I have had the opportunity over the last couple of days to sort through our local MLS database to start to get a read on December real estate sales in Maui County. The numbers that I will present below are what I like to call my “unofficial Maui Real Estate statistics”. They are a sneak peak that comes out in advance of the official statistics produced by the Maui Board of Realtors. Without further ado, here are the numbers I came up with for December Sales.
There were 90 homes sold in Maui County last month at a median price of $477,000. This compares to 54 homes sold at a median of $567,500 in December of 2008. From a volume standpoint, this represents a 67% increase in sales when comparing the two months.
There have been 78 condo sales reported to date for December 2009 at a median price of $399,000. For comparisons sake, the December 2008 numbers were 37 sold at a median of $499,000. This represents an increase in volume of 111% when comparing the two months.
Land sales continue to be relatively low in volume with 9 lots sold in the county at a median of $305,000. This compares favorably to the dismal December of 2008 numbers. Last year there were only 2 closes at a median of $2,171,300. This is a 350% increase in sales volume when comparing the two months.
We continue to see quite a few short sales and REO or bank owned properties selling on Maui. There were 45 REO or bank owned sales that closed last month. There were 13 short sales that closed in December 2009. Of all of the home sales, 42% were either bank owned or short sales. Of all of the condo sales, 22% were bank owned or short sales. Of the land sales, 33% were bank owned. This was the highest month for sales volume of bank owned properties that we have seen in recent history.
Overall, this last month of the year was the best month of the year for sales volume on Maui. Home sales led the charge with 90 transactions. That was the best monthly total we have since July of 2008. It is likely that a couple of factors played into these improved numbers. Buyers were attracted to the opportunities presented by bank owned properties. This was a big month for bank owned sales and many of these transactions were generally at a discount. We likely saw continued influence from the first time home buyers credits. The extension of this credit allowed sales to spill over from November. Last, but not least we are seeing steady improvement in the confidence of home buyers as the overall economy shows a little more stability.
Condo sales were up a little from what we had seen in the previous four months and show a big improvement over the same time last year. That in part is a reflection of improved sales volume overall and also a reflection of the fact that last December was the absolute low point for sales volume on Maui. We are seeing activity in all segments of the condo market from entry level condos to more high end luxury condos. This last month saw more sales activity over $1,000,000 than we had seen in any other month of the year.
Land sales remain anemic. There was a huge improvement over last year, but that was more a reflection of how bad sales were last December than how good they were this year. With land loans remaining difficult, this is going to remain a tough market for sellers. Buyers with cash should find some opportunities.
Overall, we are continuing to see improving health in our volume of sales. While we remain a good bit below peak market sales numbers, we have clearly elevated over the dreadful sales volumes we were seeing in the fall of 2008. Despite the uptick in sales volume, sellers need to understand that this remains a buyer’s market. There is still a fair amount of inventory and discounted bank owned properties are part of the competition. Sellers who are pricing their properties at or below recent comparable sales are having the most success. Buyers will continue to find opportunities in this market.
Stay tuned for the official Maui Real Estate Statistics for December. I will also include some discussion of the overall 2009 statistics in that post. Feel free to Contact us with questions or for assistance buying or selling property on Maui.