Kauai Real Estate and Local News

Christie’s Great Estates - Your Link to Distinctive Properties Worldwide

*****Deadline For Additional Dwelling Units Approaches*****

In 1989 ADU’s (additional dwelling units) was extended to include Agricultural land and Open zones amid a lot of public controversy and outcry.  Since then there have been several extensions but on November 22, 2006 the final 3 year extension was passed (Ordinance No. 843) for those who had filed a certified ADU Facilities Clearance completed by June 15, 2007 to apply for building permits for their ADU’s.  This ordinance established December 15, 2009 as the last day of the three year period that building permits can be issued.

Here’s an update on the new listings that came on the market last week and the closed transactions.  You will see the number of transactions that closed is back up to the level that is has been at which is double to triple of what it had been running at last year.  For a complete list CLICK HERE FOR A SPREADSHEET

*****Governor Orders Work Furloughs*****

In efforts to close a $729 million dollar budget shortfall Governor Linda Lingle ordered 3 days of unpaid furloughs each month for 14,500 state employees.  This will amount to a 14% cut in pay for the state employees.  The Governor has been forced by the council decision to cut $105 million from spending in the current year and another $624 million during 2010 and 2011.  The furlough plan will eliminate $688 million over the next two years.

*****Kapa’a Man Botches Robbery*****

Wielding a machete and wearing rags over his face a Kapa’a man went into a yoga studio on Friday and snatched a purse of one of the students.  Several others in the class jumped the man as he left and he dropped the purse and erratically drove away on Kaumuali’i highway with the police chasing after him.  The man hit several cars and street signs and wound up in the middle of a street theatre performance for patrons of the Olympic Cafe in Kapa’a.  Police caught up with him there and arrested him where one of the officers accidentally pulled the mans paints down while cuffing him.  He is being held at the KPD.

*****Kauai Beef Now at Sheraton*****

You can now enjoy Kauai’s own grass feed cattle at the Shells restaurant located at the Sheraton in Poipu Beach (next to the Kiahuna Plantation).  They will also feature a fish of the week which will be locally caught.  In efforts to keep it local their corn is from Kekaha and the spring vegetables are from Layoen Farms.  The beef is coming from A’akukui Ranch located on the south shore.  The owner leased some 800 acres of former sugar cane land to raise the cattle who roam free and graze all year long on tropical grasses and legumes.  It’s a win-win for everybody as these ranchers work a viable solution to former sugar cane lands.

*****Nice Percent of Kauai Stores Violate Tobacco Law*****

In a statewide sting it was found that 9 percent of the stores on Kauai were caught selling tobacco to minors.  It was the lowest of the islands for violations and Oahu had the highest at 14 percent.  Hawaii’s violation rate is higher than the national average.  Fines for selling tobacco to minors are $500 for the first offense and up to $2,000 for subsequent offenses.

*****Hawaii Has Lowest Depression Rate*****

A report conducted by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration found that Hawaii had the lowest rate of depression.  It was found that 5.0 of Hawaii’s citizens suffer from depression.  So who was the highest?  Tennessee came in at 9.8 percent and also ranked high on tobacco and illicit drug use.

Kauai Real Estate and Local News Update

Christie’s Great Estates - Your Link to Distinctive Properties Worldwide

*****Kauai Local Real Estate News*****

On the real estate front we have had a little quieter week for closing but still showing an improvement compared to last year.  Our market is closely tied with the California market place where in some areas of the state the lower end properties ($250 to $400) are getting multiple offers and sometimes to get an offer accepted Buyers are needing to go over asking price.  The properties in the higher end range are still stalled out but the intense activity on the lower end market is good news.  Of course this is a generalization for the state of California and scenarios will vary.  What does this mean for Kauai?  Historically our market lags behind California so when their real estate sales heat up we will follow at some point.  If you would like to keep in the loop on a certain project or neighborhood please contact me. 

 For a list of what came on the market and what has sold last week CLICK HERE

*****Visitor Figures*****

Air arrivals from the West coast of the US were down 1.6% and east-coast arrivals were down 6.5%. Arrivals from Japan rose 8.8% and Canadian arrivals rose 6.9%. Daily spending is down from an average of $181.00 a day to $168.00 a day.

*****Father Damien Canonization Tour Package Hot Ticket!*****

Even in these tough economic times people are stepping up to the plate to buy Seawind Tour and Travel Father Damien tour package which offers a pilgrimage to Rome and Damiens hometown of Belgium later this year.  Father Damien is being admitted into Sainthood on October 11, 2009.  Born Joseph de Veuster in 1940 Damien administered to the leprosy patients on Molokai and is credited with restoring the island to law and order.  Seawind Tour and Travel sold out of their initial offering withing 24 hours and added 500 more seats but only 20 of those were left last week.  A website has been created by the Catholic Diocese of Honolulu http://www.fatherdamien.com  Father Damien contracted leprosy and died in 1889 at the age of 49.

*****Seal Killer Still at Large*****

The person who shot and killed an endangered Monk Seal last week is still at large, authorities are saying they are “doing everything and anything possible” to find out who did this.  Monk Seals have no fans among fishermen who mistakenly think the Monk Seals are eating Lobster and He’e which is not the case.  Monk Seals here in Kauai primarily eat sand eels and smaller fish local fishermen aren’t interested in.  Authorities are asking was it a fisherman, frustrated resident or somebody doing target practice? 

*****Superferry Files for Bankruptcy*****

Two months after a State Supreme Court ruling virtually shut the Superferry down the company is filing for bankruptcy.  This dashes the hopes of some who wished the company could return after the Environmental Impact Study was done.  The state of Hawaii has spent over $40 million in harbor improvements, barges and ramps for the new mode of transportation.  The state was seeking to be reimbursed by the company which does not look so likely now.

 *****Hawaii Governor Looking to Save $185 Million in Savings*****

By June 30th Linda Lingle needs to slash expenditures by $185 million to cover a budget shortfall.  Additionally $208 million will need to be cut for the 2010 budget by July 1.  Layoffs, furloughs, unpaid days off are not enough to meet the needed amount.  The states revenue was projected to be down by 5% but when the numbers came in it was more like 9% and this has government scrambling to cover the shortfall.  Russell Pang, a spokesman for Linda Lingle, said “There is no easy way out of this”.  Tax increases have been implemented for hotel room tax, high incomes, high end property sales, oil and tobacco products.  These hikes were suppose to meet the 5% shortfall but will not cover the reality which is a 9% shortfall.