🌋Dramatic reduction in the Volcanic Eruption 🏡July 2018 West Hawaii Real Estate Report

Sunday August 5th, Lava Flow From Fissure 8 Has Stopped

This is such big news, that I decided to lead with it.  The last of couple days have seen some significant changes at Fissure 8 in Leilani Estates and at Halemaumau at the Kilauea Caldera.
As you will see from the recent data, the eruption has had a major impact on Hawaii real estate, so this is obviously great news.

Beginning Saturday, field observations and drone overflights indicated “reduced output” from Fissure 8.  By late Saturday afternoon, the lava river, which had once been a vigorous liquid flow moving over 30 mph, had become a very slow moving flow of A’a (chunky hardened cooler lava).  The latest report, issued by Hawaii County Civil Defense only a couple hours before this writing (Sunday evening) stated the there was no lava moving in the lava river channel.  At the heart of the eruption, the cone at Fissure 8, there is still some lava spattering, but the lava fountains of 200ft have stopped.

At the summit of Kilauea, the rhythm of the last couple months of 5.2 magnitude earthquakes every 36 hours has also stopped.  There has not been a magnitude 5 or greater earthquake in over 3 and a half days, and the magnitude 2 earthquakes, which were numbering in the hundreds per hour, now happen at a rate of a few per hour.

What’s next is anyone’s guess.  This could be the end of the Fissure 8 flow or it could be a pause.  A few weeks ago, the USGS issued the guidance that the volcano showed no signs of slowing and could a) go on for months or years, b) stop at any time, or c) stop and start again.  While that covers every scenario (and was certainly good for a laugh) it offers little help.  The volcano is going to do what it wants to do.  However, this latest activity, or lack thereof, is very reminiscent of the 1955 Kapoho flow in the same area.  That flow lasted 3 months (we are at just over 3 months with the current eruption) and then stopped all activity on the island until the 1960 Kapoho eruption.  That was the last eruption in the Lower East Rift Zone until the recent activity.  The 1969-1974 Mauna Ulu Eruption and the 1982-2018 Pu’u O’o Eruption took place with less vigor in the National Park.

One other change is that the now empty cinder cone at Pu’u O’o has been seeing increased rates of sulfur dioxide emissions.   So while there is less lava, there is still the gas which causes vog.

For the latest information on the activity, you can visit the USGS website which has the latest update and photos, videos, earthquake data, webcams, and links to flow maps.  Another good source is this YouTube feed with live earthquake data and live webcam views.

July West Hawaii Real Estate Report- Number of Sales in North Kona takes a nose dive

The North Kona market, was severely impacted in July, likely due to the volcanic activity.  Remember, properties complete the sales process 30-60 days after the contract is executed.  The numbers we see here indicate how much the market decreased when the eruption was in its early stages.  The number of sales decreased at a record pace, down nearly 50%.  Prices however, were only slightly lower.  I believe that we see the flow through two different perspectives.  First, buyers are in a wait and see mode, and are not committing to buying in the number we had been seeing this year.  Sellers, are hesitant to drop their prices for fear that the eruption will end soon, making their net profit lower for what turned out to be a temporary situation.

The South Kohala market was impacted much less with a decrease in the number of condos sold (which tend to be investment and vacation properties), but an increase in the residential sales (which tend to be owner occupant).

As you might expect, this has increased the inventory metric.  However, inventory is measured as available listings divided by sales last month.  So while inventory is up, it does not mean there are more properties listed in this case, but rather fewer sales last month.

Below, we look at units sold in the last 90 days, at the end of each month since January 2015.  This was a chart we looked at last month.

Posted on August 6, 2018 at 5:52 pm
Mike Drutar | Category: Geology, Market Reports | Tagged , , , , ,

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