Kauai real estate update


Kauai | CC Photo by Jeff Kubina
The Kauai real estate market continues to struggle with a foreclosure rate well above the national average and the median rate for the state of Hawaii. Although the rate of home sales on the Garden Isle increased somewhat in the most recent tracking period, the median price for both single family homes and condominiums on Kauai fell by double digits.

The issues with Kauai’s distressed housing market were summarized in a November 11, 2010 report from the Honolulu Star Advertiser, which noted:

Real estate foreclosures in Hawaii settled a bit in a national ranking and fell below an August peak, though the count was still up from a year earlier. Data released yesterday by real estate research firm RealtyTrac showed there were 1,271 foreclosure filings against real estate in Hawaii in October. That was up 37 percent from 925 during the same month last year, but was below 1,617 filings in September and the record 1,629 in August. Hawaii’s ranking nationally improved to 12th highest last month, moving out of the top 10 states with the most dismal foreclosure rates after reaching its worst spot — ninth — in September. The local foreclosure rate equated to one filing for every 404 homes in the state. The national rate was one filing per 389 homes… Kauai’s rate was one filing per 320 households, based on 93 filings.

The contrasting trajectories of median prices and sales volume were mentioned in a December 6, 2010 report from Pacific Business News. The article by Janis L. Magin stated:

Home sales statistics for Maui, Kauai and Hawaii Counties were released Monday, and while November sales showed a slight decline in most categories, the year-to-date figures tell a different story. Sales were up across the board, while prices fell… Kauai condo sales were up 50 percent when compared to last year, with the bulk of those sales in the Lihue district, which saw a 36 percent increase from last year. Prices tell a different story. The median price was down nearly across the board, except for single-family homes on Kauai, where the median price rose 5 percent to $475,000, up from $453,000 during the first 11 months of 2009.

Both luxury properties and public housing projects have run into trouble during recent economic woes, according to two articles from the Garden Island. According to the first, a piece from October 21, 2010:

In a real-estate market inundated with distressed properties and sophisticated, bargain-hunting buyers, it may take an auction to sell a high-end home. Or, in the case of a half-dozen island luxury properties, a Concierge Auction… The properties, five of which are located within a private, gated subdivision adjacent to a reservoir on Kaua‘i’s North Shore known as Mali‘e Wai, and the other, known as the Villa at Secret Beach on Kauapea Road in Kilauea, sold at auction Thursday, New York City-based luxury real-estate auction firm Concierge Auctions announced Saturday. The six properties, once on the market for a total of $30 million, sold for a collective price of $8,626,750 at the no-minimum, no-reserve, live, on-site auction.

The second article, composed by Leo Azambuja and released on November 11, 2010, noted:

After having trouble finding qualified tenants for an affordable rental project in Waipouli, the developers asked for changes in a housing agreement that would allow them to rent half of the 82-unit project on the open market. The amended agreement that the County Council approved on a 5-2 vote, however, also allows the developers to sell the units on the open market before a previously established, 10-year restriction period on such a move expires, as long as the county gets first choice of purchase.

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