Princeville – The Regional Bellwether of the North Shore, Kauai

With over 9,000 acres and 2,157 residents according to the US Census, Princeville is the largest master planned community on the North Shore. As a resident of Princeville, I truly enjoy the contrast of easily accessible amenities in the heart of the rugged environment on the North Shore. In desirable resort areas, highly amenitized communities such as Princeville always have a strong foothold in the real estate market. Over the years and especially with the recent pandemic, there has been a trend where “acreage is the new clubhouse.” This new demographic of consumers is seeking a more authentic connection to the aina (land) as an antidote to overstimulated urban settings. Like many, I find myself dreaming of that idyllic lifestyle with a few acres on Kauai and plenty of room for the kids to roam. I would work the aina with chickens and farm animals to keep us company and provide for our Ohana. As charming as this sounds, it takes a lot of work and dedication to maintain the land. With rising property values owning acreage may be out of reach for some.

Living in Princeville, Kauai

Princeville is abound with many different styles of living from single-family homes, to condos or townhomes suited to your style. For my family, living in Princeville allows us to still grow food in the garden, while enjoying the ease of amenities and activities at our fingertips — see blog post: Top 10 Things To Do In Princeville. My boys can harvest avocados, bananas, breadfruit and numerous other vegetables and fruits in the garden beds, and also enjoy riding bikes to the park for soccer or over to the Princeville Center for a Red Hot Mama’s burrito.

In a matter of minutes we can access some of the best beaches, hikes and authentic outdoor experiences on the island. Princeville is a very dynamic community which provides endless opportunities for full-time families, empty nesters, and visitors to enjoy activities and community. Princeville also offers the opportunity to rent your property as it is located in a designated Visitor Destination Area which is very helpful for many buyers who want to split time between the mainland and the islands. With numerous condo and townhome opportunities, you have the option of easy turn key living if you prefer to not do your own exterior and landscape maintenance.

boy plants breadfruit plant

Grant planting Ulu (breadfruit) in the garden

Princeville Real Estate Market

With a high concentration of like inventory, Princeville can be a great indicator of trends within the real estate market. Looking back to 2021 there were 163 total sales with townhomes and condos at an average sales price of $704 per sq. ft. or $942,480. The average days on market was 75 and listings sold at 98% of original list price. Year to date in 2022 the total number of sales is at 62 through early September which compares to a total of 119 sales during the same time period last year. With the total sales volume down 92% from last year, it is interesting to note that average price and price per sq. ft. are up substantially year to date showing the strong demand for desirable properties. So far in 2022 the average sales price is $1,108,083 at $870 per sq. ft. with average days on market less than half of last year coming in at 35 days. This is an increase of 18% in average sales price for the same period last year and 24% increase in price per sq. ft.

Looking to single-family homes in 2021 there was a total of 75 sales at an average sales price of $800 per sq. ft. or $1,687,237.  The average days on market was 62 and listings sold at 95.2% of original list price. Year to date in 2022 there has been 22 sales averaging $2,336,136 or $983 per sq. ft. The average days on market is 25 and these properties have sold at 97.1% of original list price. With 54 sales during this same time period last year, the overall sales velocity for single-family homes has unquestionably slowed in Princeville. Following suit with condo/townhomes, single-family homes have increased in average sales price by 38% and price per sq. ft. by 22%.

A return to normal market conditions, or average, feels like a downturn as it is being compared to the volume and frenetic pace of the last few years. For inventory that is ambitiously priced, it will continue to gather days on market. Conversely, properties that are priced comparable within the current market value are still moving quickly. For sellers, there is clearly an absence of distress among the broad market, so it makes sense that Princeville, and island-wide, is more likely to see the slowing of transaction velocity instead of values falling in any meaningful way. While economic conditions beyond our region are out of our control, the absence of speculative purchases and minimal leverage, even for those who paid top dollar in the last few years, don’t seem to affected by interest rate increases or other factors that would necessitate quick liquidity. Additionally, utility remains exceptionally high indicating that inventory is unlikely to spike among those who have not fully exhausted their time in Kauai. While the future is always uncertain, the island of Kauai will remain a refuge and offer a quality of life that is ultimately the most recession resistant commodity.

people drinking from a green coconut

Enjoying a coconut with my wife and parents

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