Big Island

Hawi to Kapaau – 2015 Residential Real Estate Market Review

With the rotating Broker Caravan coming to North Kohala this week, many new residential real estate listings will be open Friday morning. That makes it a good time to review what sold in the Hawi and Kapaau zip codes in 2015. For comparison, readers might also refer to my 2014 market review of home sales in Kohala.

There was a sense overall of a slower pace in Kohala in 2015, compared with the market in Kailua-Kona let alone Oahu or the Mainland. The numbers bear that out. Only 30 homes sold in 2015 (all this excluding the lower North Kohala communities), compared with 35 in 2014 and 48 in 2013!

Moderate priced home in Kapaau

This 2-story home in the small Hanaula cul-de-sac in Kapa’au is listed for $599,000 (MLS# 286549)

SUMMARY: Healthy Market at the Moderate End of Home Prices

I attribute the lower number of sales to less inventory to meet demand in the moderate price level. The median sales price of a home in Kohala in 2015 was only $433,500, although sales ranged from $153,000 to $1,800,000. With most homes listed above $600,000, and many sellers hoping for price appreciation that just hasn’t materialized, supply and demand were, and remain, out of balance overall.

Recall that in 2013 there were 29 homes sold below $350,000; in 2014 there were 15; and in 2015 only 13 homes sold at this price point. These affordable homes go quickly. The median was only 9 days on market and they typically sold for 100% of asking price.

There are only three homes for sale in this price point right now (one of which was featured in my current episode of Hawaii Life on HGTV).

Red House Hawi HGTV

The plantation-era “Red House” from the HGTV episode is listed for $325,000 (MLS# 285632)

In the middle of the market, another five homes sold for $355,000 – $555,000. There was a little more negotiation as the average sale was for 94% of asking price, and was a little more than two months on the market.

There are currently 11 listings in this price range, so buyers have their pick and sellers should expect to come down on price.

Higher End Active in Kohala but Inventory Exceeds Demand

Here’s an interesting statistic…the only sales of Hawi or Kapaau homes listed above $600,000 but below $1 million were five sales below $700,000. Not a single home sold that was listed in the $700,000 to $999,999 range, although there are currently nine homes listed in that price point. Moreover, the apparent “days on market” is misleading for those listings, because many were for sale for a year or more before resting or changing agents to reset the clock.

This excess of inventory at the $700,000 up price point represents a possible buying opportunity as sellers will need to negotiate to be one of the next sales. And there are some really cool homes for sale in this price range. All but one of the listings is on at least an acre and many have interesting architecture or history.

Maliu RIdge ocean view home for sale

This Maliu Ridge home offered for $775,000 (MLS# 280030) has an excellent ocean view

For value in this price point, I like a Maliu Ridge home on 2.3 acres with ocean and Maui views listed for $775,000. It needs a little updating, but very few of the homes listed in the $700-999,000 range have this kind of view!

There were also five sales in 2015 of Kohala homes listed for over $1 million. Some of these were notable properties that had been on the market for years.

  • The Plantation Manager’s house in Hawi was listed at $1,686,000 after many price reductions (see this blog post from when it was at $2,240,000 asking price); it sold for $1,480,000.
  • The striking contemporary home visible from the highway in Niulii was listed for $3,400,000 and sold for only $1,800,000. Here’s a 2010 blog post on that one (although the closed sale did not include all the parcels mentioned in the post.)
  • The large gracious 6,000 sq. ft. home on the mauka side just before Makapala Road was an unusual sale on the surface as the list price was $1,395,000 and the property sold for $1,475,000. However this sale included an adjacent parcel of land, accounting for the discrepancy. Here’s another old post when it was listed for $2.3 million.

There were also two homes sold in Maliu Ridge II, with the west-facing ocean and Maui views, for $999,000 and $1,125,000.

Kohala Homes Over $1 Million – Interesting New Listings

There are nine listings over $1 million in the Hawi and Kapaau zip codes. If my own showing schedule is any indication, the listings near $1 million with ocean views are likely to be the next to sell.

Ocean view home on 14 acres

Ocean view home with orchard and horse pasture on 14.5 acres has just had a price reduction to $1,300,000 (MLS# 289969)

At Puakea Bay Ranch, there are currently three active listings. The oceanfront estate has been on the market for years, and I really thought it was going to sell two winters ago. The current list price is $9,950,000 (MLS# 284467). There is a two-story home on 10 acres that also has waited several years to sell, but at $1,498,000 is worth a look (MLS# 290036).

I’m especially pleased with my new Puakea Bay Ranch listing offered for $3,495,000 (MLS# 289333), which is honestly one of the few true equestrian estate properties on the Big Island. Covering four lots for a total of 40 acres, the main home has a floor plan modeled on the Villas at Mauna Kea. It also has a guest house, horse and equipment barns, arena, round pen…not to mention ocean, sunset, and Maui views.

Equestrian Estate with resort climate

Rare to find a 40-acre Big Island equestrian estate with a resort climate and views (MLS# 289333)

Sales of North Kohala vacant land were also strong in 2015, but that will have to wait for the next article. Call or email me if you have questions about any of the properties I’ve mentioned!

A hui hou,

Beth Thoma Robinson, R(B) 20544
Direct: 808.443.4588

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