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Lack of Kohala Coast Condo Inventory Driving Record Prices

Six months ago I wrote about the diminishing numbers of condos for sale in the Kohala Coast resorts (Mauna Kea, Mauna Lani, and Waikoloa Beach Resort). By April I was predicting the rest of this year would be weak in sales volume but strong in price appreciation. The situation is even grimmer for buyers (and richer for sellers) in August 2021 than I had imagined. As microeconomics 101 would predict, record low inventory is driving asking prices for new listings to record highs. Let me walk you through some examples.

Halii Kai oceanfront pool

Halii Kai at Waikoloa Beach Resort, with its unique oceanfront amenities, still gets my vote for long-term value.

Kohala Coast Resort Condo Listing Inventory – Case Study at Waiʻulaʻula at Mauna Kea Resort

Mauna Kea Resort - beach and hotel

Letʻs look specifically at the Waiʻulaʻula complex, one of two condominium communities at Mauna Kea Resort. In February, there were two active condo listings at Mauna Kea (excluding the Hapuna Beach Residences hotel conversion), and I reported that prices had not yet hit 2006-7 levels. By April there were no active listings, and each new listing got multiple offers. At present there is one new listing of a four-plex Ridge condo at Waiʻulaʻula — asking $1,995,000, furnished with STVR vacation rental license.

Here is a summary of sales of condos in that complex so far in 2021:

Summary – Waiʻulaʻula Ridge (4-Plex) Condo Sales 2021
# Lowest Highest Average Median Mode
Listings 9 $1,275,000 $1,495,000 $1,371,556 $1,330,000 $1,325,000
MLS Sale $ 9 $1,275,000 $1,465,000 $1,360,000 $1,325,000 N/A
DOM to sale 9 0 283 96 79 N/A

The current listing asking $1,995,000 was sold to the original owner for $1,518,750 in 2007 at the previous market peak; it was resold for $900,000 three years later after the market crash. In 2019, it sold for $1,240,000; a year later, 2020, it sold again for $1,300,000. And now the current owner is hoping the market will support an increase in value of over 50% in a year; 33% over this yearʻs highest sale. In this market it might be fair for them to get 2007 prices. Cash buyers, anyone?

Some Mauna Lani Resort Condo Sales Reach Record Prices

Kulalani Building 2 Exterior

Typical building at Kulalani at Mauna Lani Resort — prices in these six-plex condos are now edging over $1 million.

Here is another case study. Sales at Kulalani at Mauna Lani Resort were slow in 2019 and 2020 as financing is not available pending the resolution of a lawsuit against the previous developer. None of the largest, 3-bedroom floorplan in the six-plex buildings sold in 2019. One sold in 2020 for $805,000, which was actually higher than the two sales earlier in 2021 for $750,000 and $800,000.

August 2021: Three condos of this 3 bed/3 bath Kulalani floorplan are in escrow, asking prices from $1,100,000 to $1,250,000.

In response, the Kulalani new active listings of the 2 bed/2.5 bath floorplan are $1,150,000 and $1,195,000; the previous highest price ever for one of these was $867,000 as developer sales in 2006.

My One “Bargain” Pick – at Waikoloa Beach Resort

There are only three active condo listings at Waikoloa Beach Resort…two Halii Kai condos and a Vista Waikoloa. The listing at the Vista Waikoloa is asking $925,000 for a 30-year old condo that sold at the last market peak for $730,000.

On the other hand, one of the two oceanfront Halii Kai condos I wrote about in May is still available. Haliʻi Kai 14D, 2 bedroom/2 bath and 1,317 sq ft, listed for $1,799,900…and I worked for the developer when this sold pre-construction in 2006 for $1,910,600. In other words, the only listing I can find that is priced less than the high prices of the last market peak would be this one.

“Bargain” in this market, being relative. Which is why the old adage “location, location, location” also matters, and why I continue to be a fan of oceanfront complexes such as Halii Kai and Kolea at Waikoloa Beach Resort, or Mauna Lani Point and Mauna Lani Terrace next door.

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