Koa Values Soar – Makes Value of Big Island Forest for Sale Increase

Fluctuations in the tropical hardwood markets has resulted in a price increase, effective February 1, for a large parcel of old-growth koa forest on the Big Island. Named Ohana Sanctuary, the third largest privately-owned old-growth koa forest on the planet covers nearly five square miles of pristine koa cloud forest. Previously listed for $22 million, the price has increased $3.3M to $25.3 million. Beverly Molfino of Hawaii Life Real Estate Brokers is representing the sellers in the transaction.
Hakalau Forest

Situated on the slopes of Mauna Kea along the Hamakua Coast, the property encompasses 3,137.17 +/- acres and features more than 50,000 trees, including koa (Acacia Grey), ohia, mamane, hapu’u, eucylyptus and more. In addition to vast tracts of ancient growth koa, the property contains several waterfalls, including Sanctuary Falls and Haiku Falls, both named by the current owner. The waterfalls and streams merge and flow into the ocean.

The $3.3 million price increase comes amidst a 20% increase in asset valuation of tropical hardwood, particularly koa. A recent timber inventory determined there is an estimated 16.5 million board feet of koa wood alone on the property, with an initial harvest of 6.5 million board feet and a sustainable yield rate of 6 percent to 8 percent per annum. [16.5 mbd.ft. X .20 = $3.3M].

“Koa values continue to soar and this allows for an adjustment upward, although we feel that this price point is still substantially below market for this commodity, particular forest product due to it’s rarity and demand,” said the owners. The current owners, a family on the East Coast, are selling the property because they want to pursue others projects.

Given the popularity and scarcity of koa, a prized Hawaiian hardwood, the availability of this amount of Big Island land particularly a koa cloud forest, is highly appealing to a variety of potential buyers, says Molfino. She points out that demand and limited supply of the sought-after hardwood has resulted in a nearly 1,000 percent price increase for koa wood during the past decade. She adds that the property appeals to those looking to purchase the property for harvesting purposes or preservation.

Zoned as conservation resource, the potential exists to harvest the timber on site. Molfino points out that potential buyers need to do their own due diligence regarding the appropriate permits. Creating and generating hydroelectric power on site is another potential possibility given the number of waterfalls on the property.

The land itself is easily accessible from Chin Chuk Road. It is also within short driving distance to the transportation hub of Hilo, the second largest town in the state of Hawaii. Hilo is home to the largest port in east Hawaii, as well as an international airport.

For more information about the property visit www.beverlymolfino.net or call Beverly Molfino, (808) 937-7246, email beverly@beverlymolfino.net.

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