The East Hawaii market is having a lot of activity right now, but most of the properties changing hands are the ones that are priced under the average market price.
While a couple of lots in Mauna Loa have recently sold for around $36,000 the most recent comp is $27,000. Lots in the adjacent neighborhood, Ohia Estates, have recently sold for well under $10,000.
Side by side lots are desirable, however people often want to get an even better price when they buy two lots at a time.
Now is the worst time in years to sell property in Volcano. If you really want to sell and are willing to price your lots low you can definitely move them. If you don't have to sell I would advise hanging on.
I live in Volcano and would be happy to give you any other info you might need about the neighborhood.
I would like to mention that I strongly disagree with the Kona agent who suggested you clear the lots to make them more desirable. Most buyers in the Volcano area highly prize our native rain forest and often will not even consider lots that have been previously cleared.
I believe your lots are part of "old power" which means they already have electricity which can be turned on without paying "SSPP" fees. Water is via individual catchment systems and waste disposal is via septic tank and leach field. I would not recommend any "improvements".
A quick check of the MLS shows that there are currently 20 active listing for Mauna Loa estates lots, so if you decide to list now, you will have factor in your competition when you decide on a listing price. The median price of the active listings is $45,500, but there have been only four sales this year and it's important to note that the median sale price is $34,125.
Some of the lots that are currently available in Mauna Loa Estates have been listed for over 600 days, so that tells you a bit about how over-pricing will impact the chances of finding a buyer. Of the lots that did sell, three of them were on the market for quite a while before a buyer came along, so even if you price well, you will probably need to be patient in this market. (One lot went into escrow after 4 days on the market.)
The great thing about Mauna Loa Estates is that the parcels are large (no flag lots like in some of the other Volcano-area subdivisions), so when a buyer is looking to purchase near Volcano Village, this subdivision often makes the short list of potential home sites.
Volcano is one of my favorite parts of the Big Island - if I can answer any other questions about market activity in the area or about the listing process for you, please don't hesitate to contact me.