Ko Olina Resort Real Estate Market Update

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A new day is dawning for Ko Olina Resort real estate. Why do I say that? There are many reasons, a few of which I have outlined below. Given the current market conditions we are seeing in Hawaii real estate, the homes and condos within the six Ko Olina Resort housing developments are positioned well to see some great gains in real estate appreciation this year – in my opinion, of course.


A beautiful Ko Olina Resort sunrise I was able to capture during a morning run next to the marina (24 Dec 2012)

The Ko Olina Resort is a master-planned community on more than 642 acres along the drier southwestern shores of the island of Oahu.

Recent News for the Beach Villas at Ko Olina

First: There has been some recent talk amongst owners of the Beach Villas at Ko Olina about the possibility of reaching a ‘global settlement’ with regard to the ongoing legal issues that have plaqued the Association of Apartment Owners (AOAO) for many years now. Note my emphasis on the word possibility. As with all legal matters, there is no way to predict the ultimate outcome, of course.

No specific details or timeline have been made public, but the general sentiment from other owners I have talked with has been that they expect the settlement to be a positive thing and a step in the right direction for these two oceanfront towers on Honu Lagoon 2.

There is one other important update at the Beach Villas at Ko Olina that I would like to include in this first section. That is that the two broken spas have now been repaired and are fully functional! Those who have visited the Beach Villas during the past couple of years will likely remember their being only ONE working spa adjacent to the ‘quiet’ lap pool next to the Ocean Tower. In order to complete the needed repairs some minor excavation was done near the Beach Tower and the pool closest to the ocean was closed for about a month.


View of the "Quiet" Pool from the Ocean Tower at the Beach Villas at Ko Olina (24 Nov 2012)

Our family purchased a new condo on the 8th floor of the Beach Tower when Centex originally released those units for sale. We are currently in the process of buying another condo in the Ocean Tower. If all goes as planned then our intention is to make the condo available as a luxury vacation rental. We are invested in Ko Olina and believe in the long-term stability of buying property in the resort.

Ko Olina Resort Sees More Visitors Than Ever Before

Second: Hawaii tourism numbers are up and visitors are spending an increasing amount of money while soaking up the sun in the beautiful Aloha State. More and more visitors are experiencing Ko Olina for the first time than ever before.

This increased exposure of the resort to vacationing tourists can and does have a ripple effect on the real estate activity in the area. It is not at all uncommon for me to meet several vacationers while hosting an open house within the Ko Olina Resort. Their stories tend to sound the same: “We followed the open house signs and wanted to take a look. We’re on vacation here and we love the area so much that we’re considering buying a property in the resort.”

In addition, since the Ko Olina Resort is also home to the new Disney Aulani Resort & Spa, there is now a much broader demographic of visitors that are experiencing first-hand what Ko Olina has to offer. Disney is even attracting quite a few travelers from other countries that may not have otherwise known about Ko Olina had Disney not established a presence there. Naturally, some of these visitors develop an interest in learning more about available real estate within the Ko Olina Resort housing developments.

These current market dynamics have served to create a pent-up demand for Ko Olina properties.

Low Real Estate Inventory for Ko Olina Resort Communities

Third: The final reason I will give for a ‘new day’ in Ko Olina real estate is based on the recent market activity within the Ko Olina Resort communities. With the exception of the Beach Villas and single family homes in Ko Olina Kai, there is simply very little active Ko Olina Resort real estate currently available for sale. There truly are buyers in the wings that are waiting for the right property to become available so that they can jump on it and submit their offer.


Huge rainbow above Ko Olina Hillside Villas (08 Jan 2013)

At the time of this writing there are only FIVE active condo listings in Ko Olina, not including the Beach Villas condos. I am excluding the Beach Villas listings from my current market analysis simply because not many have exchanged hands in the last six months due to the pending litigation.

I’m also excluding the six active Ko Olina Kai single family home listings as they fall within a much different price point ($1.2M – $1.5M+) than the other condo communities. There are only 60 single family homes in the Ko Olina Resort, all of which are located in Ko Olina Kai, and I will write more about that in future blog posts.


Click on the image above to view screenshot with highlighted 'Days On Market' for five active condo listings in Coconut Plantation, Kai Lani, Fairways and Ko Olina Kai

Getting back to the rest of the condos in Kai Lani, Coconut Plantation, Ko Olina Kai, Hillside and Fairways, it is interesting to note that of the 22 condos that sold within the last six months, 17 (that’s 77%) were on the market less than 60 days before going under contract; 12 of them (that’s 55%) actually went under contract in less than 30 days and eight of the listings (that’s 36%) received offers in 14 days or less! Of the five active condo listings within these communities, four have been on the market less than 14 days and one has been listed for 64 days, likely due to being overpriced.

Ko Olina Resort Market Overview

The point in all of this is that new listings that are priced correctly are going into escrow very quickly to a growing list of ready buyers that are waiting for the right Ko Olina Resort property to become available. In this market buyers are learning that they need to act fast in order to secure a first position on a property of interest.

As sellers begin to see condo prices go up along with the growing demand from buyers, I anticipate there will be an increase in the number of Ko Olina properties being listed, thereby presenting an opportunity for buyers that have been waiting to invest before list prices surpass their investment limits.

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Munro Murdock is an Entrepreneur, Athlete, Real Estate Broker, Blogger, Father, Author, World Traveler and Podcaster. He resides on West Oahu in Hawaii with his wife and three children. You can Contact Munro by email here.