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LUVA Real Estate Blog

If you have been tracking the West Hawaii real estate market over the past few years, the one constant you may have seen is our continued lack of inventory and prices rising. As LUVA Real Estate reported in the March 2018 real estate update, single family homes are not leaving the market as quickly as they were a year ago.

So, to give you some good news if you are in the market to buy a home in West Hawaii now, we give you three reasons why it may be easier to buy a home right now.

1. Interest rates are at the lowest they have been since September 2018. As of March 14, 2019 the average interest rates for a 30 year fixed mortgage was at 4.31%, compared to January 2019 at 4.45% and 5% in September. So, even if West Hawaii home prices ARE inching up,

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The news must have gotten out that the Big Island is free of both active lava and VOG, as more homebuyers were purchasing property in the first part of this year than last year driving up prices in both the condo and single family market in North Kona and South Kohala.

Single family home prices in North Kona rose 14% from February 2018 to February 2019 and are up 12.5% from year to date from last February according to statistics from the Hawaii Information Service. The median price of a single family home in North Kona was $573,500 in February 2018 and $655,000 in 2019. Interesting to note, the sales volume of single family homes rose 55.33% year over year. Condos in North Kona saw a 20.80% leap from February 2018 to February 2019 with median prices at

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Lance Owens When you first meet Lance Owens, the first thing you most likely will remember is his smile. His engaging affability is one reason why he is one of the top salespeople at LUVA Real Estate.

Lance started his successful real estate career in Kailua-Kona in 2004 after a lengthy sales and management career in Las Vegas, Honolulu and New York City.

Lance is an asset to the real estate industry as a passionate leader. He has volunteered on the local West Hawaii Association of Realtors board for many years and spent last year as the President of the Board advocating for private property rights on the island, especially in light of the new restrictions on vacation rentals. He is about to assume a new role on the Board of Directors of the Hawaii Association

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When we think of March in West Hawaii, we think of the humpback whales being here in full force, making looking out onto the ocean a casual sport as you can see the little rainbows from their spouts or the huge splashes created by their breaches. We also think of craft brew for the annual Kona Brewers Festival, which hosts almost 2000 guests each year and raises money for great causes in West Hawaii. We also see many people here escaping the snow and cold back on the mainland hanging on tightly to their warm sunny days in West Hawaii. As you get out and enjoy our beautiful spring weather, LUVA Real Estate shares some great events to help you enjoy your time here or for residents, great opportunities for you to volunteer

What: West Hawaii Community

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Wire fraud in real estate is one of the fastest growing cybercrimes in the country. The FBI reportedly received 301,580 complaints in 2017 and losses exceeded $1.4 billion, and in the real estate/rental sector alone, more than 9,600 victims lost over $56 million in the same year. LUVA Real Estate takes the security of our clients very seriously. We make it a point to provide fraud protection information throughout the transaction.

The entire team at LUVA understands the threat of wire fraud and works with our clients to inform them of the threat and the steps we and our trusted escrow companies take to keep our clients protected. The type of fraud with the highest reported loss last year was Business Email Compromise (BEC)/Email Account Compromise

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As you may have read, there is a softening trend in housing across the country as the white hot market that has been occurring for the past two years is slowing. As Steve Harney, CEO of Keeping Current Matters said recently, “In 2008, the plane crashed, but this time we are coming in for a very soft landing.”  Despite slowing on the mainland, people are still finding that warm sandy beaches in Hawaii beat the brutal winter weather on the mainland!

LUVA Real Estate agents are very busy showing homes right now and our market remains desirable. How does West Hawaii stack up to the softerning in the national market?

Island-wide sales volume from January 2018 to January 2019 shows a 28% decline according to statistics from the Hawaii Information Service.

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Last year, land sales were starting to outpace home sales, as prices increased for existing homes and buyers turned to the possibility of building their own homes. LUVA Real Estate was responsible for many of these land deals and helped connect buyers to local construction companies. During this time, Kona was also experiencing construction on many new projects around town and at school campuses.

However, from single family home developers, to the anxious business owners of the new Magic Sands Grill to frustrated non-profit organizations racing to use grant money for a new community kitchen at Kona Pacific Public Charter School, the delay in the projects was the construction permits. Getting a building permit has been a challenge as the permit process

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With so many visitors and snow birds here escaping the cold of the mainland, February is a busy month for fun events! LUVA Real Estate recommends enjoying not only Hawaii’s signature annual events such as the Cherry Blossom Festival, but the whale watching opportunities now available with thousands of visiting Humpback whales along the Kohala Coast. Lots to see and do this month!

What: ASIAN FEST - WAIKOLOA BEACH RESORT

When: February 1, 2019 from 5-8pm.

Where: Queens’ MarketPlace, Waikoloa

Time for Lions and Taiko Drums! Welcome the Year of the Pig at the exciting “Asian Fest” and celebrate with vibrant Lion Dancers and the driving rhythms of drums from around the world. And, make sure you have your lycee (red envelope) ready with

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Photo credit: ABC Cesspool in WaimeaAs LUVA Real Estate wrote in a prior post, a vexing issue faces Hawaii County: 88,000 homes are currently using cesspools, which at one point decades ago, was a useful way to handle sewage without having to build expensive wastewater treatment plants outside of the main cities on the island. However, now with the population growing and scientific findings that the raw sewage can have a negative impact on the environment, it is time to get cesspools converted into septic tanks.

There has been a movement to use point of sale to get sellers to put in septic tanks before they can sell the property, but at the rate of home turnover, it would take decades to solve the problem. The Legislature is examining the creation of a working group within the Department

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It’s January and this is the time of year when pundits make predictions for the year ahead. Well, not being a pundit, but knowing a thing or two about the local housing market and keeping our fingers on the financial markets, LUVA Real Estate would like to share our crystal ball with you.

Buyers Head to the Condo Market

As we mentioned last fall, West Hawaii real estate prices plunged after the eruption, but started to pick up in November and December as buyers on the fence through the summer and early fall saw that the island was not going to sink or tip over and that real estate was still a great investment on Hawaii Island.

However, the single family market in North Kona has been slowing down and in December prices fell year over year 5%. This

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