I had a chance a few days back to sit down and sort through the sales reported on the MLS for the Month of May. I have included the numbers below as well as a short commentary. I imagine that the official RAM Maui Real Estate statistics should be forthcoming sometime next week.
There were 54 home sales reported in the month of May at a median price $504,500. This compares to May 2008 sales numbers which included 97 home sales at a median of $567,000. This is a 54% decrease in volume
There were 47 condos sold in the county of Maui during the month of May at a median price of $315,500. In May of 2008 we saw 84 condos sold at a median of $512,500. This is also a 54% decrease in volume year to year.
There were seven land sales reported to the MLS in Maui County last month at a median of $530,000. This compares to 9 sales at a median of $600,000 in 2008. This is a 22% decrease in volume.
Of the sales listed above, 17 sales were bank owned properties and 11 were short sales. There were also two probate sales. Of the condos sold, 32% were either bank owned or foreclosures. Of the homes sold in May, 31% were bank owned, short sales or probate sales. This continues to be a significant part of the market place and it appears as if this trend is holding. We are starting to see some improvements in the efficiency of short sale transactions. We are also seeing some banks that are increasing their motivation to sell.
For the second straight month, the condo median prices are the numbers that are the most striking. We have seen a big dip from last year’s median. While price decreases have certainly played a part in the decrease, there are other factors that are causing this number to drop rapidly. As mentioned many times before on this blog, medians can be driven up or down depending on where the bulk of market activity is occurring. Some Maui condos started to see decreases in values as early as 2006, but median prices continued to soar through 2008. This was driven by a large volume of transactions that were occurring at the high end of the condo market. Now we are seeing the reverse. Volume of sales is down considerably at the high end while sales have increased at the low end. This helps drive down the median.
Home sales were down significantly over last year, but we saw a slight uptick over last month. Land sales were down a little from last year and the prior two months. This remains such a small sample that fluctuations in medians and volume are a poor indicator of market trends. The few sales that occurring are with properties that have adjusted their price well off of market highs.
What does all of this mean? My advice to buyers and sellers remains the same as what I have been preaching in previous months. Sellers need to continue to adjust expectations to the reality of the market. The sellers that are having the best success are those that are adjusting prices below recent comparable sales. Buyers continue to find opportunities if they are patient. It will be interesting to see if we see any uptick in sales volume over the next couple of months. We have seen an increase in the number of properties under contract over the last couple of months. While it has not been drastic, it is a marked improvement over this time last year when the number of properties under contract was steadily dwindling. Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions about the Maui Real Estate market or need assistance in the sale or purchase of a property.