Kolea at Waikoloa Beach Resort – Walk to the Beach Options

A year ago, I reviewed Kolea condo sales for 2022, as I have done annually since beginning these articles on the Hawaiʻi Life site some 550+ posts ago. In that annual market review, I expressed surprise that 2022 prices continued to smash through the record sales prices of 2021. I also questioned whether the increase could and would be sustained.

Letʻs take a look at 2023 sales for Kolea at Waikoloa Beach Resort and see what actually happened. And then we can turn to current active listings, which include some excellent options for the only “walk to the beach” condominiums along the entire Kohala Coast.

pool at kolea condo on big island hawaii

The Kolea pool area overlooks anchialine ponds and the sands of Anaehoʻomalu Bay. A private gate provides access to the public beach.

Sharp Decline in Number of Sales at Kolea at Waikoloa Beach Resort; Prices May Be Weakening

As at many Kohala Coast condo communities, for years prior to the pandemic-driven buying spree we would see many condominiums listed year after year during the winter buying season, withdrawn from the market during the slower season, then listed again the following year. All of those willing sellers, and a bunch more tempted by rising prices, sold in 2021 (a total of 23 sales) and 2022 (14 sales).

By 2023 we had fewer condos listed, higher price expectations on the part of sellers, and a more circumspect buyer pool. As a result, there were only three closed sales in 2023 with a third closing in January 2024 that belongs to 2023 when it actually went into escrow.

Here are those sales, ranging in price from $ 1,350,000 to $2,270,000:

Kolea Condominium Sales – 2023

                           # Lowest Highest Average Median
Listing Price 4 $1,499,000 $2,320,000 $1,800,750 $1,692,000
MLS Sale $ 4 $1,350,000 $2,270,000 $1,736,250 $1,662,500
DOM to sale 4 7 325 151 136
Sale/Current Price 4 89.40% 100% 95.98% 97.25%
Sale/Original Price 4 71.20% 100% 84.63% 83.65%
Price per Bldg SqFt 4 $1,180 $1,352 $1,232 $1,197
In my market review for 2022, I mentioned at the start of 2023 there were seven active listings. Only three of those seven sold, along with a larger, outside 2/2 (a rare and favored floorplan) that came on the market late in 2023, went into escrow within a week and closed at the beginning of 2024.
Kolea at Waikoloa Beach Resort site map

Kolea buildings 1 – 7, 8, 10, 12 and 13 are six-plex units with larger 3 bedroom villas; the remaining buildings are 12-plex and mainly 2 bedroom condos.

Three of the four Kolea condo sales in 2023 were smaller ( lower priced) units in the 12-plex buildings. Only one sale was of a villa in a six-plex building. Because the units differ in size and view, it can be difficult to figure out the direction of prices. What is clear from the statistics above is that Kolea condos took longer to sell, and three out of four that did sell took a price reduction and still sold for less than the lower asking price.
The one listing currently in escrow also followed this pattern. Two price reductions in quick succession at year-end led to a sale. The final sales price is yet to be shown but the current listing price of $1,750,000 is slightly below what the seller paid in 2021, two years ago.

Kolea Condos for Sale – 2024

While the average sales price for Kolea condos in 2023 was $1,800,000, the nine current listings have a median asking price of $2,800,000. In large part this is because half of the listings are the larger 3 bedroom villas in the six-plex buildings.

The listing prices for the 2 bedroom units range from $1,695,000 to $1,850,000 — generally speaking in line with the sold comparables, although it comes down to location, location, location, location to discern relative value.

The listing prices for three bedroom units range from $2,800,000 for Kolea 2E which has been on the market for a stunning 600 days, to $4,250,000 for Kolea 13C, over a $ 1 million increase from what the buyer paid in 2022. I should add that Kolea 2E is a “special situation” meaning that this is a distress sale with a substantial backlog of unpaid HOA dues, and at asking price no buyer has wanted to take that on.

I still am a fan of my listing, Kolea 4A, for location, upgrades, and quality of furnishings — with the bonus of an excellent vacation rental track record.

living space in kolea ground floor condo unit

Quality furnishings complement the upscale Kolea finishes in ground floor Kolea 4A — note the tracks for the massive pocket doors providing true indoor-outdoor living.

Postscript – The End of an Era at Kolea at Waikoloa Beach Resort

PS — My regular readers may remember that I began my career in Hawaiʻi real estate in 2005 as a sales agent for the developer of Kolea and Haliʻi Kai at Waikoloa Beach Resort. Of course I have written many times about market statistics and condos or homes for sale in those two developments. I cannot close this one without a tribute to one of the first owners of a condominium villa at Kolea, who then got a real estate license and became what many would refer to as a “competitor” — except that in real estate as it is practiced in general we really have relationships best described coopetition than competition — and when it comes to the small Big Island, often our competitors are also genuinely friends.

Johnny McElree, aka “The Mayor of Kolea,” was one of a kind. His passing truly represents the end of an era for the community. Despite the many times we were on opposite sides of a transaction or an issue, or competing for a listing, we always shared mutual respect, a commitment to integrity and professional ethics, and a fondness for our clients. My condolences go to his family, to the agents and brokers who were his real estate family, and to his clients and paddling buddies. All of us will miss his smile and crazy laugh.

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