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Kauai Real Estate Sales Stats – August 2008

In previous years, when I looked at Kauai’s real estate sales statistics, I’d usually only look at the Year-To-Date numbers and rarely took notice of the month by month changes.  I assumed that there’s not much meaning to 30 days worth of statistics.  Now, though, after so many consecutive months of declining sales volume… it’s nice to see (even a little) uptick in Kauai’s August sales stats. 

Of course, a month’s worth of sales statistics isn’t quite enough evidence to go Calling the Bottom.  And what does that even mean?  What is the bottom?  Is it the bottom of the real estate “value”, or the “listing prices”, or the “sales volume”?  Even buyers that claim to be waiting for the infamous ‘bottom’ have trouble answering that question.

Jonathan Miller makes the great point that ALL Real Estate Markets are local, and that National Real Estate Statistics are effectively worthless when it comes to specific local markets.  I couldn’t agree more, especially here in Hawaii.  The factors that impact our market are simply too complex to allow us to make gross generalizations about the effect of the mainland’s real estate market, or California’s, etc… not to mention all of the local issues that affect the markets here.

Even though websites like www.hawaiilife.com are committed to providing the consumer with ALL of the information about Hawaii’s real estate market… Realtors are still tasked with the job of assimilating and interpreting that information for our clients.  In a complex market like Hawaii’s, the personal feedback that local agents can provide is invaluable. 

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David

September 3, 2008

Aloha Matt,

The linked chart shows a comparison of August 2008 to August 2007 (including YTD comparison for both years). The most startling number is only five condo sales for all of August 2008 (versus 24 in 2007). Can that be right?

Did you mean to link a “July versus August” chart?

I’m looking forward to my upcoming shopping visit to Kauai later this month. Sooner or later, we’ll contribute a positive data point for your monthly sales data. It’s tough right now, as prices are just now finally starting to visibly come down (not in all cases, but some), and you wish they would hurry up and get on with it. Alas, RE markets do not work that way.

Question about Hawaiilife. First, I continue to enjoy your site. I think it is by far the best choice, especially for Kauai which seems to have more robust past sales data. But, why do you guys limit the number of photos? I have to open a separate window with one of your competitor’s web sites in order to see all the pictures for properties that look interesting. Not the end of the world, but a PITA. Do the pictures take up too much memory? Is it a sales strategy? (nothing wrong with that, just asking).

Mahalo

Matt

September 3, 2008

Hi David,

I was commenting on July vs. August. I haven’t built a separate chart comparing the two, I was just looking at them both together.

The 6 photos are a result of the feed we get from our MLS service. There are, as you know, more photos available for a lot of listings, but in order to show them we have to pull from a different feed to the data which is horrendously slow. If we were pulling from that feed, a LOT of users would simply navigate away from our site while waiting for even the most basic of searches to load. So, we’ve built a software that aggregates all of the MLS Data in the State, and then streamlines it for quick delivery.

We’re working on creating a seamless interface between the two feeds that will allow users to get ALL of the photos (and more), but it’s a programming beast.

Thanks for the compliment on our site. We’re getting ready to launch a new version of the site that will greatly improve the user interface. Right now, we’re shooting for mid-September. So, stay tuned!

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