Kauai Real Estate and Local News Update

Monster Week For Properties Going Into Escrow

This last week the closed transactions were good but the number of properties that went into escrow were absolutely huge.  Quick snapshot of our numbers for residential homes;  I checked Aprils numbers and I found that the Median Sale Price on the South Shore for residential homes  is up by 4.69% , the Princeville Median Sales Price is down by <21.08%> but that is lower than the <42.00%> they had the month before. 

On a personal note I just sold a condominium at the Halelani, which is in Puhi, and when I was first researching the condos in Puhi and Lihue for under $200 there were a bunch.  But on a recent search I found the list is a fraction of what it was just a couple of months ago.  Some more good news was First Hawaiian Bank reported higher earnings for their first quarter, they are up 3% over this time last year.  They stated that consumer confidence is definitely improving they still expect slower growth.

For a list of what went into escrow, what sold and new listings island wide CLICK HERE FOR SPREADSHEET 

Visitor Still Missing From Wailua Group Tour

Last Thursday on a group tour to Secret Falls, which is located off the Wailua River, a 26 year old Utah visitor went missing.  The rescue specialist from the Lihue fire station, a helicopter and the Department of Land and Natural Resources canine team are still looking for the man.

During the tour the man began behaving erratically and ran into the forest not to be seen from again.  As of this morning they have downgraded the search.

Sierra Club Wins Lawsuit Changing Development Laws 

A recent Hawaii Supreme Court ruling concerning the Turtle Bay Resort on Oahu could impact the entire state.  The Turtle Bay Hilton had submitted plans for expansion on its 858 acre resort and was required to do an Environmental Impact Study which was done…..in 1985.  The resort has since changed hands and plans for expansion was delayed and the new owners, Oaktree Capital Management, announced they wanted to pull the trigger on the decades old plan which drew opposition from community groups and they got slapped with a lawsuit from the Sierra Club.  The Sierra Club stated that the Environmental Impact Study that was done in 1985 is not current enough to move forth on and in a landmark decision the Hawaii Supreme Court agreed.  

This decision could affect any project on any of the islands that has been delayed, forcing the developers to have a supplemental study done. 

Hawaii Lags In Census Reporting 

The state of Hawaii has been reported as having the lowest in voter turnout and now we can also say we are one of the lowest in filling out our Census Reports.  We are number 44 out of the 50 states so we’re not the worst but we have room for improvement.  Sadly the Census is used for distributing Federal Funds and it’s estimated that for every person that is not counted costs the state $1,200 in Federal money that is lost.  On May 1 the Census Bureau will be going to homes that did not fill out the forms and it’s estimated to cost $60 to $70 for every home that is visited.  One of the big reasons our response rate could be so low is they do not have PO Boxes in their data base so those people never got the form. 

The form is 10 questions long and takes 1 minute to fill out, postage is free.   

United Airlines and Continental Merger?

It’s being reported in various news publications that Continental Airlines is holding merger discussions with United Airlines potentially derailing United’s discussions on a US Airways Group merger.  United-Continental merger would form the world’s largest airline.  The conversations are preliminary as Houston based Continental began studying options last week after the United-US Airways negotiations were disclosed.

UAL is the third-largest US airline by market value at $3.89 billion, and Continental is number four.  United Airlines is one of the pioneer airlines in air travel here in Hawaii and they have many dedicated routes from here to the mainland.

Our Trip To Oahu

People have asked if I get “Island Fever” and after living here for six years I can tell you I’ve never experienced that.  I have found that Kauai is so diverse that I can travel to Hanalei or Waimea Canyon and have totally new surroundings.  I was born and raised in Orange County California (Huntington Beach) so I’m very used to having anything that you could want very close by.  For sure Kauai is very different from the pace and lifestyle of OC and I was warned that if I moved I would get “Island Fever” and would probably go back to OC.  This is not happening, I love, love, love my life over here. 

That being said its fun to get away to another island for a couple of days.  One thing about travel for me now is everywhere that I go I have fun but nothing

The Royal Hawaiian

The Royal Hawaiian

compares to where I live and I love ending my trip and coming home, it’s a great feeling to have.  My husband and I do take trips to the mainland and have done some international travel as well.  This last week we had taken a mini vacation to Oahu and had a blast.  We stayed in Waikiki and did not need a car as we were able to shuttle everywhere or we could easily walk to where we wanted to go.  We saw buildings that scraped the sky as opposed to our “nothing taller than a palm tree” buildings over here.  We ate at the Cheesecake Factory 2 times (!!!)  and just had a blast sitting at a table that opened up to the Waikiki sidewalk area where you could people watch and eat some of the best cheesecake ever.  At night we strolled the grounds of the lovely Royal Hawaiian and had the whole “Evening In Waikiki” experience.  

We took a shuttle bus to the Outlet Center in Waikele and picked up super deals at some of our favorite stores.  Then we went to Ala MoanaShoppingCenter which is the largest outdoor shopping mall in America and gave out credit cards a workout.  A friend to me that “Ala Moana” means “Flaming Credit Card” in Hawaiian. 

We had a great couple of days with some pretty hassle free travel and felt like we were thousands of miles away.  We got to shop for items that are not available here in Kauai and ate a restaurants that we only see in tv commercials at home.  It was a great trip and I’m glad to be home.

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