I spent a little bit of time yesterday trying to figure out the September Real Estate stats for the county of Maui. These are my unofficial Maui Real Estate statistics that I traditionally post in advance of the official Maui Real Estate statistics provided by the local board of Realtors. I like to include a commentary and a little bit of analysis on the numbers. Without further ado, here are the unofficial September stats.
There were 53 homes sold in September of 2009 at a median price of $450,000. This compares to the September 2008 numbers of 66 homes sold at median of $537,500. This is a 20% decrease year to year in sales volume.
The condo sales figures for September were 62 sold at a median of $306,250. In comparison, the September 2008 numbers were 51 sold at a median of $388,500. This is a 21 percent increase in sales volume over last year.
The land numbers for September were 10 properties sold at a median of $712,500. At the same time last year, there were 7 parcels of land sold at a median of $290,500. That represents a 43% increase in sales volume.
Of all of the properties sold in Maui County in September, 24 closes were bank owned. There were also 13 short sales in the county last month. We are continuing to see the growing influence of short sales and foreclosures in the Maui market. Thirty-eight percent of the home sales were short sales or foreclosures. Among condos, 26% of the sales were either shorts or foreclosures. The land market did not see any foreclosures. Last month marks the most bank owned and short sale activity that we have seen to date. The increase in Maui foreclosure sales is the most striking. This trend does not show any potential for abating at this point with a healthy inventory of foreclosures on the market and more coming.
As for the overall numbers, condo numbers showed well when comparing the figures year to year. The condo numbers were based primarily on resales. I have talked a lot about the Honua Kai effect and how it has inflated condo sales numbers this year, but September saw only one sale at Honua Kai and two other long term new development sales at Opukea.
Land numbers are also up when compared to September of 2008, but sales volume remains low. With such a small number of sales, it is hard to trump a 43 % increase in volume. This market is likely to remain slow as financing options remain limited. There are two things that are worth noting thought about the land market. There are still a few high end land buyers. The eye catching sale of all property classes for the month was a $10,000,000 sales price for over 100 acres up in the Plantation Estates area of Kapalua. It is also worth noting that Maui’s major agricultural/real estate companies have been attempting to sell off fallow agricultural lands to raise capital. They are offering larger parcels well below peak market and even more recent comparable sales.
The September 2009 home sales were the one segment that failed to exceed the monthly sales totals from September of 2008. That being said, a little digging shows that the 2008 numbers were somewhat inflated. Seventeen of the sixty-six homes sold were long term contract new development sales. The 2009 figures featured no long term development new home sales. If you just compare resale numbers year to year, there is actually a modest bump of 8% with this year’s numbers. One other thing that is notable about the home sales for September of 2009 was the price range that showed the most activity. There were 19 homes sold under $400,000. Buyers are starting to find a more robust inventory to choose from in this price range including a number of foreclosure listings. We may also be seeing some bump from first time home buyers scrambling to take advantage of the closing window for tax credits.
You may have noted that while I have reported the median prices, I don’t spend too much time delving into the year to year changes in medians. Medians for Maui tend to be skewed due to small sample sizes and shifts in where market activity is concentrated. The land numbers for the year provide a classic example, comparison of the medians year to year would suggest a large increase in values. It is safe to say that is not the case. We are continuing to see healthy price reductions across many property classes. It is likely that we may see more adjustments as the steady stream of foreclosures continues.
What does all of this mean? Well I imagine this sounds like a broken record, but this is an interesting market for buyers. There are opportunities in all price ranges. The increase in foreclosures is adding even more inventory with attractive pricing. The reduced prices is one factor that is drawing in buyers who have been sitting on the fence. We have seen an increase in activity over the last month with properties under contract pushing over 400 for the first time since early 2008. While the increase in buyer activity is a positive, sellers need to be mindful that it remains a buyers market when they are choosing how to price their properties. Price too high and you will miss potential buyers. Feel free to contact us with additional questions or for assistance buying or selling property on Maui. In the meantime, stay tuned for another blog post with the “official” September statistics. I imagine they will be released sometime in the next week.