UPDATED | August 18, 2020:
“Hawaii Governor David Ige recently announced that the state would be extending the 14-day mandatory quarantine for all trans-Pacific travelers through the end of August,” Jake reported, noting that the Mauna Kea Resort is expected to remain closed until that time. While the State of Hawaii continues “working out the kinks” of a proposed Covid-19 testing program for Hawaii visitors, many potential buyers remain anxious to travel to Hawaii.
In May, Hawaii’s Governor David Ige unveiled a four-phase plan for reopening Hawaii’s economy. At that time, Hawaii was enjoying one of the lowest rates of infection in the nation. However, the previously well-controlled virus has recently seen spikes in new cases since the state began reopening in late May, especially on Oahu.
For Hawaii visitors, it’s important to know that a mandatory quarantine for all trans-Pacific travelers (to all islands) remains in place and has been extended until September 1, 2020. Beginning Sept. 1, 2020, all trans-Pacific travelers arriving in Hawaii from out-of-state will have the option to get a valid COVID-19 test prior to their arrival and show proof of a negative test result, to avoid the 14-day quarantine.
Please visit the State of Hawaii’s Department of Health website for the latest Hawaii travel information and for the most current travel advisories. Please visit Governor David Ige’s website for the most up-to-date emergency proclamation.
Mauna Kea Resort YTD Sales Flourishing
The first quarter of 2020 was shaping up to be very robust in many parts of the state, even as the country began to shut down in March. In some places, that momentum has actually continued. Despite the precipitous decline in daily passenger arrivals statewide—down from about 30,000 daily visitors to about 1,000 arrivals per day in recent weeks—Kohala Coast real estate continues to make strides forward.
Jake reports that sales within the Mauna Kea Resort communities are still closing and going under contract, with some buyers purchasing homes sight unseen. This year’s Kohala Coast real estate success story has been fed by the early months of the year. Jake recently reported on first-quarter sales within Mauna Kea Resort. These exceeded Q1 sales of the past four years, according to Jake, with nine closed transactions valued at $29.5 million in the first three months of 2020.
“It appears there is a lot to be said about the serenity and safety of the Kohala Coast that during a global pandemic and economic crisis, there is a considerable amount of desirability and demand for resort properties and “turn-key” homes and condominiums within the “bubble” of Mauna Kea Resort and the Kona-Kohala Coast,” says Jake.
Despite the economic downturn across the country, Jake underscores the continued exceptional sales performance within the many residential communities within the Mauna Kea Beach Resort and across the “flourishing Kohala-Coast real estate market.” You read that right. Flourishing.
Jake reports: “Over $118 million of real estate has sold within Mauna Kea Resort through the first half of the year, which is the highest volume of sales recorded within the resorts in the first half of any year since 2007.”
The Future of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park
Beth Robinson also briefs readers on potential plans for the future of one of Hawaii’s most popular tourist destinations. Hawaii Volcanoes National Park is being reimagined following the volcanic eruptions that shook the Big Island in 2018.
“The National Park Service has prepared four initial conceptual designs for a project to replace buildings and viewing areas damaged or destroyed during the 2018 eruption,” Beth reports, “as well as address other aspects of the existing infrastructure that presented problems in the past, like overcrowding and lack of adequate parking at the Visitor Center.”
You can learn more about the proposed design concepts in Beth’s article.
State Land Use Commission to Rule on Hawaii County Vacation Rentals
Beth also reports on an upcoming August ruling by the State Land Use Commission regarding Hawaii County vacation rentals. Beth shares the interesting backstory regarding zoning on Hawaii Island and details how pre-existing zoning issues have impacted Big Island ordinances around short-term vacation rentals (STVRs). You can read her proposed solution to this conundrum here.
No Longer Moving at the Speed of Midnight!
Hawaii Island’s Denise Nakanishi speaks to the speed and evolution of communications and digital tools used in real estate in her recent article No Longer Moving at the Speed of Midnight! The coronavirus has confirmed that virtual tours and digital signatures are the way forward for our industry. Though we may treat email as “casual correspondence”, Denise cautions that even emails can constitute a binding agreement between two parties.
“A 2010 New York Court Case (Naidi v. Grunberg) establishes that email exchanges, just like snail mail, can establish a meeting of the minds and then, can be binding,” writes Denise. “So, as life continues to morph the ways we transact business from snail mail to faxing to a completely digital platform, it’s important to understand that even without a pen and paper or perhaps even a signature, contracts happen.”
You can look to Denise for many of the more technical aspects of real estate transactions. She recently reports on the three types of deeds used in Hawaii and distinguishes between warranty deeds, limited warranty deeds and quitclaim deeds in her article In Deed | All About Conveyance Documents. It’s a must-read for anyone looking to close on a Hawaii property in the weeks and months ahead.
With more than 4,000 square miles of raw, natural beauty, the Big Island might be the perfect place to practice social distancing in a beautiful setting. We very much look forward to welcoming you back. In the meantime, our Big Island real estate agents are still working virtually, practicing aloha and staying connected.