensures that we have everything we need to make our new house a home.

Anne & Brad Bird

Kona Sales: Houses – Condos -Land from 2003 to 2023

Economic News

Notes From Gretchen

You can’t discuss vacation rental occupancy without tying it back to our tourism numbers, and last year we had a million fewer guests to the state than in 2019. That is a huge amount of missing room nights for vacation rentals, and it is showing in the industry’s lackluster performance in Kona with only an overall 63% occupancy rate so far in 2023.

As with most industries, a lot of vacation rental companies are understaffed, and it shows. Our office is fully staffed, and we work diligently to make sure all guests and owners get the attention they need and deserve. If that is important to you, please check out our rental services on our websites or call us to discuss your management or reservation needs.


Rentals in Kona

Available Now

Kona Sea Ridge 2BD/2BA Beautifully furnished and updated… Upstairs condo with ocean, mountain and sunset views.
Kona Sea Ridge 2/2 with Den Furnished and updated… Upstairs condo with AC and Ocean View
Kona Sea Ridge 2/2 with Den Furnished and updated… Upstairs condo with AC and Ocean View

Thought for the Day

“When you have a dream, you’ve got to grab it and never let go.”

~ Carol Burnett

Out on the Town

Well this story is a flashback… March and April were so busy with clients there wasn’t much time for play so I thought I would take you back to an unforgettable trip. My apologies if you have seen this before, I think it was in the newsletter years ago but it is a great story!

Randy was fresh off of back surgery (6 weeks) and he had to get cleared by the surgeon to even go. We took the COD (the delivery plane) out to the aircraft carrier, the USS John C Stennis, which was in an unknown location off of Oahu for RIMPAC military exercises in 2016. Landing on a moving ship was interesting but taking back off it pulls G’s and you are seated facing the back of the plane… totally electrifying!  

I stood on the deck within reach of landing fighter jets (yes, just like Top Gun!) as these pictures that we took ourselves show. There were about 5,000 sailors on board, it is about 1,000 feet long and I can tell you they didn’t let us use the elevators. We had to walk up and down between the decks, if memory serves me correctly I think there were 10… not wide easy staircases, vertical ones… you don’t need the gym on that ship!

The trip was compliments of the Salvation Army, whom I have supported for many years. Their donor services gal was friends with the captain and they invited about a dozen of us on the trip. If you ever get the opportunity, go, it was the trip of a lifetime!

selfie of gretchen and randy on aircraft carrier

West Hawaii Real Estate Market Snapshot



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