At the end of December, I predicted that the Halii Kai developer would sell out this season, that listings below $500,000 would move (especially the short sales), and that one of the two oceanfront listings seemed a best buy – and, therefore, that serious buyers should not hesitate.
In mid-March, it looks like for once that was a good call and not just wishful thinking or drinking my own Koolaid:
- Only 5 Halii Kai developer units remain: 4 in the building housing the models and sales office, and one in the adjacent building.
- Only one short sale listing is available (MLS# 248005) and the bank just required us to INCREASE its asking price to $389,000!
- Our oceanfront Halii Kai listing got a cash, quick-close offer and sold for 7% more ($1,125,000) than we’d sold our listing on the opposite side of the building ($1,050,000) just 4 months earlier.
- For the first time, two non-oceanfront, non-distressed resale listings at Halii Kai are in escrow. Up until now, the only non-distressed resales have been on the oceanfront.
This ocean view Penthouse in Building 8 (MLS# 249216) is the mirror image of the one in escrow, asking price $1,050,000.
What’s Next for the Halii Kai Market?
While appraisers are now checking “stable market” rather than “declining market” for most Kohala Coast resort communities, prospective buyers often ask me what I think about the notion of shadow inventory. I tell them that all real estate is local and national statistics may or may not apply to a given community on the Big Island.
For example, we simply have not seen short sales, foreclosures, or even a big drop in prices at established condo communities like Mauna Lani Terrace and Mauna Lani Point, whose locations are similar to Halii Kai and Kolea in their proximity to the water.
Specifically, because we sell so much at these projects, we regularly get to see the condo property information certificates prepared by the management companies for the associations. That’s how I know that at Halii Kai there are only six owners currently delinquent on dues (less than the number of short sales) and at Kolea only five (there are four short sales and one REO with pending sales – so someone else is behind). Having tracked listings that failed to sell, I am aware of 3 units at Halii Kai and one at Kolea still in the foreclosure pipeline.
That is not a lot of distressed inventory. Of course there will always be unforeseen situations that require an owner to sell, and in some cases, these will be “underwater” situations where hardship such as divorce or job loss qualifies those sellers for a short sale. But prospective buyers should not expect to get those properties at last year’s prices. Remember: we only know where we bottomed out when we can see it in our rear view mirror…
A hui hou,
Beth Thoma Robinson, R(B)