Honolulu’s Gold Coast at the foot of Diamond Head crater
Last month I wrote an Oahu market update detailing the prior year’s slight price appreciation. I also pointed out that it takes hard work to lose money in Hawaii if you have time. In other words, don’t buy high and sell low as the Dallas Police and Fire pension funds did. But all those number-y things get confusing, so here’s a concrete example of how two units in the same building have performed over time (spoiler: GREAT).
Welcome to Waiea where two penthouses kiss the Pacific Ocean for a combined $71 million. It was here that we met Erik Hinshaw of Hawai’i Life Realtors to view these two staggering properties (the same Hawai’ian Life featured on HGTV). We? Yes, coincidentally, Dallas high-rise Queen Sharon Quist with Dave Perry-Miller Real Estate was in town poking around with a client and joined me on the tour.
[Editor’s note: Merry Christmas! This week, we’re taking time off to focus on our loved ones, so we are sharing some of our favorite stories from this year. Keep an eye out for our top features from the archives as we rest and get ready for a brilliant 2018! Cheers, from Candy and the entire staff at CandysDirt.com and SecondShelters.com!]
I grew up around Frank Lloyd Wright architecture, so when I saw one of his homes on the market near my old stomping grounds, I had to share it with you. It’s a type of architecture not often found in Dallas (one house and the Kalita Humphreys theater are all I know of) where prairie style means something completely different.
Often when I write about second homes, I’m writing about areas to consider. This time I’m dictating exactly which second home you must purchase. I’m doing this because it’s one thing to impress your friends by owning a second home, but it’s a complete mic drop to add that it’s a Frank Lloyd Wright prairie-style home.
It’s been a rock and roll December here on SecondShelters.com starting with Sammy Hagar’s Maui retreat showcased at the beginning of the month. Now it’s time to have a look at Fleetwood Mac bassist John McVie’s (the “Mc” in Fleetwood Mac) Honolulu estate. So sit back and listen to the wind blow, watch the sun rise … and set … at 3124 Noela Drive on the slopes of Diamond Head (map).
First, let’s talk Noela Drive. It’s a semi-secret, dead-end road of just 16 super-private homes. Half the homes literally have a volcano as their backyard. Looky-Lous don’t go up there because they don’t know about it and besides, almost all you can see are gates. A $5 million budget might elicit a polite titter. When I spoke with McVie’s listing agent Patricia Choi, she summed up Noela Drive as where you buy and die. Sales are rare. When buyers ask what’s available she often says “nothing”, with McVie’s home, she can say “one” … but only for a little while.
There’s an old investment adage: Buy when people are selling and sell when people are buying.
On July 14, 2017, there was a fire at the Marco Polo high-rise in Honolulu that damaged some 200 units and will cost approximately $100 million to repair. It wasn’t the first. There was also a fire just four years prior in 2013 causing $1.1 million in damage. There are no sprinklers in the 1971 building. After the first fire, the HOA got an estimate to retrofit the building with sprinklers. The average cost was $8,000 per unit or roughly $4.5 million. After this fire, I think it’s highly unlikely a sprinkler retrofit wouldn’t happen. I suspect insurance companies would demand it.
Doesn’t exactly smell like a dream Hawaiian getaway, does it? What it should smell like is opportunity.
Nine years before Sammy Hagar purchased nearly 10 acres on Maui, he helped pen Why Can’t This Be Love for Van Halen’s “5150” album, perhaps presaging the purchase. It was the band’s first album featuring Hagar, who had replaced David Lee Roth. Oddly enough, it was about this time that I’d run into Hagar at the Versace store in Chicago.
A friend and I were upstairs in the men’s department trying on fabulous, though gawd-awful-expensive clothes we had no hope of buying. All the while, our salesman/friend plied us with (free) champagne from the store’s bar. A fun Saturday. Hagar and entourage came in and set up shop at the other end of the room. We were laughing and carrying on while another salesman helped them. A very staid group, they kept looking over, we assumed wondering who the heck we were. Being more Eurythmics than Van Halen, we didn’t really pay them any mind. Such was life at 24.
It’s that time of year again, time for the annual Hawaii roundup. For those planning for a permanent or part-time Hawaiian getaway, the past year hasn’t been too bad in the 50th state. Before you read further, pack up your tablet and head to Agu Ramen in Mockingbird Station for the full Hawaiian effect. Just opened the day before Thanksgiving, Agu’s based in Hawaii and was slathered in foodie awards before branching out to Houston and now Dallas (I have no idea why Texas was their first stop). Having checked it out before heading back to Hawaii, I can say the Dallas branch is as good as the original.
Anyway, it’s been an interesting year in Oahu real estate. The big news is in the condo market (the landing place for many second home owners). Several new high-rises have come online and their listings have flooded the market with high-priced units. As of this writing, there are 28 condos listed above $5 million. All but three of them are in new buildings. Like Dallas, all the new high-rises are high-priced. But when any ocean front/view condo hits above $1,000 per square foot, some of the new crop are hitting $3,000 per foot.
In 2015, a Picasso painting sold for a record $179 million. It was painted in 1955 and titled “Les femmes d’Alger” and was a tribute to friend and rival painter Henri Matisse. Compared to that, the auction of Picasso’s last home should be a breeze where bidding will start at € 20.2 million tomorrow at Residence365.com, a Christies affiliate. Coming full circle, Les femmes d’Alger was also sold by Christies.
Unassuming, yet stunning main entrance (door behind tree)
The home, known locally as Mas de Notre Dame de Vie was the artist’s home from 1961 until his death at 93 in 1973. It’s located in the hills about four miles north of Cannes, France. When Picasso purchased the home it already had 24 rooms. His first addition was a studio space with its own terrace. Over the ensuing years, the home grew several more times. The main house encompasses 13,000 square feet with five bedrooms and nine full and one half baths … oh, and two kitchens. A guest house and gatekeeper’s cottage clock in at another 4,000 square feet. Not to worry, the home sits on eight acres spread across a hillside offering mind-boggling views over Cannes and the sea.