The Maui Board of Realtors recently released the county wide real estate statistics for February 2008. January was the first month where a real estate slow down was readily apparent. The volume of home sales for January 2008 was roughly 50% of January 2007. February 2008 saw a nice increase from the January figures. There were 76 single family homes up from 57 in January. While this is still below February 2007 numbers, it is a healthy improvement from the first month of the year. Condo sales increased from January as well, and they were up over February 2007 numbers. Median sales price numbers were up for homes and down for condos. These numbers are not as accurate a barometer of market trends due to our smaller sample size. Sales from individual developments and even individual properties can skew stats. Land stats for the month are a great example of the dubious nature of Maui Median sales price statistics. The median price for land sales for february 2008 was $1,195,000. This was almost a 100% increase over the month before. At first glance you might think land prices on Maui are soaring faster than oil prices. The reality is that 14 lots were sold in Ukumehame subdivision priced between $1,195,000 and $1,350,000. If you take out those 14 sales, the median price dips a good bit. Comparing like properties between 2008 and 2007, land prices appear to be adjusting downward.
Is there much we can glean from this month’s statistics? The good news is that January’s drop in volume does not appear to be a pronounced trend. We are seeing a healthier volume of sales. The market does appear to be adjusting with some price reductions throughout almost all segments of the market. The luxury market does appear to be the most resilient from a pricing stand point. There are opportunities available for buyers. I concur with the comments that proceed this months stats. Sellers should price carefully taking recent sales and current inventory in to consideration. We will continue to report trends in the local real estate market on THE Maui Real Estate Blog.