NEWS FROM KAUAI - SPRING NEWSLETTER 2009
As spring made its appearance on the calendar, the cool winter winds
quit blowing, and our traditional trades returned. Many complained
this winter about the “cold”, but I am sure the rest of the country
would offer us little sympathy.
What is new on Kauai? The Princeville Hotel continues its road
toward becoming a St. Regis. The plan is for a soft opening in July,
and the formal reopening in the fall. The new Westin Ocean Villas is
picking up many of the former hotel vacationers. Work continues on
the Makai golf courses. On several holes the traps have been filled
with white sand and the fairways have been seeded. Now the plan is
to finish renovating the Lakes and the Ocean nines, but to keep the
Woods as is. The Prince Course is offering lower rates during the
closure of the other courses.
At the other end of the island, the new Kukui’ula Shopping Village
in Koloa opening this summer will house upscale shops and
restaurants including a Merriman’s Café featuring renowned Chef
Peter Merriman. Not to be outdone, the St. Regis Princeville is
opening a Chef Jean-George Vongerichten signature restaurant along
with open air terrace dining, a poolside restaurant and an
The Superferry has been grounded, maybe permanently this time.
Hawaii courts ruled improper approval by the legislature. Since the
Superferry had never returned to Kauai, Oahu and Maui are most
affected by the ruling. Airfares to Hawaii have dropped in the last
few months so the islands are looking forward to a busy summer.
Interisland fares are lower than they have been in two years leading
to more interisland travel by residents and tourists alike.
The bad news is that unemployment is up and there have been some
closures of businesses. On the whole, however, Kauai has weathered
the economic storm better than most.
Real estate sales are still down, but good buys abound. With lots of
inventory and the lowest mortgage rates in 50 years, discriminating
buyers can find bargains as sellers are willing to negotiate. For
example, a Princeville home purchased for $975,000 three years ago
is now being offered for $598,000. One Emmalani Court condo closed
at $387,000. An Alii Kai oceanfront condo’s asking price is now
$650,000. An oceanfront Puu Poa penthouse listed for $1,595,000
dropped the asking price to $1,295,000 and went into escrow quickly.
In the new Ka’iulani, a brand new 3 bedroom on the golf course with
ocean view originally sold for $1,600,000 - now asking $1,300,000;
and a 2 bedroom townhome that closed at $975,000 last year is now on
the market for $894,000.
These are examples of the reasons buyers interested in looking for
deals should consider a visit. Market IQ says we are at or near our
low and will see prices rebounding later this year and early next.
Lenders are lending to qualified buyers. One of my clients closed
with a 30 year fixed at 4 5/8 on a second home.
A client/investor called me this week and said he had decided it was
“time to get back in” – I would welcome more of those calls! If I
can answer any questions for you, please call. I can prepare a
customized market analysis for any property or community on our
island. Visit my website
www.joewilliamshawaii.com to explore all listings.