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

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 oceanfront bar.

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 to explore all listings.