Kauai Real Estate and Local News Update

Kauai Real Estate 

Last week we had a huge number of properties go into escrow as you will see on my excel spreadsheet.  The numbers are showing some nice activity for properties that are able to be sold at a price reflecting current comps which is key at this point in our market.  The mainland buyers are those that have been watching for a while and feel now is the time to “pull the trigger”.  Resident first time home buyers are using their tax credit to take advantage of the low priced homes which start below the $300,000 mark or condos in the Lihue area that start in the low $100,000 range.

Island wide 68 homes have sold year to date compared to last year’s 44 homes being sold.  In Poipu the condo market is dominated by vacation resorts which are up to 9 condos having been sold compared to 3 condos having been sold this time last year, a gain of 200%.  In Princeville, where the condo inventory is huge and inventory is high condos sales are up to 17 compared to last years 8. 

The median sales price is showing some signs of life but is not rising as quickly as the number of sales which is creating a perfect storm for buyers; good inventory, some signs of Hawaiis economy stabilization, soft real estate prices and good interest rates. 

For a list of what went into escrow, sold or came on the marekt CLICK HERE 

Hawaii Resort Market Home Sales Improve

Home sales in Hawaii’s resort market began to show a rebound in 2009, with just a 2 percent decline in sales from the previous year, according to a report from Data@Work.  The 2 percent decline was on the heels of the 37% drop in 2008 and is the smallest decline since 2006 when the slide started.  The report noted that the lower-priced homes and condominiums have seen more activity than the higher-priced properties. 

Resale’s dominated the market with only Maui showing numbers for new construction.  Statewide prices have fallen a third of what they were (for Resort Home sales only) since 2007 they have stabilized for the last three quarters.  Here are the numbers: 

Kauai had 226 resales

The Big Island 253 resale’s

Maui had 214 new construction sales and 200 resale’s

Oahu with 170 resale’s.

Hawaii’s economy is starting to show signs of growth with slight increases and the slide backward stopping.  Accommodations and food service — which serve as indicators for tourism — saw jobs grow by 4 percent from the third quarter to the fourth quarter of 2009 and that  increase is consistent with a rise in visitor spending toward the end of the year. 

Visitor arrivals are forecasted to rise 2.9%.  To quote Bonham who co-authored this report with UH economists “The basic picture is one where the economy is improving, there’s more evidence now than there was one quarter ago. [However,] it’s still a modest recovery.” 

Kauai Representative Angers Governor Linda Lingle 

Kauai’s Representative John Mizuno is in some deep kimchee with Governor Linda Lingle.  At a March 19thcommunity meeting here in Kauai some people in the audience reported to Gov. Linda Lingle that state Rep. John Mizuno stated her administration is “passing out contracts to friends” when he was asked about state Human Services Department contracts.  

Governor Lingle sent a strongly worded letter to the Representative and here is an excerpt; 

“Reportedly you responded that the department does this to ‘give contracts to their friends, if indeed you said this, then I must ask for the factual basis for such assertion or demand a written apology from you for such unfounded and patently false accusations.  Baseless allegations damage the reputation of state employees who manage our procurement process and ensure that we abide by standards of fairness and impartiality.  I expect to hear promptly from you regarding this unfortunate matter.” 

John Mizuno responded that he was not sure what he said and that he will talk to his staff to see what he actually said.  He wants to be respectful, he states, and wants to make sure of the language that was said before he issues a reply. 

“How’s The Weather????” 

That’s the question that I get whenever I get a call from the mainland.  I like the question because I’ve usually got a pretty good answer.  This week has been the same mixed bag that we had last week, it is noticeable warmer however.  We have sunshine then no sunshine, wind then no wind, showers then it clears.  It’s truly a case of if you don’t like the weather wait 15 minutes.  That’s our life right now on Kauai.

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