Kauai Newsletter Winter 2014

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



With the harsh weather over much of the US mainland, Kauai continues to have record numbers of tourists which is good for business on the island. The surveys that visitors complete on incoming flights reveal that many are extending their stays to longer periods which is good news for condo and home owners who rent.

According to US census estimates, Kauai had over 68,000 residents at the end of 2012. Projections are for about 85,000 by 2035. On any given day around 25,000 visitors are on island. Where will this expanded population reside and where will the island experience home growth? A recent needs assessment concluded that growth will occur primarily in the urban areas, near Kapaa and Lihue. The North Shore of Kauai where I live and the Poipu areas should have more limited growth as many land parcels in these areas are at zoned capacity. This means that housing in resort communities will be in high demand, prices will go up well beyond what the average local resident can afford, and restrictions by the county on future vacation rentals will limit tourists in local neighborhoods. (The Star Advertiser did an in depth study of Kauai in December entitled “Bouncing Back: Outside Interests Sustain and Challenge Kauai Two Decades after Hurricane Iniki”. Visit staradvertiser.com if interested.)

The projections above should have special meaning for those off-islanders contemplating a move here. 2014 should be a good time to consider a real estate purchase. Prices while now holding steady will surely move upward. We are already experiencing a more limited inventory; thus, in the very near future we may be in a sellers’ market as more boomers enter retirement.

The median sales price of an island single family home is now $586,000. This is low by Honolulu standards but out of reach for most Kauai residents. In response, the county has authorized the construction of affordable housing units that will be rented to locals who are employed but who have limited earnings.

Island visitors grew by another 4% last year. On hand to serve them was more airline capacity. Airlines such as Westjet connecting Kauai with Canada have expanded beyond seasonal service. Hawaiian Airlines now flies non-stop to Lihue from Oakland and LA while Alaska Airlines keeps adding cites, a Portland direct flight being the latest new route. Hawaiian Air and Air China have started serving the Beijing market with daily non-stops to and from Honolulu. Air capacity may be down on the mainland but not in the Hawaii market.

On the restaurant scene, Hanalei Dolphin recently opened a Poipu location, The Dolphin. The Hanalei location is just as crowded as always. In the Princeville Center, Tiki Iniki started service a few months ago to good reviews for quality of food and décor. Other restaurants are slated to open later this year.

The Coco Palms Resort, a historic and iconic venue for many years, has new owners/ investors who have announced plans to reopen after a rebuild in 2016. Skeptics advise a wait and see as many other attempts at restoration have failed. Long time visitors know that Coco Palms was once the showplace of Kauai.

Visitors to Kauai come to enjoy nature. The often overlooked Princeville Botanical Gardens gets good reviews from visitor publications and guidebooks. The family owned gardens provide walking tours three days each week complete with exotic flowers, fruit trees and organic home grown chocolate. You will want also to check out the fruit sampling.

A survey of outbound visitors asks, “What did you like least about your vacation here”? “Leaving” was the top answer. If you would like a great reason to delay your departure, call (808) 652-2984 or e-mail me joe@joewilliamshawaii.com and I will help you find that perfect place.

Check out my website www.joewilliamshawaii.com to peruse real estate opportunities. Look me up when you are on-island, and we will talk story about my favorite place on earth.