Big Island

Lower North Kohala 2021 Real Estate Market

The lower North Kohala gated communities of Kohala Ranch, Kohala By the Sea and Kohala Waterfront form a real estate market distinct from the market in the Hawi and Kapaʻau zip codes 15 minutes to the north. What is similar everywhere in the 2021 statistics is that sales numbers and prices were continued to trend higher than in past years, leaving relatively scarce inventory by year-end.

Kohala Ranch sunset views

West-facing homes in the lower Kohala Ranch communities mean year-round sunset views plus whale watching in season

Kohala Ranch Real Estate Market – 2021 Report

Kohala Ranch is the largest of these gated communities, so typically reports the most home sales. In 2020 the most apparent shift was in buyer preference at Kohala Ranch meant more sales for large homes on larger acreage, as buyers looked for multigenerational homes and ones where they could live and work from home comfortably. In 2021, buyer demand was strong for homes throughout the Heathers, Meadows and Summit sections of Kohala Ranch. Happily, Hawaii Life represented 7 sellers and 5 buyers in the 20 transactions. The average sales price was right around $2 million.

Summary – Kohala Ranch Home Sales 2021
# Lowest Highest Average Median Mode
Listings 20 $1,250,000 $3,900,000 $2,156,925 $1,913,500 N/A
MLS Sale $ 20 $1,250,000 $3,800,000 $2,105,150 $1,924,000 N/A
DOM to sale 20 0 551 70 22 N/A
Sale/Current Price 20 86.4% 113.7% 98.5% 100.0% 100.0%
Sale/Original Price 20 82.6% 113.7% 96.8% 98.3% 100.0%
Price per Bldg SqFt 20 $365 $1,277 $704 $668 N/A

Although the standard measure of whether it is a buyers market or sellers market in real estate is months of inventory, I have always preferred to look at whether homes are selling above or below replacement cost. With an average in 2021 at Kohala Ranch of just over $700/sq ft, this looks like a solid sellers market.

For comparison, in 2020 there were 16 residential sales at Kohala Ranch (up substantially from in 2019) and the average price per sq ft was $490. Two of the 2021 sales exceeded the $3 million mark, which is something that had not occurred since 2005!

Kohala Ranch Summit Home for Sale

This Kohala Ranch Summit home has 4 bedrooms, 2,858 sq ft of interior, and 10.9 acres of privacy and views.

There are currently 4 active Kohala Ranch home listings with asking prices from $2,175,000 to $3,495,000. I also have the inside scoop on an upcoming listing on a bank-owned home (a failed short sale listing of mine from 2010) so stay tuned for that one!

Kohala by the Sea Real Estate Market – 2021 Report

Kohala by the Sea entrance

Kohala by the Sea has fewer than 50 built homes, compared with over 200 at Kohala Ranch, and only a handful of them come on the market in a given year, with many long-time full-time residents at Kohala by the Sea. Three homes sold in 2021, all of them at a roughly $2 million price point for luxury homes with ocean views and pools on one acre lots.

There is one home currently in escrow, and no active home listings at Kohala by the Sea.

Kohala Waterfront Real Estate Market – 2021 Report

Kohala Waterfront drops steeply

Once you enter Kohala Waterfront the terrain drops steeply to the oceanfront, so each home enjoys pretty unobstructed views.

Kohala Waterfront is the only one of these lower North Kohala residential communities that is ocean-side (makai) rather than mountain-side (mauka) of Akoni Pule Highway. Homes have intimate ocean views; in some you feel like you are living on a cruise ship.

Five homes sold in Kohala Waterfront in 2021, with an average price of $3.3 million. The previous year only two homes sold, and the average price was only $2.5 million. There are no homes for sale in Kohala Waterfront but I am happy to put you on the list to be notified of new listings.

With limited inventory of homes for sale in the North Kohala gated communities, look for continued strong sales of vacant lots in 2022.

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