Before we head into February, I wanted to take a quick look back at the 2015 Maui Real Estate market. This is a review of sales volumes, median prices and other notable numbers. I also wanted to address a few questions that arose in my own mind while compiling the statistics. Without further ado, here are the 2015 statistics.
Maui Sales Volume, Median Prices and Total Dollar Volume
There were 1090 homes sold on Maui during 2015 with a median sales price of $580,000. The total dollar volume of homes sold in 2015 was $931,646,757. There were 942 homes sold in 2014 with a median price of $570,000. The 2014 total dollar volume was $825,770,160. That means we saw almost a 16% increase in sales volume, just under a 2% increase in median price and a 13% increase in dollar volume when comparing 2015 to 2014.
There were 1,199 condos sold in Maui County during 2015 with a median sales price of $410,000. The total dollar volume of condos sold was $763,806,071. The 2014 condo totals were 1,201 sales with a median price of $414,750. The 2014 total dollar volume was $755,031,268. That means sales volume dropped two tenths of a percent, median price dropped just over one percent and the total dollar volume rose one percent in 2015.
There were 154 land sales in Maui County in 2015 with a median sales price of $447,650. The total dollar volume of land sold was $136,353,541. The 2014 sales figures for land were 166 sales and a median price of $520,000. The total dollar of land sold in 2014 was $119,330,455. That is just over a 7% drop in volume, a 14% drop in median price and a 14% increase in the total dollar volume.
Notable Numbers from the 2015 Maui Real Estate Sales
- The highest priced home to sell on Maui during 2015 closed for $41,775,000. This was by far and away the highest ever priced paid for a home on Maui. The subject property consists of 6,737 square foot house on 4.23 acres in Makena. More than a few eye brows were raised by a sale that was priced well above other comparable properties in the area. The property was not listed at the time that it sold.
- That was one of 56 homes to sell for more than $2,000,000 during 2015. The 56 homes sold over $2,000,000 was down by 14% from 65 sold in 2014.
- The Makena and Wailea area were busiest part of the island for sales over $2,000,000 with 13 total closes.
- There were 17 beach or oceanfront homes that sold in Maui County during 2015. That was a 29% decrease from the 24 oceanfront sales in 2014.
- On the other end of the spectrum, the lowest priced home to sell in Maui County closed for $94,750. That home is located in the Maunaloa Village area of Molokai. The lowest priced home to sell on the island of Maui closed for $210,000. The three bedroom, one bath home in Wailuku was situated on a tiny 2,370 square foot lot.
- The highest priced condo to sell on Maui during 2015 closed for $8,500,000. The beachfront, three bedroom unit at Wailea Beach Villas has over 2,900 square feet of living space.
- That was one of 91 condos sold for over $1,500,000 during 2015. That exceeded the 83 high end condo sold in 2014 by almost 10%.
- The Honua Kai Resort saw the most high end condo sales activity with 25 closes over $1,500,000. Montage Kapalua Bay was notable with 9 sales over $3,950,000.
- The lowest priced condo to sell closed for $20,000. That was a 1 bedroom, 1 bath unit at Harbor Lights in Kahului.
- The highest priced land transaction to close in 2015 sold for $10,800,000. That was for a half acre lot in the Maluaka Homesites area of the Makena Golf and Beach Club.
- That was one of 6 land sales in this neighborhood for $7,800,000 or more.
- There were 25 total land transactions of $1,000,000 or more in Maui County during 2015. That was up slightly from 24 sales over $1,000,000 in 2014.
- The lowest priced lot to sell in Maui County closed for $20,000 for a 5,351 square foot lot on Molokai. The lowest priced lot to sell on Maui proper closed for 26,000. That was a leasehold lot in the Hawaiian Home Lands in Kula.
- There were 168 bank owned or REO transactions that closed in Maui County during 2015. That was up from the 116 bank owned sales in 2014. That is almost a 45% increase in bank owned sales.
- There were 49 successful short sales that closed in 2015. That is down 49% from the 97 short sale transactions in 2014.
- Of the properties that closed in 2015, 36% were reported to have been cash sales. That is down from 2014 when 42% of the sales were said to have been cash transactions.
Some Questions and Answers About the Numbers
While reviewing the numbers above, a lot of questions came up in my mind. In the paragraphs below, I wanted to address some of these questions and give my thoughts on potential answers.
What drove the increased home sales activity this year?
When looking at the numbers above, homes were the only property type to outperform the 2014 numbers. What drove the increase in sales? There were a couple of factors that came into play. I believe a lot of the activity was driven by on island buyers. Island rents have soared over the last few years. Lower interest rates made the buy vs. rent argument that much more compelling. The threat of increased rates in the near term added to buyer urgency. Evidence of the increased demand from local buyers could be found in the big bump in activity in Central Maui. Home sales in that part of the island were up 33% over last year. The Upcountry area also saw a bump with Pukalani, Kula and Makawao sales up 28,31 and 7% respectively. These are communities that tend to draw on island vs second home buyers. A couple of strong years for tourism helped put local buyers in a better position to afford their purchase.
If sales activity was so strong, why did the median home price only increase 2%?
The first thing to note when answering this question is that changes in median price are not a direct reflection of changes in property values. Median price is also driven by shifts in where sales activity occurs. More high end sales can push up the median sales price while more low end sales can push down the median price. While values increased quite a bit more than 2% in many parts of the market, that was offset by a shift in where sales were occurring. There was a 14% decrease in sales over $2,000,000. As mentioned in the paragraph above, we were also seeing higher levels of activity in more affordable communities around the island. These shifts in market activity helped to offset stronger appreciation in some of the lower and middle priced communities on island.
As a follow up question, one might ask exactly how much Maui home values increased in 2015? That is a really tough question to answer. First and foremost, the rates of appreciation varied largely by price point and location. Homes at or below the median saw the most appreciation due to simple supply and demand. These price points had a much larger pool of buyers and supply was relatively limited. Higher end homes have much more inventory and a much smaller pool of buyers. As a result, upward price pressure has been far more limited.
Why did the condo market see a dip in activity?
If home sales were so strong, why were condo sales down? Condo sales are driven more by off island buyers. I would say the weakening Canadian Dollar played a big part in the decrease in condo sales activity. Maui has seen a significant number of Canadian Condo Buyers since about 2007. That was the first year that the Canadian Dollar was on par with the U.S. dollar. The emergence of Canadian buyers in 2007 helped to buoy the Maui market while a lot of mainland markets were already starting to see big decreases in sales and pricing. They continued to be buyers through the downturn and into the start of the recovery. Around 2013, the Canadian dollar started to dip below par and more substantial decreases occurred in 2014 and 2015. At the time of this post, the Canadian dollar is currently worth 72 cents in American dollars. Less buying power means fewer Canadian buyers. It doesn’t help that a lot of the previous Canadian buyers were coming from Alberta. The weakening Canadian dollar is a reflection of weakening oil prices. The drop in oil prices is a double whammy for buyers from the oil rich province of Alberta.
I know tomorrow is the first of February, but I still plan on putting out more posts specific to how different communities around the island performed during 2015. Those posts will also include some thoughts on what we might expect to see in those communities during 2016. Feel free to contact The Maui Real Estate Team if you have any questions on the numbers above, or if you need assistance buying or selling property on Maui. We welcome the opportunity to be of assistance.