West Hawaii Real Estate Update: February 2024

VOLUME 21, ISSUE 2

This is high season in Kona. Now is the time that we put the most properties in escrow with second quarter closing dates. That is why the second quarter is almost always the highest sales quarter of the year with only one recent exception for Covid.

The good news in houses is we are ever so slightly ahead in pending contracts over last year; and there is more to choose from, having finally crossed the 100 mark for available properties. Solds are also ahead of last year slightly with 29 in all price points.

Condos listed under a million are another story. Inventory is up dramatically by 16 units to 67 from last month, pendings are keeping pace at 31, solds were off slightly when compared to January 2023 but not by much at 15.

In the graph below you can see that housing in all price points had 186 available at the end of January. There were 107 with pending contracts, very typical to see 50% of available as the pendings. Closings are roughly 50% of the pendings each month. Kona before Covid saw 50-plus closings a month on average, but with many more availables to choose from. Many buyers are not finding what they want and aren’t in a hurry given that interest rates are predicted to fall in the next 12 months. Stay tuned!

Kona – Houses – Condos – All Price Points

A graph of real estate statistics for West Hawaii, as of February 2024.

west hawaii real estate market snapshot

An image of post it notes with some real estate statistics for Kona in January and February of 2024.

Testimonial

Thanks for all your encouragement. Your attention to detail was beyond what I’ve encountered in Kona. There is only one way to do things and that is the right way. Nothing is left to chance; everything has a process and an outcome that can be defined at the beginning. The tenants that you found for us and the selling process was done with professionalism and care.

Will & Vickey DesLauriers

economic news

  • Hawaiian Electric just got a $95 million grant approved to “help defend against the increasing threat of wildfires and harden its five island electric grids against severe weather-related events fueled by climate change.” The ratepayers are picking up the other half for another $95 million… good reason but yet another increase!

  • Annual state visitor arrivals totaled 9.6 million, up 4% from 2022.

  • State visitor expenditures for the year totaled $20.8 billion up 5.5% from 2022.

  • December domestic arrivals to the state were 633,500, down 6% from December last year at 675,700.

  • Domestic expenditures dropped to $1.4 billion for Dec. in the state, an 8% drop from 2022.

  • Kona Three is trying to develop the parcel south of Pualani Estates and north of Kona Vistas. It keeps meeting with stiff neighborhood resistance but the county really wants those large parcels used for “in-fill” housing to avoid adding housing away from town. Currently the meetings are focusing on the affordable housing component and how that can be met. There is a road on the county plan called the Alii Bypass that has never been built and would relieve the congestion on Kuakini Hwy if it was ever put in, maybe they should green-light that first!

  • Coconut Grove Marketplace is up for sale… got $38.4 million lying around? It was purchased for $21.8 million in 2017.

notes from gretchen

A piece of trivia… all real estate practitioners in the state must be licensed. This includes timeshare and property managers, both vacation and long-term. If your manager is not licensed, you could get fined by the State. They are super serious about this since when an unlicensed person is at the “helm” there is huge financial risk to everyone. There are very strict requirements for holding monies in trust accounts and being accountable to the State for those monies when licensed. If you are renting a place, make sure the person representing the owner is licensed so your monies are not at risk. If an owner is representing themselves, there are strict rules they are required to follow… most do not. Be careful!

Insurance… Again!

Boy, this is getting really serious… and expensive! Evidently Allstate is getting out of the condo insurance business and is not renewing their policies in Hawaii. They are renewing policies for houses but have requested a 100% increase from the State Insurance Commissioner to continue… holy smokes, Batman!

Zephyr has requested a 60% increase in their fees for hurricane coverage for condos/houses and a 60% increase on all their condo owner HO6 insurance.

The smallest increase requests came from RLI for condo HO6 insurance at 16%. My insurance broker, Christopher Smith with Atlas, represents that line if you need an alternative. Palomar hurricane insurer only requested a 12% increase so that might be a good alternative as well.

rentals in kona

Photo of the pool and one of the buildings at the Alii Cove condo complex in Kona Hawaii.

Thought for the day

“The bad news is time flies. The good news is you’re the pilot.”

~ Michael Altshuler

out on the town

A living room with new bamboo flooring.
We are (finally) enjoying these lovely bamboo floors!
A kitchen hallway with new two toned bamboo flooring
A peek at the kitchen floor
A kitchen and dining area with new two toned bamboo flooring
Another view of the floor and the two tones.
Picture of a kitchen with old tile floors
This is our kitchen, pre-renovations.

Mahalo!

As always, thank you for subscribing and reading my monthly newsletter! If you have any questions about West Hawaii real estate please feel free
to call or email me today!

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