Update on Puako Beach Homes for Sale

The oceanfront community of Puako, located on the Kohala Coast between Mauna Lani Resort and Mauna Kea Resort, had a burst of sales activity in 2018, with a thirteen home sales compared with five in a more typical year, plus one vacant lot sold. Already in 2019 we have seen a lot with a small “tear down” home go into escrow; one condo has sold and two more Puako Beach Apartment sales are pending.

The appeal of a home in Puako is this: pockets of beach, turtles, sunsets, and surfing (MLS 621293)

Prices of Homes for Sale in Puako – Split Mauka-Makai Side

While the Puako lifestyle is a little more laid back than what you will find in the nearby resorts, the price range for condo, land, and residential options is similar. Perhaps one reason for the high level of 2018 sales in Puako was the availability of smaller homes or homes on smaller lots on the “mauka” or non-oceanfront side of the street. Six of the seven mauka-side sales ranged from only $765,000 to $1,045,000 in price.

The list prices of the two Puako Beach Apartments and the small home in escrow as the start of 2019 range from around $500,000 to $895,000 and the least expensive active listing is a jump to $1,299,000 (MLS 623233).

Typical Puako Beach cottage style updated with photovoltaic panels for energy efficiency (MLS 612392)

Oceanfront home sales ranged from a cottage sold for $2,725,000 (essentially land value) to the storied estate Nani Paniau, sold for $18 million. Current Puako beachfront listing prices range from $2,850,000 for two cottages on a 15,471 sq ft lot (MLS 623620) to $23.9 million for…Nani Paniau, already back on market. The least and most expensive active ocean side residential listings both sold in 2018 to the current owners.

Curious about Nani Paniau? This property of 7.45 acres encompasses 11 parcels, includes a 7 bed/7 bath home…and the current listing comes with “concept site plans” for development scenarios with up to 9 additional homes. Asking price $23.9 million (MLS 623987)

Short Term Vacation Rentals – Are They Legal in Puako?

With Hawaii Islandʻs new short term vacation rental law taking effect April 1, 2019, there will be no new vacation rental properties in areas with residential zoning—and thatʻs the zoning for most of Puako. Existing rental properties in non-allowable zones may be able to obtain a non-conforming use certificate, provided they meet all the other criteria. So no longer can you buy a property that has never been rented or has had long-term tenants, and assume you will be able to rent to visitors when you are not on-island.

Offer breakfast in this kitchen if you buy the licensed B&B for sale in Puako (MLS  625555)

If renting is important to you, here is how the current active home listings in Puako break down:

  • The currently operating vacation rental property at #8 Puako, like the nearby Puako Beach Apartments, has resort-hotel zoning (look for “V” as you search listings) and was built in 2001 so all improvements are permitted. As a current vacation rental property, the owner just needs to register, to be legal (MLS 612392).
  • A beautifully renovated property on the mauka side had a bed-and-breakfast license prior to being sold and remodeled. The license conveys with the property BUT requires that the owner or operator live on site (MLS  625555).
  • Two properties on the mauka side have been renovated and have vacation rental history but have residential zoning. These properties may be eligible for a non-conforming use certificate to continue to offer short term rentals (MLS 614942 and MLS 624293). Owners need to apply before September 28th.

Active vacation rental has a pool with turtles in case you donʻt want to walk across the street to the ocean (MLS 614942)

None of the other current active listings appear to have vacation rental history so would not be eligible to be “grandfathered in.” If you are interested in a Puako property and want to find one that can be rented legally, feel free to call or email me to discuss.

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