The Hawaii Life Big Island team has For Sale signs popping up on oceanfront properties from Kona up the Kohala Coast: residences, condos, and raw land, both resort lots and larger acreages in North Kohala.
My top pick? Lot 9 at Naupaka Place (MLS# 233826), the ONLY Kohala Coast resort lot with its own private beach, which turns out to be possibly the best value as well as the best beachfront lot!
$158,800 below county assessed value.
Price/sq ft = $93.19 vs average price/sq. ft. at Waikoloa Beach Resort = $143.43
Beachfront Naupaka Lot 9 has its own private beach
Most of the oceanfront on the west-facing Kohala Coast and the north-facing shores from Hawi out to Pololu are more like Malibu than Santa Monica: high cliffs offering dramatic views, but not necessarily beach access. Many of the beachfront resort communities have saved the beach for a community amenity area, and while a few of the home sites might actually be ocean front, they are not quite beachfront (and other home sites have more distant ocean view or even only mountain views).
For example, there is a wonderful lot at 49 Black Sands Beach (MLS# 231906) listed for $5.2 million, the only oceanfront lot on the market at the Mauna Lani Resort. There is a path to the beach, but it would not be for the faint of heart.
49 Black Sands Beach access isn’t for the faint of heart
Contrast that with Lot 9, which has a few steps leading to a gentle white sand beach. This lot’s boundaries extend to the high tide line, so although as with all oceanfront in Hawaii, the public has the right of access (and in fact, the Ala Kahakai Trail managed by the National Park Service passes through here), this really is YOUR beach.
Naupaka Lot 9 Beach Access to a true white sand beach
There is no reason to lose anything in the way of sweeping views, either. The Naupaka Place CC&RS allow a 2-story house (or one story with a crow’s nest for watching whales and sunsets), and the building pad could be elevated a bit to create the effect of an infinity pool dropping endlessly into the ocean. Each room could have its own special view, from sunrise over Mauna Kea, to the sweep of coastline below Hualalai, to the sunset creeping towards Haleakala on Maui.
There is a lot at Puako (MLS# 213665) that is similarly on the ocean and similarly priced at $2,750,000 versus $2,975,000 for Lot 9 Naupaka. That’s where the similarity ends. The Puako lot is 15,469 sq ft versus 31,923 sq. ft. for Nauapaka. Puako lots back up to the one road in and out of the community, whereas Naupaka is in a private gated community of only 11 parcels, within a resort setting.
And one of my favorite things about Naupaka is that it is ideal for the buyer who wants to walk to everything: beach, restaurants, fine shopping, tennis, or spa facilities. I can’t think of any oceanfront or beachfront parcels for sale north of Kona that can match this one in the availability of amenities in walking distance.
In general, fewer lots have sold in gated communities and resorts in the past 12 months, because the math doesn’t work. At the prices homes are selling for in this market, it is cheaper to buy a finished residence (even one in need of renovation), than to buy raw land and build. However, Naupaka Place may be the exception: an investment opportunity. Last December a home of just under 5,000 sq. ft. in Naupaka Place sold for $9,500,000. Even if you spend $1,000/sq ft to build (which would give you the quality of finish standard at Hualalai or Kukio), it looks to me like buying Lot 9 at $2,975,000 is a deal.
A hui hou,
Beth Thoma Robinson, R(S)