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What Will the Hualalai Resort Home Sell for at Auction on March 18th?

Originally priced at $18.5 million; no reserve price at auction. What do the comps and market environment suggest for the auction of Hale Ku Mana at Hualalai Resort on Monday, March 18th?

Hualalai Auction home includes furnishings and art

Hualalai Auction home includes brand new furnishings and custom artwork selected for the home

Factors in Hualalai Resort Real Estate Auction

Factor #1. Hualalai Realty. I’ve suggested in blog posts before that there is a divide between Hualalai Realty and the outside brokers who list properties for sale at Hualalai Resort. Outside brokers representing buyers will show any suitable listing, regardless of which company has the listing. 

Hualalai Realty’s sales people, however, because they represent the sellers, rarely if ever show buyer customers the outside broker’s listings. For the Hualalai Auction property, that changed the day the auction was announced. The auction has leveled the playing field and the home should not lack for bidders.

Factor #2. Other Homes for Sale at Hualalai and Kukio. Hale Ku Mana, the property up for auction, is a lot of home. Five bedrooms, over 5,000 sq. ft. of living space on an acre, it may be more home than many buyers want or need. But for the buyer looking for a home of substance, there are currently only a pair of other listings over 5,000 sq. ft. at Haulalai Resort.

One ‘new’ Hualalai listing is actually a property starting its third year on the market, asking price $7,695,000 (MLS# 261425). The other home, priced at $15,500,000, has 6,600 sq. ft. (MLS# 257114) wedged onto a 38,653 sq. ft. lot, with custom furnishings and proximity to the members-only Ke’olu clubhouse and Tom Weiskopf golf course. That gives quite a wide bracket for the home going to auction next week.

The closest homes for sale in Kukio around this size are priced at $8.6 million (MLS# 254919) and $9.5 million (MLS# 260260) and in my humble opinion, they are not nearly as creatively designed or furnished as the Hualalai auction property.

Kaupulehu Kukio home for sale ocean view

More distant from amenities, this 6,275 sq. ft. Kukio Ka’upulehu home is asking $6,700,000 (MLS# 259830)

Factor #3. Sold comps. Asking prices often don’t mean much in the luxury real estate market. The market value is what a willing buyer and willing seller agree it is.

While bottom feeders might be hopeful that the Hualalai real estate market is reflected in the $4.1 million paid for a bank-owned, unfurnished 5-bedroom home sold “As Is” last December, serious buyers for the auction property will want to look at more comparable “comps.”

At the other end of the price spectrum for a residential sale at Hualalai Resort last year, look at a home listed at $14,500,000 and sold for $13,850,000 in under 2 months on market. Similar to the Hualalai Auction property in size, quality of construction and furnishings, but with a very different sensibility than the Balinese-inspired auction property, this is not an unthinkable price for an auction buyer to pay at the upper end if there were several serious bidders.

One might wonder how this home compares with the Kukio home auctioned last year (also by Concierge Auctions). It was listed at $8,950,000 and sold for $5,770,000. You may recall our opinion of the home was that for a Kukio home it was nothing special. Wasted space in the entry courtyard, plain vanilla floorplan and just okay finishes and furnishings.

To pick one property sold in 2012 at Kukio that has lots of the “wow” factor of the Hualalai auction home and was close enough in lot size and specs to be a good comp for the Hualalai auction, one might look at the 6,127 sq. ft. 5 bedroom home on an acre listed at $11,900,000 and sold for $9,999,999.

Bottom Line on the Hualalai Resort Real Estate Auction

Hualalai bath Collage

On left, master bath in Hualalai Auction property; at right, master bath in Hualalai home sold for $13,850,00 in January 2012

What makes a home at Hualalai, Kukio, or elsewhere in Hawaii command top dollar? Luxury real estate buyers in the resort market will pay for tropically inspired bathrooms large enough to live in, exceptional kitchens positioned for indoor-outdoor entertaining with functionality for a caterer, beautiful outdoor spaces with exceptional pools and lounging areas, and guest rooms in a separate suite with views to rival the master bedroom’s.

The exposure the auction process is giving Hale Ku Mana should result in a price reflecting these desirable features. Call me if you are still looking for representation for next week’s auction.

A hui hou

Beth Thoma Robinson R(B)
Direct: 808.443.4588
Email: Beth@hawaiilife.com

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