Lack of Real Estate Inventory on the Kohala Coast – Itʻs Real!

I had three other blog posts to write, but the most urgent topic has to be the unreal lack of real estate inventory on the Kohala Coast. “Unreal” meaning hard to imagine given where we stood eleven months ago.

Real, however, because we currently have people coming to the Big Island to look at property for sale, shocked to find all the listings in their preferred locations and/or price range already in escrow. Quite different from the expectation I was hearing only months ago from prospective buyers that they expected to find bargains as condo owners who had missed out on months of rentals struggled to hold on.

In simple terms, even through the healthy recent years in Big Island real estate, supply still exceeded or equaled demand. Many resort condos sat for years without a sale. Days on market was meaningless for most resort market segments where the likely buyer is coming from the Mainland. At best, we had moved from a buyerʻs market to a balanced market.

The combination of pandemic-driven migration and low interest rates has created a perfect storm in favor of property sellers in 2021. Prices are suddenly up substantially in most of our West Hawaii markets. Here are just a handful of statistics from the Kohala Coast Resort real estate market to make the point.

View from Kolea 7F

View from an off-market Kolea penthouse – tight market requires creativity and persistence to find options for qualified buyers.

Mauna Kea Resort Condo Market – 2021

As most people think of condos, there are really only two condominium projects at Mauna Kea resort, Kumulani, and Waiʻulaʻula. The older but iconic Villas at Mauna Kea also count as condominiums, which is important because a Villa is one of two active condo listings at the moment, the other being at Waiʻulaʻula in the four-plex Ridge section.

So far this year, there are six closed sales at Waiʻulaʻula and another four in escrow, plus two Kumulani condos.  Prices are still not back to 2006 levels, so buyers are not yet paying absolute top dollar. Twelve sales in less than two months; 20 sales in 2020; and only two available listings.

Buyers at Hapuna Beach Residence for sale

If most of the time it will just be the two of you, maybe the modern hotel lifestyle of the Hapuna Beach Residences would be a fit.

The real Mauna Kea Resort condo opportunity for the bold thinker would be the oceanfront Hapuna Beach Residences. I will devote a whole blog post to them soon, as they have turned out beautifully in both design and execution.

Mauna Lani Resort Condo Market – 2021

I have three sets of buyers looking at Mauna Lani Resort condos this week. Luckily they have different preferences and target prices. However, the challenge is real – there are only a total of 13 actively listed condos (including paired and single-family homes counted as condominiums). Prices currently range from $790,000 for a Fairways at Mauna Lani unit to $3,100,000 for the last remaining Residence at Lauleʻa (an interesting option for a pure investor).

Mauna Lani Point Condo - home office

The best selection of Mauna Lani condos is at Mauna Lani Point – oceanfront and ocean view homes like this office from F106.

There were 85 condominiums sold in Mauna Lani in 2020, similar to 2019 numbers. To date, 14 condos have sold, and another 23 are in escrow, so almost half the usual number of twelve-month sales in just two months. With so little inventory, and most of that at well above the median price point of a more balanced selection, the market might just be comparatively slow for the rest of the year due to the sheer lack of condos for sale.

Summary – Mauna Lani Condo Sales 2020
# Lowest Highest Average Median Mode
Listings 85 $375,000 $3,975,000 $1,029,244 $849,000 N/A
MLS Sale $ 85 $365,000 $3,820,000 $992,053 $790,000 $775,000
DOM to sale 85 0 356 101 60 0
Sale/Current Price 85 85.4% 100.2% 96.8% 98.0% 100.0%

Waikoloa Beach Resort – 2021

The sales binge is even more pronounced at Waikoloa Beach Resort, where most of the more “affordable” Kohala Coast condo inventory is found. In 2020, there were 68 sales. In less than two months, we have 18 closed sales and 42 open escrow, meaning already nearly the entire yearʻs worth of transactions from a more “normal” year.  There are still 21 active listings, but they are skewed towards the more expensive condominiums, with half being at the Halii Kai and Kolea projects.

Halii Kai oceanfront 2 bedroom

Two-bedroom oceanfront condo at Halii Kai – the Waikoloa version of Mauna Lani Point

Unfortunately, I donʻt have a solution for the lack of inventory if you are a buyer, and especially an under $1 million buyer. But if you are a seller, give us a call!  Your Kohala Coast condo could be “sold before print.”

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