It’s summertime and the living is
easy. Daytime highs in the mid-80’s and cool, trade winds have
made Kauai the place to be this summer. One of the Honolulu TV
stations begins each weather forecast with “the best weather on
the planet” designation. Most of us who live here do agree.
That does not mean we did not complain the few days when the
trades went away. We are spoiled.
Trip Advisor’s list of the “Top
Ten Islands” in the United States ranked Kauai #2. (San Juan in
Washington was #1 in case you are curious.) This year tourism
has been at an all-time high. That is great news for the
economy, but not so good for parking spaces at grocery stores
and Kapaa bottlenecks. In June, the jobless rate in Hawaii
dropped to a five year low, 4.6%. There has been a gradual
decline since the peak of 7.1% in the summer of 2009. Largest
gains were in the visitor and construction industries.
An update of events mentioned
in the last newsletter includes a continued remodeling of the
old Paradise Bar and Grill, opening soon as the new Tiki
Iniki. The new Paradise Bar and Grill is opening in the
restaurant space at Pali Ke Kua. The Happy Talk bar at Hanalei
Bay Resort is now aiming for a December opening with the
restaurant following in early 2014. Remember that I never give
specific dates since this is Kauai. Among new projects
on island is a shopping complex to be built in Lihue on the
highway near Home Depot. The 22 acre Hokulei Village will be
anchored by a new Safeway. Work is progressing quickly for a
dog park near Kilauea. The Porters, who built the miniature
golf course and have plans for an amphitheater nearby, donated
an acre of land for the dog park and have generously supported
the undertaking. Dog lovers are happy.
I hear from a number of you
after each newsletter so I know that some look forward to a
concise view of what is happening in real estate on Kauai. We
are up in sales in both numbers of units sold and in median
sales prices. Single family homes show nearly a 12% increase in
houses sold and a 16% increase in prices. Condo unit sales are
up 8.5% while prices have risen 10%. Sales of land parcels are
up a whopping 37% with the average parcel selling at $285,000.
The latter offers more good news for home builders. Economic
forecasters predict an annual 5 to 10 percent increase in sales
prices in the next five years. With interest rates on the rise
buyers who wait will likely pay more for their dream home.
Our mainland buyers tend to be
“baby boomers” approaching retirement. Many have done very well
economically and hold no reservations about purchasing luxury
homes. Others are still vacillating and may wait too long to
get the good deal they want.
If Kauai property is in your
future, please check out my website,
email, or call me. I know of excellent situations where buyers
have been able to find their dream home for up to 60% below
selling prices of 5-8 years ago.
Finally, if you need another
reason to come to Kauai, the federal Center for Disease and
Prevention recently published a study that ranks Hawaii at the
top of all states in overall health and life expectancy. If you
are 65 and living in Hawaii, you can expect to live for 21 more
years and likely be in reasonably good health. You had better
book your ticket!