ISLAND REAL ESTATE CONTINUES DECLINE: Numbers Buck National Trend Upward.
This is what West Hawaii residents woke up to on Wednesday morning on the front page of their local paper. As tempted as I am to be snarky about the West Hawaii Today’s nickname, “The West Hawaii Yesterday…” and make a joke their taking the notion of “Hawaiian-time” a bit too far… it’s fascinating that this article full of incorrect facts and mis-information still was able to strike fear into the heart of sellers.
How do I know? My phone started ringing that morning and didn’t stop. IÂ met a seller yesterday afternoon who told me the headline literally made him sick to his stomach. Realtors and Brokers all over the island were hopping mad and the Kona Board of Realtors rolled into high gear. Because the fact of the matter is, the newspaper got it completely upside down, and inside out wrong. (Given the size of the waves this past week, I’m thinking the newspaper’s fact checker likes to surf. )
In reality, our sales here have improved dramatically.Â The chart below compares the percentage change in the number of sales between successive
years and shows that since the middle of the year, both North Kona and South Kohala have had sharp turn arounds in the number of sales compared to 2008.
Certainly, while it’s welcome news that the volume, or number of sales has increased this year over last, it seems that overall prices have yet to stabilize. In nearly every segment of the market, we’re still seeing a large volume of REO’s, short sales, foreclosures, developer price slashes and desperate sellers, all of which conspire to keep prices low and declining. Based on national news and Hawaii’s propensity to “lag behind” – it’s quite possible we have yet to see the deluge of distressed properties on the high end, largely predicted to be right around the corner.
In the meantime, I’m going to continue to beat the drum, “It’s a GREAT time to buy!!” Where else in Hawaii can you get an income-producing vacation rental OCEANFRONT home for under $1.5M
(that isn’t in Lava Zone 1 or 2), that just had a $140k price reduction?? Ali’i Drive, Kailua-Kona. Big Island.