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Olinda Luxury Home with Maui’s Longest Slip and Slide

The Maui Real Estate Team just listed three separate, contiguous properties that are part of a recently completed four lot subdivision in the Olinda area of Upcountry Maui. The lots are being sold separately, but they may be purchased together to form a three parcel, two home, extraordinary estate on just under 40 acres. This is part one of a three part blog series on the new listings. This first post provides a look at 1050 Piiholo Road.

This estate property includes approximately 6.7 acres of land. The private parcel has a flourishing orchard with citrus and lychee as well as a number of very healthy native Koa trees. There is a two bedroom/two bath modern plantation style home with just over 3,000 square feet of living space. Amenities include vaulted ceilings; an expansive lanai with North Shore, West Maui Mountain and Molokai Views; two spa tubs in the bathrooms and a photovoltaic system. There is a hot and a cold tub as well as a Sauna for those cool Upcountry nights. Last but certainly not least, the property boats what is likely the longest slip and slide in all of Maui County. This is great fun for the kids or a great way for adults to feel like kids all over again.

The house has a photovoltaic systemic system which helps keep down electric bills

Views of the North Shore from 1050 Olinda Road

The living room has vaulted ceilings, views, a wood burning stove and french doors that open on to the deck

Custom kitchen and dining on 1050 Piiholo Road

Views from the deck during golden hour in Olinda

This property offers an ideal Upcountry location just a few minutes from downtown Makawao and the hiking and mountain biking at Makawao Forest Reserve. You are also close to a variety of Upcountry schools including Seabury Hall. North Shore Beach Parks like Baldwin and Ho’okipa are within a twenty minute drive. The airport is roughly 25 minutes away.

This home is offered for $1,620,000. You can find additional photos and details at the 1050 Piiholo Road listing page. Here are photos and additional information on the adjoining 30 acre Olinda parcel and two acre parcel that may be purchased in conjunction with this luxury home. Contact The Maui Real Estate Team to discuss any of these three properties. Stay tuned to the blog for additional information on the 30 acre parcel and the 2 acre parcel.

By » 7/26/2014 » in

The 2014-2015 Maui Property Tax Rates

July first marked the start of a new fiscal year for the County of Maui. That also means a reset in Maui County Property Tax rates. This year tax rates actually decreased below last year’s numbers. The rates were a battle between county council and the mayor with the council ultimately prevailing. Some of the decrease in rates may be at least partially offset by increasing assessments. Here are the numbers for the 2014-2015 fiscal year.

  • The residential rate decreased from $5.75 to $5.57
  • The Apartment rate decreased from $6.40 to $6.20.
  • The Commercial rate decreased from $7.05 to $6.83.
  • The Industrial rate decreased from $7.30 to $7.07.
  • The agricultural rate decreased from $6.05 to $5.86.
  • The conservation rate decreased from $6.25 to $6.06.
  • The Hotel and Resort rate decreased from $9.40 to $9.11.
  • The Time Share rate decreased from $15.55 to $15.07.
  • The Homeowner rate decreased from $2.87 to $2.78

All of the rates above are per $1,000 of assessed value. Homeowners are also eligible for a $200,000 exemption which may be deduct from their assessed value. For example, someone who qualifies for the homeowner classification that has a property assessed for $700,000 would have $200,000 deducted from their assessment for a net taxable value of $500,000. Applications for homeowner exemptions should be submitted to the county by December 31st. Check with the county for the latest and most up to date eligibility guidelines. The minimum property tax rate bill for Maui County is $150. Taxes are paid in two installments with bills sent in August and February. The county has an online resource available entitled Understanding Property Taxes which goes into more details on assessments, how properties are classified and timelines.

By » 7/8/2014 » in

Photos from Fourth of July Weekend on Maui

I thought it was worth sharing a few photos from The Fourth of July Holiday on Maui. We didn’t make it over to the fireworks in Lahaina, but a couple of members of the team were down at Sugar Cove in the evening for a Fourth of July Picnic. The sunset skies over Maui were more spectacular than anything you might expect with a fireworks display.


A plane takes off at sunset as seen from Sugar Cove

sunset afterglow sugar cove maui

Today, I was Upcountry in Makawao town for the Fourth of July parade.
The parade always starts off with Stick Horse races up and down Baldwin Avenue. The parade itself includes a variety of Rodeo participants, classic cars, political candidates, businesses and more.

stick horse racing at the Makawao Fourth of July Parade

Governor Neil Abercrombie at the Makawao Fourth of July Parade

bagpipes at the makawao fourth of july parade

Horse Back Rider Makawao Fourth of July Parade

The Festivities Upcountry continue through tonight and tomorrow with the last two days of the Makawao Rodeo up at Oskie Rice Arena in Olinda.

By » 7/5/2014 » in

Sneak Peek at the June 2014 Maui Real Estate Statistics

June is always a fun month on Maui. With events like the Maui Film Festival, The Kapalua Food and Wine Festival and the Slack Key Guitar Festival, it is little wonder why the month always seems to pass by in a blink of the eye. The end of the month also means another opportunity to take the pulse of the Maui Real Estate market. This Sneak Peek at the Maui Real Estate stats takes a look at June’s median prices and sales volumes compared to June of 2013. I also want to share some of the other interesting numbers that I came across while compiling the June sales volumes. I give my thoughts on the state of the market, and I give a sense of what the sales might look like in the coming months as we document the number of properties that went under contract over the last month. Without further ado, here are the numbers for June.

June 2014 Maui Real Estate Sales Volumes and Median Prices

Table comparing real estate sales volumes in Maui during June 2013 and June 2014

This table compares sales volumes for homes, condos, and parcels of land in Maui County during June 2013 and June 2014.

Chart comparing the June 2013 and June 2014 real estate sales volumes for Maui County

This chart compares the June 2013 and June 2014 sales volumes for Homes, Condos and Land in Maui County, Hawaii

There were 90 homes sold in June with a median sales price of $535,000. Last June there were 92 homes sold with a median price of $579,500. That is a 2% dip in sales volumes and an 8% dip in median price.

There were 94 condos sold last month with a median price of $444,500. In June of 2013, there were 125 condos sold with a median of $400,000. That equates to a 25% drop in volume and an 11% jump in median price.

There were 18 lots sold on Maui in June of 2014 with a median of $545,500. Last June there were 19 sales reported with a median of $469,260. That is a modest dip in volume of 5% and a 16% increase in median price.

Other Noteworthy Numbers from the June 2014 Real Estate Sales Activity in Maui County

While compiling the numbers above, I came across a few other numbers that I think are worth sharing.

  • The high home sale for the month was $5,700,000 for a cottage on 4.55 oceanfront acres in Olowalu.
  • That was one of six total home sales over $2,000,000 for the month of June. There were 2 home sold in Ka’anapali, 2 in Wailea, and one in Launiupoko.
  • The first six months of the year proved to be strong for luxury home sales. There were 37 homes sold for over $2,000,000 during the first half of 2014. There were 26 sold in the first half of 2013. That is a 42% jump in activity over the first six months of 2013.
  • The highest priced condo sale last month was a 3 bedroom unit at Hoolei that closed for $3,250,000.
  • The Hoolei sale was one of 7 sales over $1,500,000 last month. Hoolei was a hotbed of high end activity with two other sales over $1,500,000. The other condo complexes with big transactions included Ka’anapali Ali’i, The Terraces at Manele Bay on Lanai and Honua Kai (two sales).
  • This was also the end of a strong first half of 2014 for luxury condo sales. There 51 condos sold for over $1,500,000 during the first six months of the year. Last year there were 31 condos sold for over $1,500,000. That is a 65% jump in activity.
  • There were 12 REO or bank owned sales in June. That is up over last June’s 5 sales. There appears to be a little bit of an uptick in bank owned properties coming on the market. I will have a few more thoughts on the bank owned numbers below.

The Numbers That Really Stood Out and What They Mean

The condo numbers stood out to me the most of any part of the June stats. This is two months in a row where condo sales have been significantly lower compared to last year. As mentioned above, the luxury side of the market is outperforming 2013 so that means other parts of the market are under performing. Over the last two months, the primary culprit appears to be condos priced under $500,000. There were 120 sales priced under $500,000 in May and June of this year compared to 181 during May and June of 2013. That’s a 33% drop in activity. Why the big drop in sales? Shrinking inventory and price increases are playing a part. The inventory of condos under $200,000 that prohibit vacation rentals has seen a big dip. Many of those condos that were in that range last year are well into the $200,000s this year. We have also seen a pretty big drop in the number of vacation rental condos available under $400,000.

Home sales experienced a much smaller drop in activity in June compared to last year. Why are home sales doing a little better than condo sales? Anecdotally, it also appears as if we are seeing an uptick in inventory in the $600,000 and under range. My clients looking at entry level homes and properties just above that level have seen more options lately. Local buyers are feeling pressure to snatch up the new inventory as entry level homes have seen strong appreciation and interest rates threaten to rise on better economic news.

Some of the increased inventory we are seeing on the market is bank owned. This was one of the first months in a while where bank owned sales outpaced sales from the same month a year ago. This looks like it might sustain itself for at least a couple of months, and it is worth watching over the longer term. There were 19 bank owned listings that came on the market in June. That is the highest number of bank owned listings we have seen in a month since May of 2012. We are 3 days into July and there are already 3 new REO listings. Hawaii has a big backlog of properties facing judicial foreclosure moving through the court system. It appears as if some of the backlog might be starting to move through the courts. This bank owned inventory may help satiate some of the pent up demand from buyers.

Bargain hunters who are looking to find a bank owned home for a steal of a price may be disappointed. Most banks seem to have a different pricing strategy in a rising market vs. a falling market. While many banks were dumping their assets below comparable sales as the market was falling, they are seeking market prices in the rising market. In some cases, they are pricing above the market and having to adjust pricing downward. While there may be a few bargains here or there, REOs won’t provide the same opportunities that they did 3-4 years ago.

June Pending Sales

As mentioned previously on the blog, property sales can be a lagging indicator for the market due to transaction times. As a result, we have been keeping track of the pending sales on our blog. These numbers should also give you some sense of what we might expect for sales volumes in July and August.

June Pending sales in Maui

This chart compares the number of properties that went pending in Maui County during June of 2014 and June of 2013

The number of homes that went under contract in June was up 28% over the number that went under contract in June of 2013. Combined with the fact that there were more homes going under contract in May, I would anticipate stronger home sales for July. The number of condos that went under contract was down 24% compared to last year. That is a continuation of recent trends where condo pendings have been lower compared to last year. The one outlier is land sales. Land sales activity appears to be way down in June with a 74% drop in the number of properties going under contract.

Thoughts for Prospective Maui Home Buyers and Sellers

What does all of this mean for buyers and sellers. While there may be some new inventory out on the market for home buyers, there has been some pent up demand as well. A couple of the more intriguing new listings that I saw hit the market this week are already in multiple offer situations. That means buyers looking at the middle and the lower price points in the market will need to have their ducks in a row when looking. Buyers who need financing assistance should be pre-approved prior to looking. If you see a well priced property that fits your needs, you will need to act quickly or another buyer will beat you to the punch. Sellers have a bit more of a mixed bag. There are still some pockets of the market with higher inventory. Sellers in those market that want to sell quickly may need to lower their pricing expectations to stand out from the competition. Over priced properties are sitting even in some of the busier segments of the market. Contact The Maui Real Estate Team if you are considering buying or selling a home on Maui. We would welcome the opportunity to sit down with you for a free consultation.

Kuau Bayview Midyear 2014 Market Update

Last year was a banner time for sales in the Kuau Bayview neighborhood of Paia. While the bulk of the Maui Real Estate market experienced a steady modest recovery in 2013, Kuau Bayview was exceptional in that it pushed up above the high prices established during the last real estate peak. There were six sales in the neighborhood with a record high sales for Kuau Bayview established in March and once again in August. Have we seen the same type of activity in the first six months of 2014? Have new record high prices been established? We give an update on what’s sold, what’s for sale, what we think is driving the current market dynamics, what we expect for the next six months and our expectations for Kuau Bayview over the long term.

View Kuau Bayview June 2014 Market update in a larger map

The map above shows all of the sales activity for Kuau Bayview over the last 18 months. The 2013 sales are represented by purple pins. The one and only sale in 2014 is represented by a red pin and the one active listing is represented by a green pin. It is worth noting that the active listing previously sold in May of 2013 for $750,000. If you run your cursor over the pins on the map, sales details will be provided.

Kuau Bayview has had a quiet first half of 2014. Inventory has been limited with just the two listings active all year. The Maui Real Estate Team represented the seller on the one transaction that closed this year. The lack of activity in the neighborhood is a reflection of inventory and not due to a lack of demand. We did more than our fair share of showings. While merely anecdotal evidence, the frequency and feedback of our showings suggested strong interest in the neighborhood.

The sales price of the one close this year also points to a less robust market. The lone sale this year closed at $644,500. There wasn’t a single sale in all of 2013 below $700,000. The one listing active is priced only 3.5% above its sales price last year, but it appears to be sitting. As of the last day of June, it has been on the market for 157 days. What is causing this lack of activity? Is the Kuau Bayview market declining in value?

A quick glance at the numbers would suggest some sort of decrease in value. As is often the case in the Maui market, statistics can be deceiving. While the homes in Kuau Bayview are fairly homogeneous, there are significant differences in value among the homes. View is a big driver of values in the neighborhood. Views in the area run the gamut from no view, to slight ocean view to big panoramic vistas of the North Shore. The high sales of last year fit the latter. The sale from this year had no ocean view. Another big factor for Kuau Bayview values is location within the subdivision. Specifically, proximity to Hana Highway can have a big impact on value. Hana Highway experiences high traffic volumes. The homes that border Hana Highway can have extensive road noise. The one home that sold this year was close to the road and had significant road noise. I can’t begin to tell you how many times we heard potential buyers say, “if only this house weren’t on Hana Highway”. The one active listing in the subdivision is also situated along Hana Highway. That is the biggest reason that it has had tepid market feedback.

It will be interesting to see what the second half of 2014 brings for the Kuau Bayview market. Supply is going to be the biggest factor for market dynamics. All the demand in the world doesn’t mean anything if there isn’t any supply. I thought we might see a new listing coming at 19 Hoe Place. This home went through the foreclosure process earlier this year. We just learned that it was listed on where it went under contract with a bidder and is set to close in July. From what we are hearing, the sales price was pretty low for the neighborhood, but there were quite a few liens that needed to covered by the buyer. With the demand in place for the neighborhood, I venture that the bank left quite a bit of money on the table by not listing with a local agent to capture the full demand for properties in the neighborhood.

I would anticipate that demand will be high any new listings in Kuau Bayview that are well located within the subdivision. As mentioned before, we met our fair share of buyers this year who coveted the neighborhood, but were ultimately unable to get past their objection over the road noise at the two listed properties. While demand for good new inventory will be high, I am not convinced that we will see any new pricing records this year unless the listing is one of the premier homes in the neighborhood. Since the subdivision saw such strong appreciation in 2013, there may need to see a greater increase in value among some of the surrounding communities before we see additional upticks in Kuau Bayview values. When the prices in a neighborhood get too far out of line with surrounding communities, appreciation slows. That said, all it takes is one buyer. When the subdivision set their first record in March of 2013, there was considerable skepticism over the pricing of that property when it came on to the market.

In the long run, supply and demand favor price appreciation in Kuau Bayview. Demand for the Paia area continues to grow as the community gains additional exposure in the media. Last year the town made it on Sunset Magazine’s list of Top Ten Beach Towns. This year, Fodor’s called Paia one of the top small towns in America. This additional publicity has put Paia on the radar of more people who are considering relocating to Maui and more second home owners. While demand grows, supply remains constrained. There are currently only 4 homes in Paia actively listed for under $1,000,000. The limited supply should allow for continued price appreciation. Supply should remain limited over the long term. Paia remains hemmed in by cane fields, and A&B has yet to announce any immediate plans to convert any of that land to residential development. Infrastructure requirements and county approvals for any new development will result in a long runway before new construction could get off the ground. In the interim, Kuau Bayview will be an enticing option for Paia area buyers as it offers homes with ocean views, a short walk to downtown Paia via sidewalks and consistent pride of ownership.

If you are a Kuau Bayview owner who would like to get a better sense of your current home value, contact the Maui Real Estate Team for a free assessment of your property value. If you are a home buyer interested in the neighborhood, give us a call or send us an e-mail. We also have our eyes and ears open for both listed and unlisted properties that might be for sale in Kuau Bayview.

Since this post was published, there has been some more activity in Kuau Bayview and the overall Paia area. Within the neighborhood, 33 North Laelua came on the market for $749,000. This is a well remodeled home with 1,209 square feet of permitted living space. It is set off the road, but it has no views. If it were to sell at it’s current list price, it would be the second highest cost per square foot sale in the neighborhood. The only higher sale was the same residence back in 2006. It will be interesting to see where this one sells. Buyers seem to want to have views to pay a premium in the neighborhood. There have been five other homes that have come on the market in Paia town under $1,000,000. Two are under contract. This new inventory takes off some of the pressure for supply in the market. That said, we still think homes in Kuau Bayview with views would be well received.

Gorgeous Summer Weather on Maui

Maui has had a truly spectacular run of weather. Light to moderate trade winds, deep blue skies and puffy white trade clouds have been the norm of late. Here are a few photos from around the North Shore of Maui over the last couple of days for those who are craving a taste of Maui.

Maliko Gulch view

Looking towards the north end of the West Maui Mountains and Molokai

The West Maui Mountains and North Shore Coastline

Haiku Countryside
This shot was taken from our Haiku Land ready for an estate listing. This land would make for a great place to build your dream home.

Looking over Mama's BeachThis shot was taken from the backyard of our beachfront cottage listing near Paia. It is a great view over Mama’s Beach and towards Hookipa Beach Park. The winter waves have been replaced by much calmer summer conditions.

By » 6/22/2014 » in

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