Big Island

$700,000 Price Reduction on Almost-Oceanfront Acreage in Kohala

In May, I wrote about large acreage with subdivisions in process in Kohala, one near Hawi and one near Kapaau. An almost-oceanfront listing of 58.86 acres in one of these subdivisions has just had a $705,000 price reduction. The vacant land listing is now only priced at $1,195,000 and includes two legal lots, which means two homes could be built on it. Is this the proverbial screaming deal, something increasingly rare in today’s tightening market?

Maui view from almost oceanfront parcel

Maui seen with the colors of sunset from the near-oceanfront acreage, now $1,195,000 (MLS# 262557)

Is $1,195,000 for 58.8 Almost-Oceanfront Acres in North Kohala a Good Deal?

A price reduction of 37% is clearly evidence of a motivated seller. The question is whether it is already a good deal at this price – or whether the limits of motivation need to be tested. Let’s approach it a couple of ways.

In my earlier blog post, I explained that three listings by this seller offered different configurations of lots for sale at different price points. Two of the listings included the oceanfront parcel. The listings were revised today; now only one of the oceanfront listings on this vacant land remains: 98.57 acres listed for $4.9 million (MLS# 262558). The price on the oceanfront is unchanged, so clearly the seller is indicating willingness to sacrifice the non-oceanfront parcels, but not the oceanfront.

ainakea makai 20 acre ocean view lot for sale North Kohala

20-acre ocean view lot for sale has a high hill with big views in all directions (MLS# 265192)

There are now three non-oceanfront possibilities offered for sale. You can buy the two lots that had been priced for $1.9 million together for $1,195,000 – or you could buy the lots separately for $549,000 for 20 acres (MLS# 265192), or $695,000 for 38.8 acres (MLS# 265191). I’ve checked my math twice. Separately, they add up to $1,244,000 – so there is play in there somewhere if you only wanted one.

Now let’s look at what your alternatives are and recent sold comps.

How Much Does Ocean View Land Sell For Near Hawi and Kapaau?

The 38.3 acre parcel of vacant land priced at $695,000 has only one small strip of land between it and the ocean (Lot 4 in dark green below). On the surface that seems like a better deal than 20 acres for $549,000 (Lot 14C in bright green below). However, you can’t subdivide, as this is zoned Ag-20 acres.

The market seems fairly indifferent to the size of an acreage for sale without subdivision potential, meaning that location relative to the ocean, views, privacy, neighborhood, and utilities are more important in pricing than size. It’s true. Size does not always matter.

What does matter is that this lot is closer to the ocean than the other lot.

Oceanfront subdivision Ainakea Makai

Being almost-oceanfront is not necessarily a bad thing. Even at Kukio you are “front row,” never oceanfront. In newer agriculturally zoned subdivisions of large acreage on the Big Island, you will generally find all the conservation-zoned oceanfront is assigned to just one of the parcels. Only one parcel needs to deal with extra requirements for building oceanfront in Hawaii.

Another reason for this is shoreline public access that is required along the entire coastline. It is far easier for Hawaii county to get a grant of easement to designate the exact location from just one owner than to have to get separate documents recorded for several parcels.

Although the listing says each of these lots has the right to a water meter, none is installed, let alone water lines brought to the lot. No electric, no phone or cable. There is also no paved road to the lot. This costs money and, therefore, reduces the value relative to similar lots with utilities.

The final factor in location is that these lots are accessed via a neighborhood of modest homes on small lots, as you can see from the map. This reduces the prospective buyers by eliminating those who want a subdivision with a gate right on the highway.

Other Near Oceanfront Vacant Lots for Sale in North Kohala

For comparison, let’s look at two other lots for sale which are similarly “near-oceanfront.”

50 acres Honopueo

One of my favorite raw land listings on the market is 50 acres in the Honopueo area just to the west (MLS# 244906), offered for $895,000. Similar in elevation and views to the 38.8 acres just reduced to $695,000, it does have a few differences.

The utilities and access are superior, with County water installed and a paved road to the lower end of the Honopueo lot, and graded road to the higher end, both which have excellent building sites. A buyer would have to judge whether the differences are worth $200,000.

Near oceanfront 20 acre lot for sale with Maui view

For sale near Hawi: 20 acres, all utilities, ocean and Maui views, small gated community (MLS# 231244)

If you want a 20-acre parcel that is near oceanfront, in a small gated community with paved roads, all utilities to your doorstep, and close to the amenities of Hawi, your price point jumps to $1,095,000 for either of the lots listed in the oceanfront Pahoa Beach Estates subdivision.


The alternatives make two out of the three listings look like a good buy! Contact me directly for more information about the Ainakea Makai subdivision and the various configurations of lots (or about the other options for near-oceanfront in Kohala). None of these are my listings, so all my knowledge gets put to work representing you as buyer.

A hui hou,

Beth Thoma Robinson R(B)
Direct: 808.443.4588

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