I just got back from eight days in Hawaii, so I’ve got paradise on my mind (and Mai Tais, and sunsets, and fresh white pineapple bought from hippies on the north side of the island, and sea turtles…). Yes, I was on vacation, staying in a stunningly gorgeous condo resort on the Kohala Coast of the Big Island, specifically the Kolea at Waikoloa Beach Resort.
Thanks to the best business partner in the history of real estate, I was able to turn off my phone, my email, and my brain and just relax. But real estate addict that I am, I found myself intrigued by the state of the condo market at my home away from home.
A quick search on the address told me that the condo we rented is worth approximately $468,600 today after being sold in 2006 for $1,110,000. Looks like our little slice of paradise has dropped about 57% from its last sale price. (A couple of notes here: I don’t have any way to confirm the last sale price, which is sourced to public records, and I have no idea if Zillow’s value estimates are any better in Hawaii than they are here — and they’re pretty crummy here. So these numbers could be off by a little or a lot, but the point is that prices have dropped quite a bit in the last few years.)
A little more online searching led me to an article about short sales starting at Kolea and a neighboring luxury property, Hali’i Kai, in 2009. By 2010 prices had started to inch back up at these properties, according to the same agent/author of the previous article.
All of this got me thinking about that market compared to the market that I know — San Francisco. Granted, there’s no completely comparable complex here. San Francisco is pretty amazing, but there’s nowhere to see sea turtles like this one a few steps from your front door:
And while some buildings here in San Francisco have swimming pools, there isn’t one a few feet from the Pacific Ocean like this one at Kolea:
It’s hard to complain about our sunsets here in San Francisco, but just for comparison’s sake, here’s what it looks like when the sun goes down over the Pacific 2,500 miles west of home.
Just for fun, a combo of two of my favorite Hawaiian experiences, turtles and sunsets:
I decided to compare sales at the Brannan of two bedroom condos in 2006 and in the last year (July 1, 2010 to today) to see if a similar luxury building had fared better or worse in San Francisco. In 2006, the average list price of a two-bedroom condo at the Brannan was $1,374,286 ($1,003/square foot) and the average sale price was $1,348,048 ($984/square foot). In the most recent 12 month period, the average list price was $1,068,025 ($823/square foot) and the average sale price was $1,030,139 ($793/square foot). Clearly, prices have taken a whack at the Brannan, too — about 23% — but not anywhere near as substantial a whack as the Kolea.