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3035 Baldwin Avenue, Makawao

Is this your dream? Does your Hawaiian Dream include a custom crafted home on an expansively beautiful property in one of  Maui’s prime locations?  In your dream, is the home itself a work of art, blending the best of Asian and Hawaiian design elements?  Is there a large modern workshop where maybe your boat or other toys are waiting?

aerial view of 3035 Baldwin Avenue

The Lanai Space at 3035 Baldwin Avenue

Do you dream of a house that is well suited both to entertaining friends and family and quiet moments of reflection? Can you envision lounging on the lanai looking at the North Shore and the West Maui Mountains, sipping a cool beverage and watching the sun set with friends? The smell of wood smoke and fresh Italian herbs waft across the lanai from your pizza oven. Or, perhaps you’re looking across your fruit orchard at the full glory of Haleakala, clear as a bell. Later, you’ll stargaze from the hot tub.

Pizza Oven at 3035 Baldwin Avenue

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Often in the dream, you’re exploring the many meandering trails that traverse the landscape, enabling you to truly enjoy the property’s entire 70 acres. The trails pass by a small, organic lettuce farm and a young forest of native koa trees, some of which you’re thinking you’ll harvest one day for their prized wood. You find a running stream and macadamia nut trees and allspice groves. You can smell them in your dream, and they smell like spice cake.  

Aerial view of the lettuce farm at 3035 Baldwin Avenue

Do you dream of never paying a power bill thanks to a powerful state-of-the-art photovoltaic power system? Does the dream include a lifestyle that combines intrinsic privacy and the convenience of driving 2 minutes to get to great restaurants, stores, spa treatments or yoga classes?

3035 Baldwin Avenue, Makawao, HI | The Maui Real Estate Team, Inc. from The Maui Real Estate Team on Vimeo.

You’ve been dreaming of this property and it is finally available. 3035 Baldwin Avenue is offered for $6,900,000. Check out the listing page for more details and photos. Stay tuned to the Maui Real Estate Blog as we explore the different attributes that distinguish this property. Location, architecture, sustainability, recreation, natural beauty and more are all outstanding elements that make this one of the finest properties in Upcountry Maui. It is what makes 3035 Baldwin Avenue a property of your dreams.

Maui County Approves Expanded Water Fixture Counts

Maui County has opened the spigot a little more when it comes to water fixtures. It is now allowing property owners to purchase a limited number of additional fixtures units for their water meter. I realize this post may sound like Greek to those who haven’t ever looked into adding bathrooms on to an existing home or adding a new accessory dwelling. with that in mind, I wanted to give a little background on fixture count, why it is an important issue and what the new rules are about.

In the county of Maui, different water fixture counts are applied to different sized water meters. The process can be a little bit confusing. The limitation on water fixtures is not applicable to when a home is first built on a property. However, if you want to expand on that home or build a cottage, you are capped at a certain number of water fixtures based on meter sizes. The most common water meter is a 5/8ths inch meter. The base configuration allows for 31 points worth of water fixtures. Different water fixtures are assigned different points. For example, a water spigot is assigned 3 points, a low flow toilet is assigned 1.7 points while a conventional toilet is assigned 3 points. If an existing structure has fixture totals that are equal to, greater than or even close to 31 points; the county would be unlikely to approve any additions or accessory dwellings that have additional plumbing. For parts of the island where additional water meters are available, the owner of the property would need to have a new water meter installed. That in itself is an expensive and not necessarily a quick process. For areas like Upcountry Maui and parts of the North Shore, that may not be an option. Those parts of the island have a closed waiting list for water meters. It will be many years before the county makes its way through that list.

These policies have been grumbled about by property owners for some time. That said, it first entered the public discourse in the fall of 2015 when the issue was raised in a county council meeting. The county has been looking at addressing some of the island’s housing shortage via infill development. In other words, they were looking at where they could add density by allowing people to build more accessory dwellings. They are even considering lowering the lot size requirements for accessory dwellings. The current fixture count limits were a potential impediment to property owners building more accessory dwellings.

As of July 1, the county has given homeowners a path to raise their fixture counts. Owners can increase their total number of fixture units by paying a fee per each additional fixture unit. There are limits to the number of units each home can purchase. This is the run down on the new fixture count rules by meter size.

Fixture unit costs and allocations are as follows:

  • The standard 5/8 inch water meter currently has 31 fixture units. At a cost of $389 per fixture unit, an additional 8 fixture units may be purchased.
  • A 3/4 inch water meter currently allows for 53 fixture units. You can now by as many as 14 additional fixture units at cost of $356 per fixture unit.
  • A 1 inch water meter allows for up to 128 fixture units. Property owners can now pay to raise their capacity by an additional 32 fixture units at a cost of an additional $261 per fixture units.

These new rules are a positive step in creating some infill development on Maui and at least addressing a portion of the limitations on housing inventory. They also make it easier for people to add a new bathroom if they had previously tapped out their fixtures. Here is a link to a Maui County Plumbing Worksheet to show the full list of values of different plumbing fixtures. Check out the Maui County Department of Water Supply for more information on the county water system. The Engineering department is the group that handles water meters.


Mea Makame Ranch No Reserve Auction

The Maui Real Estate Team is partnering with Concierge Auctions for the no reserve auction of the Mea Makamae Ranch on August 4th. The property is located on the slopes of 10,000 foot Haleakala in the community of Haiku on Maui’s North Shore. Mea Makamae offers privacy, tranquility, a stunning natural setting and incredible recreational opportunities. The 38.7 acre property includes 7 horse paddocks, a round pen and a tack room. A small gulch with a seasonal stream offers additional opportunity for riding or heading out on an ATV for some offroad adventure. There are beautiful views of the Pacific Ocean, Haleakala and the West Maui Mountains. There is a small Christmas Tree farm on the property and plenty of room for different agricultural pursuits.

the mea makamae ranch at twilight

mea makamae porch in the afternoon

aerial view of the Mea Makamae Ranch

The 4,240 square foot, four bedroom, three and a half bath home includes 7-foot plantation entry doors, etched concrete floors, 12-foot open beam ceilings, and custom river rock fireplaces. The 1,000 square foot master suite features a walk-in-closet, a 6-foot Swedish soaking tub, a blue rock fireplace and a private 800 square foot deck with expansive views. The gourmet kitchen has teak a pass through to the covered lanai. The lanai is a great space for entertaining or just hanging out taking in the ocean and pasture views.

The 2,100 square foot oversized garage is big enough to store a boat or any other toys that you might want for around the ranch or other recreational pursuits. One of the unique elements of owning a ranch in Hawaii is that you are less than 20 minutes from world class wind and water sports. Surfing, windsurfing, kitesurfing, stand paddling and outrigger canoeing opportunities are just a short drive away. Waterfall hikes and fantastic mountain biking trails are less than 15 minutes away. The nearby towns of Haiku, Makawao and Paia offer yoga classes, good restaurants and a variety of boutiques.

Between the setting and the fun to be had, it is safe to say that future owners may have a few friends who would want to come and visit the Ranch. A 2 bedroom, 1.5 bath, 1,000 square foot cottage is a great space for visitors. Highlights of the cottage include reclaimed pine floors, a vaulted cupola roof, outdoor shower, and a 420 square foot lanai.

toys at the Mea Makamae Ranch

the Mea Makamae Cottage

horses in the pastures of the Mea Makamae Ranch

The Ranch is listed for $5,400,000. We are partnering with Concierge Auctions for a no reserve luxury home auction on August 4th. You can find more details on the auction at the Concierge Auction site. You may also contact The Maui Real Estate Team with any questions about the property.

2016-2017 Maui Property Tax Rates

The new fiscal year for Maui County starts on July 1 and that means new property tax rates. The Maui County Council approved a new budget that saw a reduction in property tax rates for almost every property tax classification. Some of the reduction in rates may be offset by increased assessed values for properties. This is following a general pattern with Maui County Property tax rates. When the market is going up rates are decreased. When market values go down, property tax rates go up. You can see the new rates compared to the old rates below.

  • The Residential tax rate will be $5.30 per $1,000 of assessed value. That is a decrease of 10 cents from the 2015/2016 tax rate of $5.40.
  • The Apartment tax rate will be $6.00 per $1,000 of assessed value. That is unchanged from last year’s tax rate.
  • The Commercial tax rate will be $6.60 per $1,000 of assessed value. That is also unchanged from last year.
  • The Industrial tax rate is $6.69 per $1,000 of assessed value. That is a decrease from $6.85 last year.
  • The Agricultural tax rate is $5.66 per $1,000 of assessed value. That is down from $5.75 in 2015/2016.
  • The Conservation tax rate is $5.80 per $1,000 of assessed value. That is a decrease from last year’s rate of $5.90.
  • The Hotel and Resort tax rate is $8.71 per $1,000 of assessed value. That is a decrease from the previous rate of $8.85.
  • The Time Share rate is $14.31 per $1,000 of assessed value. That is a healthy decrease from the old rate of $14.55.
  • The Homeowner rate is $2.70 per $1,000 of assessed value. That is a down from last year’s rate of $2.75.
  • The Commercialized Residential rate is $4.35 per $1,000 of assessed value. That rate remains unchanged.

Property tax rates are paid biannually in Maui County. The first bill comes due in August with the next payment made in February. Tax rates for the next fiscal year will be debated again in the Spring with the County Council approving new rates sometime in late May or June.


May 2016 Maui Real Estate Statistics

Don’t be surprised to see a big spike in median home prices in Maui in the near future. Read on to find out why. This is our look at the May Maui Real Estate Statistics. We take a look at median prices, sales volumes, new pending sales in May and notable numbers. We also give a few thoughts on what it all means. Without further ado, here are the May numbers.

Maui Sales Volumes and Median Prices

Maui May 2016 Real Estate Sales Volumes Chart

This chart compares real estate sales volumes by property type for May 2015 and May 2016

By my count, there were 94 homes sold in May with a median sales price of $622,500. In May of 2015, there were 88 sales with a median price of $607,097. That calculates to a 7% increase in sales volume and a 2.5% increase in median price.

There were 118 condos sold in May with a median sales price of $423,500. Last May, there were 110 sales with a median price of $459,500. That calculates to a 7% increase in sales volume and an 8% decrease in median price.

There were 14 land sales with a median price of $378,500 in May. There were 12 sales in May of 2015 with a median price of $380,000. That is roughly a 17% increase in sales and around a half of a percent drop in median price.

Notable Numbers from the May Maui Real Estate Sales Activity

  • The highest priced home sale last month on Maui was $6,000,000. The oceanfront estate in the Kuau area of Paia included a 4 bedroom, 4.5 bath home with 6,258 square feet of living space, a separate 1 bedroom, 1 bath cottage with 1,0125 square feet of living space on a 1.28 acre lot.
  • That was one of 7 home sales over $2,000,000 in Maui during May. The other big closes included 2 sales in Wailea, 2 sales in Kapalua, and one sale each in Kula and Lahaina.
  • The highest priced condo transaction last month closed for $4,150,000. That was a 3 bedroom, 3.5 bath condo with 2,789 square feet of living space at Montage Kapalua.
  • The Montage sale was one of seven condo closes of $1,500,000 or greater in May. The other closes included 4 sales at Honua Kai, a Kapalua Ironwoods and a Mahana. I thought it was notable that all of those sales were in West Maui.
  • The highest priced land sale for the month of May closed for $2,700,000. That lot is .429 acres of beachfront in North Kihei.
  • There were 9 bank owned sales that closed in May of this year. Last year, there were 13 bank owned sales reported on the MLS.
  • There were only 4 short sales this May. That was the same number as last May. Short sales remain a relatively small percentage of the total sales. With continued appreciation, that should remain the case for the remainder of this market cycle.

New Pending Sales
The bulk of the sales reported above went under contract sometime in March or April. To give us a sense of more current market demand, the chart below shows the number of properties that went under contract in May compared to the numbers in May of 2015.

May 2015 and May 2016 Maui Pending Real Estate Sales

A comparison of the number of properties that went under contract by property type in Maui County during May 2015 and May 2016.

This is the second month in a row when pending home sales have gone down. I would expect that we might see a dip in actual sales volume in June. Condos saw an increase in pending sales in May. That marks the 4th straight month of increased pending sales for condos compared to 2015. That bodes well for sales over the next couple of months. Land pending sales were down slightly after a slower April. Land pendings have been more up and down this year. We are also talking about a much smaller sample of sales so we may just be seeing some month to month variability.

Thoughts on the May Numbers
I started this post with a teaser that Maui Median home prices are likely to see a healthy increase sometime in the coming months. That might sound like a contradiction to my suggestion that sales volume is going to be decreasing based on the dip in pending home sales. In fact, the decrease in sales and the increase in median prices are likely tied together.

Anecdotally, it feels like inventory has been shrinking significantly for homes. The local real estate association keeps track of this information. When I looked at their data for the last few months, inventory is down almost 9% compared to earlier this year. That said, this is actually fairly typical. It mirrors shifts in inventory that we saw last year. So what makes the current market look different?

I decided to take a deeper look at the current inventory. Currently, there are 517 homes that are active. Of the 517 homes that are active, 307 of the homes are priced $1,000,000 or higher. That is an impressive 59% of the inventory. In May, the median price for a home was $622,500. Of the 517 active homes listed, there were only 83 homes priced for at or below the median sales price of $622,500. That is just 16% of the inventory. I also looked at the pending home sales. There are currently 277 homes under contract. Of that total, 147 homes of the 277 pending homes are listed for at or below the median price of $622,500. That is 53% of the pending sales. Of the 277 pending sales, 52 of the homes were priced $1,000,000 or more. That is roughly 19% of the pending sales.

Chewing on the numbers above, it is clear that there is strong demand and shrinking inventory at or below the median of $622,500. While the pending sales will likely help keep the median prices in check next month, it is likely we will see median prices start to rise unless the inventory of homes at or below the current median increases significantly. The increase will stem from fewer lower priced sales and to a lesser extent upward price pressure from the lack of inventory. The lack of inventory will likely also keep sales volumes down.

While the home market under $700,000 appears to be continuing to be tight marketplace, that is not true of other price points and property types. The market conditions also differ in different geographic areas of the island. Overall, there is a lot of variability in this market. Contact The Maui Real Estate Team to discuss your specific real estate needs. We will give you our take on market conditions particular to your interests.


Paia Real Estate Market Update May 2016

The Maui Real Estate Team’s office is based out of the North Shore community of Paia. This small town known for its bohemian feel and proximity to world class water sports has been one of the stronger real estate markets on the island over the last 10-15 years. I wanted to take a look at the Paia Real Estate market and how it is fairing to start 2016. This post looks specifically at Paia and Kuau. It does not include the Spreckelsville neighborhood. If you are interested in that area, check out our recent Spreckelsville Market update. In this post, I wanted to show the general activity in Paia during 2016 with comparisons made to sales activity in 2015. I will also drill down and look at sales activity in certain neighborhoods around Paia.

The map below shows activity in the 2016 Paia Real Estate market. The Red pins represent sales. The yellow pins represent pending sales and the green pins represent active homes. You can click on the individual pins for details on each of the properties.

I have also included a map of the 2015 Paia Real Estate Sales for some context.

While the maps give you a visual reference as to what has been happening in Paia, the numbers below may be a little easier to digest. This is a look at the sales volumes, median sales prices, average sales price, some 2015 numbers for comparison and some other notable numbers from the first five months of sales.

  • There have been 15 homes reported sold for the year to date in the Paia/Kuau area with an additional 5 homes under contract. One of those pending homes could conceivably be classified as a land sale due to the condition of the home. In addition to the reported sales, I am aware of one other home that sold without Realtors in Kuau Bayview.
  • By comparison, there were 9 homes that sold over the first five months of 2016. There were a total of 26 home sales throughout all of 2016. That calculates to a 66% increase in sales for the first 5 months of 2016 and 57% of the total sales for all of 2015. It looks the 2016 sales volume is well on its way to beating 2015 totals.
  • The median price for the 15 2015 sales was $600,000 and the average price was $1,372,000. By comparison, the median and average sales prices for the first 5 months of 2015 was $599,000 and $684,222. The difference in average sales price speaks to a couple of big dollar sales that closed earlier this year. The negligible difference in median price does not accurately reflect changes in property value. Perhaps we can glean more when we look at some of the individual neighborhoods below.
  • The highest priced sale during the start of the year was $6,000,000 for an oceanfront estate. The property located at 23 Wa’a on Tavares Bay includes a 4 bed, 4.5 bath home with 6,258 square feet of living space and a 1 bed, 1 bath 1,025 square foot cottage on a 1.28 acre lot.
  • There were two condo sales at Paia’s one and only condo complex, Kuau plaza. There were no sales at Kuau Plaza during the first five months of 2015. There was only one Kuau Plaza sale in all of 2015.
  • There were no land sales in the Paia area during the first five months of the year. There is one property under contract and arguably a second when you factor in the condition of the property’s home. There were no land sales during the same period of 2015. The low volume of sales is not a reflection of demand. There just isn’t any supply. Paia is hemmed in by agricultural land and there are very few remaining vacant lots. That could change in the future with the end of the sugar plantation, but nothing is imminent at this point.

For a small community, Paia has a pretty diverse market of homes. From old Hawaii Plantation Style Homes to luxurious oceanfront estates, there is a significant range in property values. With that in mind, it is worth looking at some of the market activity of some selected neighborhoods around Paia.

Kuau Bayview
Kuau Bayview was one of the more resilient neighborhoods coming out of the downturn. While many areas of Maui were just starting to see modest appreciation, Kuau Bayview was setting new market highs. The neighborhood offers proximity to town and area beaches, a community park, good views from selected homes and consistent pride of ownership. There have been two sales publicized in the MLS this year, one sale that did not involve Realtors and two pending sales. The three sales to date have all set new record highs for the community. Two of the three sales closed in the mid $900,000s. All three homes are two story, have good ocean views and they have been remodeled and upgraded. The two homes under contract are both smaller single level floor plans. While these homes will not set any new high prices when they close, they will be among the highest ever sales price for their floor plan.

Additional activity in the neighborhood during 2016 will be predicated on new inventory coming to market. Potential sellers should realize that the run of high sales does not necessarily mean the next home to hit the market will set a new record. For a relatively small neighborhood, there is a decent range in home values. The highest priced homes tend to be located towards the top of the neighborhood where views are better and there is little to no road noise from Hana Highway. Remodels and additional square footage are also factors in pricing.

North Shore Village
North Shore Village was built in 2003. It was the last new development in Paia. The two story homes are located on small lots. The area also offers consistent pride of ownership, and it is just a few minutes walk from all of the amenities of downtown Paia. Due to the limited number of homes in this neighborhood, we don’t see a lot of turnover. In 2015, there were no sales in the neighborhood. This year there has been one sale and one additional property is pending. The home that closed was a smaller two bedroom floor plan that sold for $589,000. The pending sale is particularly noteworthy as it was listed for $780,000. That is well above previous sales in the neighborhood. The home was well maintained, but not significantly upgraded. It is rumored to be under contract for close to the asking price. That would smash the neighborhood high sale. If say it were to sell for $740,000, it would be selling for 26% above the last neighborhood sale for a home that is only 145 square feet larger.

This is another neighborhood that would require new inventory if there is going to be additional sales activity in 2016. It will be interesting to see how the next home that comes to market is priced. Will this pending sale reset prices in the neighborhood or will the market view the one high sale as a one off close?

Halelani
Halelani is a small neighborhood nestled between North Shore Village and Kuau Bayview. It is behind the Paia Community Center. Most of the homes were built in the early to mid 70s and they tend to be modest in size and construction. There have been some nice remodels in the neighborhood over the last decade. It is a desirable neighborhood due to proximity to downtown and area beaches. It also offers a lower price point under $700,000. Halelani was pretty busy in 2015 with 5 sales in the neighborhood. Those sales included the two highest neighborhood sales of all time. This year, it has been quiet with no listings and no sales reported to date. With limited Paia inventory under $700,000, well priced new inventory inventory would be well received.

Skill Village
Skill Village is a neighborhood of more modest homes built in the mid to late 80s. The neighborhood is located above the old Mill in Paia close to Paia Elementary School. It is the primary location for entry level homes in Paia, but there have also been some homes that have been significantly updated. This neighborhood has had some pretty healthy activity this year and last year. There have been five sales thus far this year, with two additional pending sale and one active listing. Last year, there were 3 sales in the first five months of 2015 and 9 total sales for the year.

There were more high priced sales in 2015 than what we have seen to date in 2016, but that is a reflection of the homes sold rather than market dynamics. There was actually one home sold in both 2015 and 2016 with little to no new improvements. On August 20, 2015, 32 Palekana sold for $530,000. Less than 7 months later, it sold again for $561,500 on March 7, 2016. That is almost 6% increase in that period of time. Other signs of appreciation in the neighborhood are apparent when you compare the low sales in 2015 with the low sales in 2016. The lowest priced sale for the year to date was $465,000. Last year, there were two homes that sold for $385,000.

I would imagine, we will continue to see steady activity in Skill Village this year if there is sufficient inventory. Paia remains an in demand community and this is one of the more accessible neighborhoods for potential buyers.

Kuau Point
The Kuau Point neighborhood is a mix of older plantation homes, newer homes and oceanfront properties. Neighborhood amenities like a high end convenience store, Mama’s Fish House, Mama’s Beach and a great launch for wind and waves sports make this little community on the ocean side of Hana Highway very desirable. There have been three home sales in the neighborhood this year, with one oceanfront lot under contract and one new oceanfront home listing. The range of sold homes provides a pretty good cross section of Kuau Point properties. At the low end, there is a small residential condo just off of Hana Highway that sold for $590,000. With only 720 square feet of living space, it came at a pretty hefty price. That said, its size is offset by its proximity to amenities. The middle sale was a former vacation rental just a stone’s throw from Mama’s Fish House. This home sold for $1,323,000. The high sale was $4,850,000 for a house and cottage on .4139 acres of oceanfront. Last year, there were 3 sales during the first five months of the year and 7 total sales throughout the year.

Paia Oceanfront
Paia Oceanfront isn’t a neighborhood. This class of property spans across a number of neighborhoods and there is some overlap with my Kuau Point discussion. That said, oceanfront is it’s own unique market segment that merits a separate discussion. It is also the only part of the Paia market where you can find an abundance of inventory. There are currently 10 active oceanfront home listings in the Paia/Kuau area. You could make a case that one of the home listings could be thought of as more of a land listing. The 1.1 acre oceanfront lot we have in Paia is one of the more stunning parcels along the coast. The older structures have less value and the heavy lifting has been done to get approvals to construct a new home. There is also one oceanfront lot on the market that is currently under contract. Thus far this year, there have been two oceanfront sales. That is ahead of the one oceanfront home sold last year.

Market dynamics for oceanfront properties in Paia are pretty interesting right now. The two homes sold and the lot under contract are an uptick in activity over last year. That said, the most recent close could put some downward pressure on list prices. Sellers have been shooting for premium prices. A number of those asking prices feel high in light of the sale of 23 Wa’a. The cost per square foot was significantly lower and the quality of construction was significantly higher than some of the other homes currently on the market. It will be interesting to see if the existing inventory is able to shrug this off as an outlier sale or if buyers successfully leverage the 23 Wa’a sale to negotiate lower prices.

Overall Paia Market Thoughts
The overall Maui Real Estate market has seen upward pressure on pricing due to a lack of new supply and strong demand fueled by compelling interest rates and high rental costs. These issues are particularly acute in the Paia area where the lack of new construction dates all the back to 2003 and market demand has increased as Paia has become seen a significant increase in demand from second home owners. Those dynamics would suggest that we may continue to see upward pricing pressure in Paia as long as the economy maintains or outperforms current level and borrowing costs do not increase too much. That being said, I would not be surprised to see the rapid rates of appreciation we have seen in some neighborhoods cool off. Price increases in Paia tend not to be linear. We get something of a stair step effect where prices shoot up and then level off for a while before they increase again. I can see that happening in a few neighborhoods. If you made it to the end of this tome, you have to be pretty interested in the Paia market. Feel free to contact us if you have questions about the market or if you need assistance with your real estate needs. We would welcome the chance to learn about your needs. You can find more details about the current Paia Real Estate Listings on MauiRealEstate.com.

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