Aloha and good morning Kona.  (photo above from this morning) 
As I sit here putting together my (WHAR) Presidents report for the State board “Hawaii Association of Realtors” (HAR) I surprised myself with some of the numbers, so much so I thought I would share them with you.

As Puna was taking the physical brunt of the damage from the worst lava flow in recent history, there was a silent devastation happening on the west side of the island, so silent most of us missed it as we helped our neighbors on the east side.
I am going to point to 2 of the biggest reasons.

1: The media, if you were to listen to them, you would have thought that not only was the Big Island being evacuated and was uninhabitable, but Waikiki and Oahu were also being evacuated. When in fact, there was a 10 square mile area, on a 4,000 square mile island that was being affected by the lava flow, the same flow that had been active for 30 plus years.

2: VOG (volcanic pollution) although I had experienced VOG at high levels during the 2008 flow, this was the worst I had seen it in my 30 plus years in Hawaii.

Now that the Lava has stopped flowing, and the media has gone home, our skies have turned blue again, we are able to look at things with a much clearer vision, and the numbers don’t lie!
They clearly indicate that VOG had a larger impact than LAVA when comparing “number of residential home sales”. And….  West Hawaii is suffering a slower economic real estate recovery than the rest of the Island as a whole.

Look for yourself, straight numbers, no opinions included.

West Hawaii’s hardest hit month (July) showed North Kona home sales dropped by <48%>,

Puna’s worst month (May), (remember, Puna is the district with the actual lava flow) only showed a drop of <28%>.

September Residential Sales:

West Hawaii Areas: North Kona <9.5%>, Kau off <41.6%>, North Kohala off <40%>, South Kohala is flat. The only increase in home sales for West Hawaii was seen in the South Kona district at 33%, but even that number is deceiving, they went from 6 sales to 8.

Puna, (remember this is the area hit by the lava flow) down by  about half of North Kona at  <5.2 %>

Comparatively, the Big Island as a whole, September Residential sales are down <8.3%>

On another note, our beloved media just rated the Big Island of Hawaii #1 for the 2018-19 Best Winter Vacation Spots to Visit in the WORLD ! (US NEWS LINK)  

Quick note, I have been doing real estate here in West Hawaii for the past 14 years, current president of the West Hawaii Association of Realtors and on the State Board of Realtors. If you would like to sit down and talk about what these numbers may mean to you as either a buyer or seller, Please let Kimi or I know, we would be more than happy to set time aside for you. 

Aloha and Mahalo

Lance Owens (RS) LUVA Real Estate and Kimi Nagatoshi (RS) LUVA Real Estate