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The Year in Numbers, The 2015 Maui Real Estate Statistics

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 County Real Estate Sales Volume Chart 2015 and 2014

This chart compares the volume of homes, condos and lots sold in Maui County during 2014 and 2015.

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.

Final Thoughts
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.


The El Nino Winter Continues. Peahi, Maui January 27, 2016

El Nino winters in Hawaii are known for drier than normal weather, warmer temperatures and big surf. This year’s El Nino is following the forecast to perfection. January has seen little rain, warm days and a whole lot of high surf warnings. Last Wednesday was described as the biggest surf seen at Peahi, Maui’s renowned big wave break, in over a decade. Today’s rapidly building swell was predicted to bring surf that was almost equal in size. The waves were big and they inflicted quite a bit of carnage on the surfers in the water. Our broker Billy headed down to Peahi, also known as Jaws, right before sunset. He met up with Maui Real Estate Team agent Martin Lenny just in time to see Martin’s son Kai catch one of the last waves of the day. Here are a couple of photos that Billy took from this evening’s surf.

kai lenny peahi january 27 2016
Kai Lenny on his SUP at Jaws

a surfer at Peahi on January 27th right before sunset
An unknown surfer catches a nice wave at Peahi.

a zoomed out shot of jaws at sunset. the jet skis on the left give a sense of scale
The jet skis on the left side of the photo give you some sense of the size of this wave at Peahi.

The forecast calls for the big surf to continue over night and into the morning before slowly decreasing throughout the day tomorrow. There are still a couple of months left before the end of the this El Nino winter season. I suspect we may see some more really big days at Peahi. If work allows, we will try to get down there for some more pictures and video.

By » 1/27/2016 » in

December 2015 Maui Real Estate Statistics

If prompt and punctual blogging was my New Year’s resolution were my New Year’s resolution, I would have already failed. I am a little slow out of the gates this year. The good news is that the delay is due to a busy start to the year with clients. If you have already seen the December Maui Real Estate stats elsewhere, there is still reason to keep reading. We report on a few things that other outlets don’t, and we don’t treat fluctuations in median prices with breathless hyperbole. Without further ado, here are the December 2015 numbers.

December Maui Real Estate Sales Volumes and Median Prices

Chart comparing 2014 and December 2015 Maui Real Estate Sales Volumes

This chart compares the Maui County Real Estate Sales Volumes in December of 2014 and December of 2015

There were 93 homes sold on Maui in the last month of 2015 with a median sales price of $550,000. By comparison, there were 63 homes sold during the last month of 2014 with a median sales price of $565,000. That is almost a 48% increase in sales activity and a 3% decrease in median price.

There were 101 condos sold in December with a median price of $410,000. Last December there were 125 condos sold with a median price of $380,000. That is roughly a 20% drop in sales activity and an 8% increase in median prices.

There were 16 lots sold with a median price of $281,750 in December of 2015. In December of 2014, there were 12 lots sold with a median price of $650,000. That is a 33% increase in sales volume and a 57% drop in median price.

Notable Numbers from the December Maui Sales
While compiling median prices and sales volumes, I came across some other notable numbers from the December Maui Real Estate Sales activity.

  • The highest priced home sale was for an oceanfront property on Front Street in Lahaina. The 3 bedroom, 3 bath home with 3,747 square feet of living space sold for $4,375,000.
  • That was one of four home sales over $2,000,000 in December. The other three sales included another oceanfront home on Front Street and two closes in Kula.
  • The highest priced condo transaction was for a three bedroom, three and a half bath unit at Montage Kapalua Bay. That 2,789 square foot condo sold for $4,625,000.
  • That was one of eight total condo sales over $1,500,000. The other closes included one sale at the the Ritz Carlton Residences and two sales each at Wailea Point, Wailea Beach Villas and Puamana.
  • the highest priced residential land transaction was $1,100,000 for 67 acres in lower Kula. There was also a commercial land transaction that closed in Kahului for $1,510,000.
  • There were 18 REO or bank owned transactions that closed in December of 2015. That was up from 13 REO sales in December of 2014. There were only 2 short sale transactions in December compared to 4 last December.

December Maui Pending Real Estate Sales
December is usually a pretty quiet month for properties going under contract. Many buyers will put their home buying on hold while they negotiate the already hectic holidays. Maui tends to see a slight uptick at the end of the month when an island filled with holiday visitors means more potential buyers.

December 2014 and 2015 Maui Pending Sales Chart

This chart compares the number of properties that went pending in Maui County During December 2015 with the number of pending sales in 2014.

This December, we saw a little more home buying activity. I would surmise that there are two factors at play. Buyers trying to lock in rates at the beginning of the month before the fed rate increase, and buyers who kept their focus looking for new listings in an otherwise limited inventory.

This is another shorter than usual stats post. I want to save the analysis for some forthcoming 2015 overviews. Stay tuned for those posts in the next week. In the meantime, please contact The Maui Real Estate Team if you have any questions about the stats or buying and selling Maui Property. We would welcome the opportunity to sit down with you and learn more about your real estate needs for 2016.


November 2015 Maui Real Estate Statistics

It is New Year’s Eve, and I am just getting around to the November 2015 statistics. Needless to say, the holiday season is a whirlwind and blogging can find itself on the back burner. Since this is a last minute attempt to squeeze in the November numbers before the end of the year, this is going to be something of an abbreviated post with limited analysis. Don’t worry, I plan to delve deeper into stats next week with year end numbers. In the interim, here are the November Maui Real Estate Stats.

November Sales Volumes and Median Prices

November 2014 and 2015 Maui Real Estate Sales Volumes

This chart compares the real estate sales volumes for Maui County during November 2014 and November 2015

There 72 homes sold in November with a median price of $550,000. By comparison, there were 76 homes sold in November of 2014 with a median price of $587,500. That is a 5% drop in sales volume when comparing this November to last November.

There were 74 condos sold in November of 2015 with a median price of $475,000. Last November, there 68 condos sold with a median sales price of $366,250. That represents almost a 9% increase in sales volume when comparing the two Novembers.

There were a total of 9 land parcels sold in November with a median price of $520,000. In November of 2014, there were 10 lots sold in Maui County with a median sales price of $411,500. That is a 10% drop in volume comparing this November to last November.

Notable Numbers from the November Maui Sales Activity
While compiling sales volumes and sales medians, I came across some notable numbers that I thought were worth sharing.

  • The highest priced home to sell in November was located in the Kaanapali Coffee Farms. The 3,716 square foot home has big ocean views, an infinity pool and over 4.6 acres of land. It closed for $3,475,000.
  • This was one of four home sales in Maui County for more than $2,000,000 in November. The other sales were in Lanai, Paia and Wailea respectively.
  • The Wailea sale set a new record for the Wailea Kai neighborhood. It closed for $2,200,000.
  • The highest priced condo to close in November was a 3 bedroom, 3 bathroom unit at Honua Kai with 2,170 square feet of living space. It closed for $3,197,450.
  • The Honua Kai sale was one of six condos to close for over $1,500,000 in November. The other big condo sales included two more at Honua Kai, a Hoolei, a Ritz Carlton Residences and a Makena Surf.
  • The highest priced land transaction last month was for a .43 acre parcel in the Maluaka Estates Neighborhood of the Makena Golf and Beach Club. The lot closed for $9,000,000. Six of the ten lots in Maluaka Estates have now sold.
  • There were 16 bank owned sales and 1 short sale that closed in November. In November of 2014, there were 12 bank owned sales and 4 short sales.

November Maui Pending Real Estate Sales Activity
As I have said before in our stats posts, sales volume can be a lagging indicator. With contracts that typically take 30-60 days to close, the November sales are more of a reflection of buyer interest in September and October. That is why we also like to look at the total number of properties that go pending in a particular month. The chart below compares the number of homes, condos and parcels of land that went pending this November as compared to last November.

November 2015 Pending Sales for Maui Compared to November of 2014

This chart compares the number of properties in Maui County that went under contract in November of 2014 and November of 2015

Home pending sales were up significantly over November of 2014. Condos and land saw a modest dip in pending sales activity. In the one bit of analysis in this post, I would surmise that the strength of pending home sales may pertain to the anticipation of increases in interest rates. While the December increase in rates proved to be modest, buyers wanted to lock down as low as rate a possible.

Wrapping it up
With the new year upon us, expect quite a few stats posts in the coming weeks. We will be taking a look at the December stats, the overall 2015 stats and year end reviews and outlooks for a handful of communities around the island. We wish everyone a Happy New Year. Contact The Maui Real Estate Team if buying or selling real estate on Maui is part of your 2016 plans. We would welcome the chance to sit down with you and discuss your needs.

Support the Paia Youth and Cultural Center

I wanted to take a bit of a tangent from our usual real estate posts to share a video put together a little earlier this year about the Paia Youth and Cultural Center (PYCC).

The Paia Youth and Cultural Center is a program based youth center located on the beach at Paia Bay. There are over 500 members who participate at the PYCC on an annual basis. A free membership gives the youth access to programs like the Paia Bay Cafe, Hekili Multimedia Lab, RadiOpio, Project Venture, the Stone Wave Skate Park and more. As the video shows above, this really is a fantastic venue for the Youth of Maui to grow, play, laugh and learn. While membership is free, the costs to operate the PYCC are considerable. The Youth Center is dependent upon a combination of grants and contributions from individuals. The Maui Real Estate Team is a proud supporter of the PYCC. Please consider making a year end contribution to PYCC to help support this fantastic not for profit organization and Maui’s Youth.


By » 12/29/2015 » in

Over an Acre On the Ocean in Paia

This is a chance to own a true legacy property on Maui’s North Shore. There aren’t a lot of lots left in the Paia area. There are fewer still on the ocean. This is likely the only one with over an acre of land. This lot has stunning unobstructed views of the Pacific Ocean, West Maui Mountains and the East End of Molokai. The location blends quiet and convenience. The gated property is located at the end of a lightly travelled street. It is just over a five minute walk to downtown Paia out the front gate. This funky, charming beach town has a lot to offer. You can grab provisions at Mana Foods, catch a yoga class at one of three of the town’s studios, eat at one of the many restaurants or peruse through the charming boutiques in town. Paia is also the epicenter of Maui’s wind and water sports. Great surfing, SUPing, windsurfing and kitesurfing are all located close by. Families will appreciate the community’s proximity to the best schools on island.

The current owners have done the heavy lifting necessary to build on the property having obtained SMA approval. An over sized 3/4 inch water meter means that there is plenty of water to build. This lot is ready for the right buyer to build their oceanfront dream home.

Aerial View of an Oceanfront Lot in Paia with over an acre of land

This Aerial Shot shows a view of the Oceanfront Lot on Lae Street with Over an Acre of Land

Front Row Seats for the Surf from Lae Place in

Oceanfront Lot in Paia with over an Acre of Land Fronting Montokuji Bay

Sunbeams streaming down from the clouds right before the sun sets behind the West Maui Mountains

A Purple Sunset from the Acre on the Ocean on Lae Street in Paia

This lot is listed by The Maui Real Estate Team, Inc. for $6,395,000. Check out the 72 Lae Place Listing Page for more details and photos of this extraordinary oceanfront lot in Paia. Qualified buyers may Contact The Maui Real Estate Team with questions or to arrange a showing of the property.

By » 12/22/2015 » in

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