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Two Signs of Fall on Maui

It is a sticky rainy day on Maui. Hurricane Ana is passing to the south of the islands. The storm is close enough to bring us grey skies and steady rain, but far enough that there is no accompanying wind. That said, there are few on the island complaining about the weather. The forecast earlier in the week had Ana coming a lot closer and likely bringing some damaging winds. Today’s weather is also a far cry from some of the beautiful fall weather that we have been experiencing. Last week, I saw a couple of signs of fall on Maui that I thought were worth sharing. While we don’t get fall colors and there isn’t a drastic difference in temperature, the signs of fall are clear for those that look.

A Pumpkin Patch in Kula Maui

This first picture captures an image of fall that you might expect to see on the mainland. Then again, I think it is safe to say that this Upcountry Pumpkin Patch has better views than the average mainland pumpkin patch.

a windsurfer at Hookipa Beach Park during the first high surf advisory swell of the season

A kite surfer during the first high surf advisory of the fall season at Hookipa Beach Park

The two images above are a distinctly Hawaiian sign of fall. I took these photos at Ho’okipa Beach Park last week during the first High Surf Advisory of the season. Usually during late September or Early October, we see our first big swells of the year on the North Shore of Maui. The national weather service issues a high surf advisory when wave heights of 15 feet or greater are likely. The combination of big swells and steady trade winds brought out windsurfers and kitesurfers to sample nature’s offerings.

Ana is supposed to linger near the Hawaiian islands for a couple of days keeping the chance of rain in the forecast and maintaining humid conditions. By early next week, Ana should clear out and we will have a return to our beautiful fall weather.

By » 10/18/2014 » in

September 2014 Maui Real Estate Statistics

I apologize for being a little slow getting out of the gate with our September Maui Real Estate Statistics. This post includes all of the usual content on median sales prices, sales volume, pending sales and other notable numbers and closes for September. It also includes a deeper dive into the recent condo sales numbers. We have seen a trend develop over the last six months where Maui condo sales totals have under performed compared to last year. I wanted to see if we could peel the onion back and expose any clearly discernible reasons as to why there are fewer condos selling. I have proffered some anecdotal evidence in recent stats posts, but I hoped to find something more substantive in the actual sales data. Keep reading to find out what I learned and all the other numbers from the September Maui Real Estate Statistics.

September Maui Real Estate Sales Volumes and Medians

This table compares real estate sales volumes by property type for Maui County Hawaii during September of 2013 and September of 2014

This table compares real estate sales volumes by property type for Maui County Hawaii during September of 2013 and September of 2014

Chart comparing September 2013 and September 2014 Real Estate Sales Volumes for Maui County

This chart compares Maui Real Estate Sales Volumes for September of 2013 and September of 2014.

By my count there were 95 homes sold on Maui in September with a median sales price of $570,000. Last September, there were 85 homes sold with a median price of $470,000. That calculates to approximately a 12% increase in volume and a 21% increase in median price while comparing this September to last September.

There were 79 condos sold last month with a median price of $465,000. By comparison, in September 2013 there were 121 condos sold with a median price of $345,000. That calculates to a 35% decrease in sales volume and a 35% increase in median price when comparing this year to last year.

There were 12 land sales on Maui this September with a median sales price of $520,000. Last September, there were 15 sales with a median price of $335,000. That is a 20% drop in volume and a 55% shift in median price when comparing this September to last September.

Interesting Notes and Numbers From the September Maui Real Estate Transactions

While compiling the numbers above, I thought there were some other facts and figures that were worth sharing from the September Maui Real Estate Transactions.

  • The highest priced home that sold last month was actually a bank owned property. A six bed/seven bath luxury home in the One Palauea Bay Subdivision in Makena sold for $8,500,000.
  • That was one of six homes sold for over $2,000,000 last month. The other homes were located in Paia, Kula, Kihei, Kapalua and Lanai.
  • The slow month for condo sales was reflected in the luxury condo market. There were no sales over $1,500,000. The high sale was a two bedroom/two bath condo that sold at Honua Kai for $1,390,000.
  • The highest priced land sale was a beachfront lot in Ka’anapali. The .87 acre lot sold for $6,900,000.
  • There were 12 bank owned (REO) sales last month. That is up slightly over the 11 (REO) sales that were recorded in September of 2013.
  • There were 6 successful short sale transactions completed in September. Last year, there were 26 short sales in September. With more sellers in improved equity positions on their properties, there will continue to be fewer short sale transactions.

Thoughts on the Maui Condo Market and the September Stats

The condo market continues to catch my eye when looking at the numbers above. There is a continuation of recent trends with condo sales under performing last years transaction totals. Condo sales were down 27% in the third quarter of 2014 when compared to the third quarter of 2013. I thought it was worth taking a more granular look at the condo transactions to see if there are anything that might help to explain the slow down in activity. The chart below compares sales in different price points of the condo market during the third quarter of 2013 and the third quarter of 2014.

Third Quarter distribution of condo sales by price point Maui County

This compares the distribution of condo sales by price point in the third quarters of 2013 and 2014 in Maui County.

As you can see in the chart above, there were only four price points where the 2014 third quarter sales totals outperformed the sales totals of the third quarter of 2013. The biggest drop in 2014 third quarter sales occurred in the price ranges between $101,000 and $400,000. Inventory is a big factor in this price range, particularly in the $101-$200,000 range where there is around three and a half months of inventory available based on recent absorption rates. That limited inventory is clearly hampering sales volume.

Recent Maui Sales vs. Current Inventory by price point

This chart compares the current active inventory of condos on Maui by price point to the sales over the last six months by price point. There is clearly limited inventory at the lower price points in the market. This chart excludes active and sold listings on the islands of Molokai and Lanai.

The inventory may be even tighter than it appears on paper. With some sellers really shooting for the moon on prices, there is a reduced pool of properties priced at or near market values. Maui has always been a market where sellers tend to reach on their pricing. This is due in part to the fact that there are a lot of second home owners who can afford to let their condo sit on the market for an extended period. The ranks of overpriced properties may also be due in part to changes in the rates of appreciation. Some entry level condos saw huge bounces off the bottom with appreciation reaching into the 70% or more range. Some sellers have based their go to market prices on those recent rates of appreciation. With the last real estate downturn still fresh in some minds, buyers are not willing to sustain those rates over the long haul. That is most apparent with entry level condos priced in the low to mid $200,000s. After big gains in 2012 and the first half or 2013, those condos have seen little to no appreciation over the last 6-12 months.

Once you get above the $400,000 range, the condo inventory is not quite as tight. It has certainly dwindled below what we saw during the doldrums of the market, but there is still more than six months of inventory based on current absorption rates. There is enough inventory that it shouldn’t be constraining market sales. The healthier inventory is reflected in the sales figures in these price ranges. The difference between sales in third quarter 2013 and third quarter 2014 is smaller and there are of course a few price points where 2014 third quarter sales are higher. I am not sure that I can pin all of the decrease in market activity as being driven by inventory constraints, that said there is a clear correlation in some market segments. If there are any other factors that are hampering sales, they are not quite as easy to discern.

The luxury condo market is one part of the market where inventory is abundant. In the $1,500,000 to $4,000,000 price range there is well over a year of inventory based on current absorption rates. That would suggest that inventory is clearly not a factor in the slower third quarter sales volumes for luxury condos. The third quarter slump is something of a surprise as the first half of the year saw very strong sales in this range. It will be interesting to see what happens during the fourth quarter. If the slower sales volumes continue in that price range, it may illuminate what other factors are cramping the condo market. That said, this is a market segment with a small sample size that can see a lot of variability. The fact that there were strong luxury home sales in September makes me think the lower luxury condo sales could be an anomaly.

There was one other thing that I thought was worth mentioning about the September condo numbers. We typically don’t spend a ton of time discussing the median sales prices that we report in our stats posts other than to give the caveat that they aren’t a great indicator of changes in value. Our market size is small enough that the distribution of sales can have a bigger impact on medians than the changes in the values of properties. I think the stats for this month are a good example why. The 35% increase in median is driven heavily by the decrease in sales between $100,000 and $400,000. Fewer lower priced sales resulted in a big boost to the median sales price.

While the condo market has seen a clear trend of decreasing sales compared to last year, the home market has seen similar levels of market activity compared to 2013. As of this month, there have now been four months where sales were stronger than the same month of 2013, four months of slower sales and one month where sales volumes were the same. While constrained inventory has reduced the number of entry level home transactions, that has been offset by a little more activity at the higher price points in the market.

The 2014 Maui land market has occupied a middle ground between the condo and home market. It has had more months with lower sales volume than higher sales volume compared to 2013, but not quite as many down months as with condos. Inventory could be a factor with this market. Lower priced land opportunities are becoming harder to come by.

September Pending Sales

One thing to remember with real estate sales is that they are a lagging indicator. Most transactions on Maui take 30-60 days to close. We also keep track of pending sales in our statistics to get a sense of more recent market demand.

A comparison of the number of Maui properties that went pending in September 2013 and September 2014

A comparison of the number of properties that went under contract in Maui County during September 2013 and September 2014

The pending property sales are mirroring current trends. The number of homes that went under contract in September was equal to what we saw in 2013. The land and condo pending sales are both down from 2013 levels although the margins are small.

What Buyers and Sellers Should Expect in The Current Maui Real Estate Market

While sales numbers are down a little, the overall buying and selling experience on Maui has changed very little in the last twelve months. Scarce inventory makes for a competitive market for buyers. Buyers should do all that they can to be prepared to act quickly when well priced properties that fit their needs hit the market. That means getting pre-approved for a loan prior to your search if you require financing. It also means being decisive and putting your best foot forward when submitting offers. Well priced properties are still frequently generating multiple bids. Sellers who want to sell quickly will need to pay attention to recent comparable sales and current conditions within their neighborhood and community. Even with reduced inventories, overpriced properties are sitting with very little interest from the market. Both buyers and sellers should be aware that market conditions can vary significantly by neighborhood and price point. The Maui Real Estate Team would welcome the chance to sit down and discuss your real estate needs and the market conditions in communities that could be of interest. Contact The Maui Real Estate Team for a free consultation.

Our Weekend at Honua Kai Konea 402

Two weekends ago, we stayed in Unit 402 in the Konea Building at Honua Kai. PowerPlay Destination Properties, the listing brokerage for the unit, offered us an opportunity to give this condo a test drive so to speak. This post shows some of the pictures from our stay and highlights some of the amenities of both Konea 402 and the Honua Kai resort.

Billy and his wife had the condo on Friday night. I loaded up the family and headed over on Saturday. Realistically, Billy and I could have been there with both of our families and still been very comfortable. Konea 402 is a three bedroom, three bath condominium with 2,230 square feet of living space. There is an additional 600 square feet of lanai.

Ocean Views from the Lanai of Konea 402

When buyers are looking at condos on Maui, good views are a criteria that often tops the list. The photo below shows the view looking out from the lanai of Konea 402. If you look a little further to the South you can see all of the neighboring island of Lanai. If you look a little to the North, you can see Molokai. The side lanai has nice views of the West Maui Mountains.

Living Room and Kitchen Konea 402

Buyers on Maui also tend to value fully updated condos. As some of Maui’s newest construction, Honua Kai definitely fits the bill. The condo is well built and incorporates high end materials, amenities and appliances. NanaWalls in the living room and dining room open up to the lanai. There is travertine flooring throughout. The home includes a tasteful furniture package put together by designer Natasha Plitt.

The Kitchen at Konea 402 at Honua Kai

The Kitchen features high end Viking Appliances

The kitchen is worthy of its own discussion. This unit has an upgraded Viking appliance package. Granite counters and quality cabinetry are also great amenities. There is plenty of room and lots of counter space for preparing a big meal for friends and family. There is also a nice outdoor kitchen space with a gas grill right on the lanai if you want to barbecue.

Konea 402 offers stunning views off the lanai making it a great place for a meal

While there is a more formal dining room with great views, we took full advantage of dining on the lanai. I was surprised my daughter Kiana was willing to take a break from the views to look at the camera.

Kiana and I enjoying the Master Bathroom Tub of Konea 402

Two of the three bedrooms in the condo can be considered to be master suites. There are three full bathrooms in the condo. The bathrooms off the two master suites are spacious and opulent. Both of the master bathrooms features oversized framed glass showers and tubs. My daughter Kiana particularly enjoyed bath time in the one master bathroom tub.

Sunset Views from Konea 402

The Mountain Views From the Lanai of Konea 402

With the amenities and views from Konea 402, it would be easy to never step foot outside. Then again, you would we be selling yourself short by not taking advantage of the facilities around Honua Kai. There are three separate pool areas. Kiana really enjoyed splashing in the shallow area of the children’s pool.

In addition to the pools, we enjoyed Duke’s Restaurant for lunch. They have a great open air dining facility close to the pools and looking over the beach. We also shopped at the Aina Gourmet Market over in the Hoku Lani tower for coffee, tea and some other edibles. We wish we would have had more time to experience Honua Kai’s other facilities like the Ho’ola Spa and the Fitness Center.

When it comes to Maui Real Estate, the best amenities are the natural ones. Honua Kai is situated on the golden sand of Airport Beach. The beach is known for good swimming and snorkeling. My wife, daughter and I had a great beach walk all the way from Honua Kai to the North End of Black Rock. We even saw a pod of spinner dolphins playing about 100 yards offshore. The nice thing about this stretch of beach is that it is generally less crowded than Ka’anapali Beach.

Honua Kai Konea 402 offers the complete package for buyers looking for a luxury beachfront condo on Maui. The views, amenities and setting are all superior. Konea 402 is offered for sale via PowerPlay Destination Properties for $3,913,000. At this time, the developer is offering to prepay the first 36 months of association fees. This calculates to a savings of $110,981. The Maui Real Estate Team may represent interested parties as their buyer’s representative. Contact The Maui Real Estate Team for additional information or to have us arrange an exclusive preview of Konea 402.

You can see all of the Honua Kai Condos for Sale listed on the MLS on You can also download the Honua Kai Ap from iTunes for more information on the resort and units for sale.

Baldwin Avenue in All Its Glory

I live in Makawao and our office is located in Paia. I make the daily commute up and down Baldwin Avenue coming to and from work. On any day of the year, it is a beautiful drive. Going to work, I have beautiful vistas looking out towards The West Maui Mountains, Central Maui, Molokai and the Northern Coastline of Maui. Coming home from the office, I have big views of Haleakala in all her glory. This time of year, the drive becomes particularly beautiful. There are a number of golden and rainbow shower trees planted along the side of the road. They begin to bloom in the middle of their summer and they seem to be about at or near their peak right now. I pulled over on the way to work the other day, and snapped a few pictures of some of my favorite trees along Baldwin.

A Golden Shower Tree in Rainbow Park

Close Up of a Golden Shower Tree

A Curve on Baldwin Road with A Couple of Shower Trees

A Shower Tree is in the foreground with a big panoramic view of the West Maui Mountains and the Ocean from Baldwin Avenue

Maui No Ka Oi Magazine also has an article in their current issue discussing some of the different sites along Baldwin Avenue between Paia and Makawao. Maui No Ka Oi always has great content and this article is no exception.

By » 9/17/2014 » in

Fantastic Home in Kula 200

Kula 200 is one of Maui’s most desirable neighborhoods. The area is close to some of the best schools on island. It is in an ideal climate zone, and it offers all of the best features of living Upcountry while being located less than 15 minutes from Central Maui. Our office’s new listing in Kula 200 is one of the best homes of the neighborhood. This four bedroom, three and a half bath home features modern lines, lots of amenities, big ocean views and a well landscaped two acre lot.

A sliding glass wall in the living room opens up to the lani in Kula 200


This home strikes a strong first impression as soon as you walk through the front door. A dramatic sunken living room is highlighted by a large lava rock fireplace, vaulted ceilings with a pyramid sky light and a glass wall that opens to the lanai and highlights the home’s ocean views.

This is just part of the impressive master bathroom area in Kula 200

The Pool area of a Home in Kula 200

The master suite features another sliding glass wall in the master bedroom. There is also a separate laundry area, a walk in shower with Italian Glass Tiles, a large spa tub and an enormous walk in closet filled with custom storage and dressers. There is even a pool right off the master suite, perfect for an afternoon dip or a moonlight swim.

This Kula 200 Home has a Palapa on the back porch which makes for a good spot for outdoor dining

From the dining room area you can see the kitchen of the Kula 200 home

The pool is just one of many great outdoor spaces at this Kula 200 home. The large lanai area includes built in seating. A palapa offers an escape from the sun or it can serve as an ideal outdoor dining space.

The house is set up well for entertaining friends and families. The kitchen is well suited for preparing big meals thanks to a six burner gas stove with double ovens.


This fantastic Kula 200 home is offered for $2,250,000. Check out the 214 Aulii Listing Page for additional photos and details at the property. Qualified buyers may contact the Maui Real Estate Team with questions or to arrange an exclusive preview of the property.

August 2014 Maui Real Estate Statistics

September on Maui marks the start of the quiet season for visitors. The beaches and restaurants are a little quieter. Most years the real estate market slows as well. September also brings the first Northwest Swells of the season much to the delight of island wave riders. The air also starts to get a little cooler at night. I live Upcountry and I have found myself reaching for a sweater at night over the last week. The start of September also means it is time to look at the August Maui Real Estate Statistics. As usual, this post features a comparison of the number of sales and median prices verses what we saw in August a year ago. I also highlight some of the interesting notes and numbers that I came across while compiling the stats. I give my thoughts on the state of the market and what it means for buyers and sellers. This post also gives some insight into what we might expect to see in terms of sales in the coming months by looking at the pending sales for August. Without further ado, here are the numbers for August.

August 2014 Maui Real Estate Sales Volumes and Median Prices

August Maui Real Estate Sales Volume Table

This table shows the real estate sales volumes in Maui County, Hawaii during August 2013 and August 2014

Sales Volume comparison for Maui During August 2013 and August 2014

This chart compares real estate sales volumes in August of 2013 and August of 2014 in Maui County, Hawaii

There were 68 homes sold in Maui County during August with a median sales price of $567,500. Last August, there were 81 homes sold with a median price of $585,000. That is a 16% drop in volume and a 3% drop in median when comparing this August to last August.

During August, there were a total of 94 condo sales reported by Realtors in Maui County with a median price $410,000. The August 2013 condo sales figures were 113 transactions closed with a median price of $420,000. That is a 17% drop in volume and a 2% drop in median comparing this August to last August.

The August 2014 land transactions in Maui County totaled 14 with a median price of $395,000. Last August, there were 25 sales with a median price of $350,000. That is a 44% drop in volume and a 13% increase in median price comparing this August to last August.

Other Interesting Notes and Numbers from the August Maui Real Estate Stats

While compiling these numbers, I found a few other numbers that I thought were worth passing along.

  • The highest priced home sale last month was $2,500,000 for a 5,222 square foot home on 2.58 acres in the Launiupoko subdivision in Lahaina.
  • It was a quiet month for luxury home sales with only one other transaction recorded above $2,000,000. That home was located in Ka’anapali Hillside.
  • Believe it or not, the lowest priced home sale in Maui County for month and this year for that matter was $1. The leasehold home in Molokai was bank owned. Its lease is set to expire in December when the property will revert back to the lessor who owns the underlying land.
  • While luxury home sales were relatively slow, luxury condo sales were strong in August. The high sale for the month was $8,250,000 for a four bedroom condo at Montage in Kapalua. That is the highest ever sales price for a condo in West Maui.
  • That was one of eight condo sales last month priced over $1,500,000. There were three additional big sales at Montage including closes of $7,750,000 and $7,500,000. There is a buzz about Montage and we recently looked at the resort’s impact on the market in our Kapalua Real Estate Update. There were also two sales at Papali in Wailea, one sale at Wailea Elua and one at Honua Kai.
  • There were only 8 bank owned sales this year compared to 14 sold last year. This isn’t necessarily due to a lack of inventory. June and July saw more bank owned inventory hit the market than what we had seen at any time in the last 24 months. However, the banks have different pricing strategies at this stage of the market. Many of the bank owned listings are being priced above market values.
  • There were six successful short sales completed last month compared to 14 completed in August of 2013.
  • While land sales were relatively quiet, there were 2 transactions that closed for over $2,000,000 in Kapalua.

Thoughts on the August Stats

This was not exactly a robust month for sales on Maui. This is the fifth straight month where condo sales have been lower than same month in 2013. Home sales have been a little stronger than condos, but we have still seen fewer sales overall compared to last year. Land sales are also down compared to last year after two straight months of lower sales. Inventory or lack thereof is clearly playing a part in the reduced activity. Prices are higher and the selection at the entry levels of the market is limited. That is leaving some buyers on the sideline. A reduction in the percentage of cash purchases on Maui suggests that we may be seeing fewer institutional and professional investors buying properties as well.

There are also some sellers who have overshot the market. They are pricing well above what the market is willing to pay. That may also be reducing the volume of sales. Prices in some parts of Maui have surged from market lows at high rates of appreciation. Limited inventory and pent up demand helped bring prices up rapidly. However, the initial rates of appreciation weren’t sustainable over the long haul. The memories of the last real estate bubble are a little too fresh in the minds of some buyers. This phenomenon is apparent in the Kihei entry level condo market. Places like Kihei Villages and Southpointe were selling in the low $100,000s at the bottom of the market with a handful of units in particularly poor shape closing below $100,000. We started to see sales prices as high as the low to mid $200,000s by the second half of 2013. Prices have since held in that range with little or no upward appreciation. Inventory has increased and days on market has gone up significantly. We are seeing this in other parts of the market as well. Kapalua Golf Villas is a nice vacation rental friendly property in the Kapalua Resort. It saw prices bottom out in 2012 when a large assessment was required to address a big maintenance project. Prices began to rise again rapidly in 2013 with the median price rising from $480,000 to $650,000. The median for this year’s sales has pushed all the way into the $700s. Each significant increase in median has been accompanied by a decrease in sales volume.

Are there any other factors at play with the decrease in sales volumes? That is tough to say at this point. The broader economic picture appears to be good at this time. National sales of existing homes continue to increase as of the last National Association of Realtors report in July. However, California saw a decrease in the number of properties sold compared to the same period last year. That is a continuation of a trend for that state. California is far and away the biggest feeder state for Maui Real Estate buyers. Maui tends to follow the same trends as the California market albeit a few months behind.

August Pending Sales

In addition to tracking closed sales. We also like to keep tabs on the number of properties that went under contract during any one month. This gives us some sense of what the stats might look like in the next couple of months.

Pending Sales August 2014 and Pending Sales August 2013

This chart compares the number of properties that went pending in August of 2014 in Maui County with the number that went pending in August 2013.

After seeing an uptick in land and condo pending sales in July, the pending sales are down again. It appears as if the continued trend of lower sales activity will continue in the September and October sales numbers for Maui.

What Buyers and Sellers can expect under Current Market Conditions

While the market has slowed in terms of sales volume, buyers will find that well priced properties remain competitive. This is particularly true with lower priced homes. Buyers looking in this market should be pre-approved by a qualified mortgage professional as they are starting their home search. When the right property comes on the market that meets their needs, buyers will need to be decisive and act quickly to improve their odds of a successful offer. Sellers can see some of the cautionary tales reflected in the paragraphs above. Buyers are balking at overpriced properties and rates of appreciation appear to be slowing. That makes determining your go to market pricing that much more important. Both buyers and sellers should also be aware that market dynamics vary throughout the island depending on price points and neighborhoods. If you are a buyer or seller interested in Maui Property, we would welcome the chance to sit down with you for a free consultation. Contact The Maui Real Estate Team today to discuss your real estate needs.

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