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When the Local Paper Gets Its Facts Wrong…

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. I  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. )

One of the smartest Brokers that I know, Robert Ferrari, R(B) (Vice President for the Kona Board of Realtors) posted this blog yesterday, and has given me permission to re-post a portion of it here:

In reality, our sales here have improved dramatically.  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

$140,000 price reduction!

(that isn’t in Lava Zone 1 or 2), that just had a $140k price reduction?? Ali’i Drive, Kailua-Kona. Big Island.

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Matt Beall

November 7, 2009

Most newspapers papers are 60-65% advertisements. That’s the real function of the paper.

We have a commitment to keep the mental space of our website as ad-free as it is. Aside from our obvious job of selling the properties that we’ve been hired to market and sell, our customers aren’t bombarded with ads for Cheerios, Coca-Cola, automobiles, etc.

If we sold out to ad space, then we start to fall into the trap of generating content for the sole purpose of driving eyes to the page… and then we’d have to rely on sensationalist stories and “statistics”, however inaccurate they may be.

As tempting as it’s sometimes been (we’ve had some very attractive offers), we firmly believe that saving the mental space allows our customers to find what their after far more easily, and without distraction.

We get on our soap box every now and then, but all in all I think this blog has become a great tool and resource for real estate information in Hawaii.

Thanks for keeping it real, katie.

Matt Beall

November 7, 2009

Most newspapers papers are 60-65% advertisements. That’s the real function of the paper.

We have a commitment to keep the mental space of our website as ad-free as it is. Aside from our obvious job of selling the properties that we’ve been hired to market and sell, our customers aren’t bombarded with ads for Cheerios, Coca-Cola, automobiles, etc.

If we sold out to ad space, then we start to fall into the trap of generating content for the sole purpose of driving eyes to the page… and then we’d have to rely on sensationalist stories and “statistics”, however inaccurate they may be.

As tempting as it’s sometimes been (we’ve had some very attractive offers), we firmly believe that saving the mental space allows our customers to find what their after far more easily, and without distraction.

We get on our soap box every now and then, but all in all I think this blog has become a great tool and resource for real estate information in Hawaii.

Thanks for keeping it real, katie.

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