Kauai Newsletter Spring 2011

Joseph “Joe” Williams, RA
Century 21 All Islands
Princeville, HI 96722
Cell: 808 652 2984 
Fax: 808 826 9884



All seasons are beautiful in Kauai, but spring is special.  We survived a tsunami warning that did not materialize.  We would have slept through all of the excitement if not for three a.m. phone calls from worried relatives on the mainland.  The heart wrenching photos and news reports from Japan made us realize how lucky we were. 

Japanese visitors are projected to be down, but that will impact Oahu and Maui more than Kauai.   Kauai tourist numbers are back, surpassing the peak year, 2007.  The 2010 census shows 67,000 permanent residents on island.  Of all counties, Kauai had the smallest growth rate in the state. Although we have a distinctly rural character, the visitor industry gives us shopping, dining and recreation options normally found only in more populated regions.

Slow but steady economic recovery is projected. The unemployment rate is now at 6.3% down 3% from two years ago.

One reason for the tourist increase is that Kauai now has more nonstop flights from the mainland.  WestJet has a flight from Vancouver leaving at 3:15 p.m. and arriving in Lihue at 6:30.  There are frequent connections from many Canadian cities.  Alaska Airlines recently added nonstop flights to Lihue from Oakland and San Jose to pair with its daily Seattle run.  (Alaska has become my favorite.  My wife and I flew from Boston to Lihue with one stop in Seattle for under $300 each last fall.)   Southwest Airlines may be headed in this direction.  Press releases this week reported that Southwest is ordering twenty new jets for delivery in 2012 that have long range capability of flying over water. 

A winter visitor asked me why I did not include in my last newsletter that the Prince golf course was closed.  There is a very simple answer.  The closing was sudden with little fanfare.  The sand traps are being renovated and improved, and the entire course is being better manicured than in recent years.  The schedule for reopening is mid-to-late summer.   The Makai course is in great shape even with the big increase in play.  The Poipu Bay course reopened on schedule.

 At Hanalei Bay Resort, the new owners of the restaurants are busy renovating and planning for their opening with the projected target date now June 1. The new Koloa Landing at Poipu became the first property in Hawaii to fly the Wyndham Grand Flag.  The new resort features eighty-five one to four bedroom villas available for rental or for purchase.

The real estate market is active.  Sales at the low end are quite attractive to locals. Bargain hunters are now picking up bank short sales and foreclosures.  Many of these distressed properties were newly constructed condos purchased in 2005-6 by mainland buyers. Some of these have been discounted up to 50% off the original purchase price.  After a down market investors are always the first to come back in as they have studied market trends. Moreover they know that with mortgage rates still under 5%, the 2011 market index is actually lower than it was eight years ago.  On average, Kauai homes and condos are selling at or below 2003 levels  

For those who love to analyze data, I will be installing market trends on my website www.joewilliamshawaii.com. You can also check out MLS listings and other information about Kauai.

We hope to see you on the Garden Island this year.  Be sure to call or e-mail me so that I can help you find that perfect property here in paradise.


With Much Aloha