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Official July 2010 Maui Real Estate Statistics

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I have been a little busy of late so I was delinquent in getting out the unofficial Maui Real Estate Statistics for the month of July. The Maui Realtors Association beat me to the punch. As a result, I am going to condense my normal two monthly real estate statistics posts into one. As usual, I will highlight volume of sales, median prices and distressed market transactions. I have also included a link to the official statistics as well as some commentary on the statistics.

There were 61 homes sold in July of 2010 at a median price of 500,000. This compares to 59 homes in July of 2009 at a median of $532,000. This is a modest 3% increase in sales volume year to year.

There were 69 condos sold last month at a median price of $390,000. This compares to 78 sold in July of 2009 at a median price of $417,000. This marks a 12% decrease in volume year to year.

There were 14 parcels of land sold in Maui county at a median price of $370,000 during July of 2010. This compares to 12 parcels at a median of $322,500 in July of 2009. This marks a 17% increase in sales volume year to year.

Here is a link to all of the Maui Real Estate Statistics for July 2010 including community level sales figures.

For the last year and a half, I have been keeping track of the number of transactions that involve bank owned (REO) listings and short sale listings. By my calculations, I noted 25 REO sales and 21 short sales. Of all of the home sales last month, thirty nine percent were short sales or REOs. The percentage of condo transactions that were short sales or foreclosures stood at twenty nine percent. Two of the land transactions last month were short sales. Unofficially, it appears as if last month saw the percentage of short sales and foreclosures grow to its highest rate of the year.

The big thing that stands out this month is the drop in activity. Prior to July, each month of the year had shown a pretty healthy improvement in sales over the same month of 2009. This month we saw the difference dwindle in home sales and a year to year decrease in sales when comparing condos. We had heard anecdotal evidence of a market slow down post home buyer tax credits, and we started to see the quantitative signs with this months stats. While the numbers are not what you would want to see if you are looking for signs of a more robust recovery, there is also some danger in taking an overly pessimistic interpretation of the stats.

For most of the year, condo sales numbers were boosted by what I have called the Honua Kai effect. There have been a significant number of closes in this West Maui condo complex over the last year. Most were based on long term contracts. We are starting to see this effect wane with only two long term contract closes last month. While July of 2009 wasn’t a big month for long term new developer contracts, it still outpaced July of 2010 by an 11 to 2 margin. It is also worth noting that July of 2009 marked something of a turn around for the local real estate market. Sales were lifting out of the absolute doldrums and buyers started to return to the vacation rental condo market. I imagine we will see less drastic differences in the year to year comparisons in general as 2010 progresses due to the improved market activity in the latter half of 2009.

Home sales were down from what we were seeing over the last 4 or 5 months, but the post tax credit decrease wass not unexpected. The auto industry saw a dip in sales post cash for clunkers and our January and February of 2010 numbers dipped after the first round of first time home buyer tax credits. While I have seen this dip met with some measure of alarm in media reports. I remain a little more guarded. To me the question is whether there will be a rise in activity a couple of months down the line as the overall effect of the tax credits begins to wane.

Land numbers actually saw the most improvement year to year statistically. That being said, looking a little closer at the numbers shows less robust figures. Four of the sales last month were commercial lots. Land sales remain anemic in part due to limited financing options. The parcels that are selling are being priced well below market premiums.

Overall, my advice to buyers and sellers in this market remains similar to what I have been preaching throughout the last year or so. Sellers need to keep their pencils sharp when it comes to pricing. The properties that are selling are priced at or below comparable sales. It is especially important to keep that in mind as REO and Short sales take a growing portion of market share. If you have the means, it is helpful to have a survey and a home inspection prior to listing. Transactions are challenging in this market and it helps to eliminate potential surprises.

Buyers will continue to find properties priced well below market highs. Buyers with cash are finding the most opportunity as sellers may be averse to the risk of financing. Buyers who require financing should get pre-approved prior to looking at properties. It will help establish budget and put you in a better position if you need to act quickly. Some of the more desirable opportunities are garnering multiple offers shortly after hitting the market. Buyers need to have their ducks in a row to pounce on those opportunities. Contact us today with questions or for assistance buying or selling Maui properties.

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8/9/2010

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