To help provide some clarity about the Big Island Sales Stats, August 2008 we’ve invited Katie Minkus to share her thoughts on the Big Island’s real estate market. Katie is the Broker-In-Charge of Lava Rock Realty (our partner brokerage on the Big Island) and definitely a ‘thought-leader’ in the real estate industry in Hawaii. She’s both directly and indirectly responsible for a lot of Hawaii Life’s success. Here are her comments:
It’s Time to Buy!
There are many, many statistics and an equal number of ways to interpret them, so I’m going to keep this short, and sweet. The Big Island is a BIG place. Did you know that all the other islands fit inside of it twice and there is still room left over? Typically using “island-wide” statistics is quite meaningless because the markets here are truly “local” and vary from street to street, project to project, and neighborhood to neighborhood. But in this case, I think you’ll see why it makes sense to look at just nine simple numbers.
By September 1st, year to date overall number of sales on the Big Island for 2008 were:
- Residential 807
- Land 803
- Condo 273
By September 1st, 2007, one year ago, overall number of sales on the Big Island were:
- Residential 1684
- Land 1935
- Condo 518
That’s a 52%, 56% and 47% drop in number of sales for our three biggest types of property in one year. That tells a story like no other and perhaps explains why if you’re trying to contact the Realtor who showed you property on the Big Island last year,or the year before, and can’t reach them, it’s all too likely they have left the business. Only full-time, seasoned professionals can handle these kinds of adjustments to the market.
At Lava Rock Realty, we continue to grow and capture market share because we understand that this is not a “bad market” – this is a GREAT market… for Buyers! We understand it takes a little extra hard work and diligence, commitment to our craft and perseverance through the rough spots to succeed with these challenging market conditions. But we are in it for the long haul and to serve our clients, customers and prospects.
“But what about prices” you ask? I’ll give you just three more numbers – 58%, 69% and 51% drop in prices for residential, land, and condos respectively from this time last year, to now.
Keeping in mind that even those owners who bought at the very height of the Japanese property run-up here in Hawaii in the 80’s were able to sell their properties for a profit during the last boom, and assuming history will repeat itself eventually, it’s clear to me: IT’S TIME TO BUY.
I’m tempted to “ring the bell” that signifies we’ve reached the “bottom” of the market, but I’ll leave that to the state economists. (By the way, in truth there is no bell and the only way to know you’ve hit the bottom is after it’s passed and the market has started to rise again.) Ask your Broker – are they personally buying property now? At Lava Rock Realty, we are and we’re proud of it because there are some AMAZING deals out there! Let us assist you in finding your own piece of paradise in this Buyer’s market, and make your dreams come true!
It Takes Courage to Live on a Rock!