The ball has dropped, the holiday season has passed and we are already a week into 2012. It is hard to believe that 2011 is over already. Of course, that also means that it is time for the unofficial December Maui Real Estate statistics. December was a little more blustery than usual on Maui. The whole island experienced lots of wind, and the windward sides of the island received a lot of rain. On the plus side, the mix of rain and sun meant an abundance of rainbows. I think I saw more rainbows in one month than I had in the previous two years. As with the weather, the real estate market was something of a mixed bag. Home sales were higher than December of 2010. Condo and land sales failed to match the December 2010 numbers. Keep reading for more sales numbers and some Maui Real Estate market thoughts and observations.
There were 76 homes sold during December at a median price of $496,500. By comparison, the December 2010 sales numbers were 73 sales at a median of $460,000. That calculates to a 4% increase in volume and an 8% increase in median.
I counted 87 condos sold at a median price of $304,000 this December. The December 2010 numbers were 93 sales at a median price of $352,000. That equals a 6% drop in volume and a 14% drop in median prices.
There 8 land sales reported during December 2011 at a median price of $362,500. That compares to 14 sales at a median of $394,850 during December of 2010. This is a 43% drop in sales volume and an 8% drop in prices.
Bank Owned (REO) and Short Sale properties continue to have an impact on the Maui Real Estate market. There were a grand total of 57 bank owned sales and 21 short sales last month. Of the 78 homes sold last month, 40 were REOs or short sales. That equates to 51% of the sales volume. Of the 85 condos sold last month, 35 were REOs or short sales. That equals 41% of the total condo sales volume. Of the 8 lots sold on island last month, 3 were bank owned. That is 38% of the land sales volume. It is safe to say buyers are still looking to the bank owned and short sale market for opportunities.
I have no great epiphanies from this month’s statistics. The biggest takeaway may be the month to month variability we see in our real estate market. November Statistics showed strong increases in sales volume across the board. Condos, homes and land all posted increases over November 2010. The home market looked particularly strong with a 26% increase in volume. Juxtaposed against the December stats, it is apparent that November just happened to be a good month rather than a harbinger of a stronger recovery in the real estate market. By the same token, I wouldn’t read into the December stats as a sign of weakening market. Maui market trends aren’t evident through one months statistics.
Looking ahead to January, we are officially in “the peak buyer’s season” on Maui. Anecdotal evidence would suggest that we are seeing pretty good market activity. Overall it remains a buyers market, but there is a lot of variability between price ranges and property types. The lower ends of the market for homes and condos have relatively limited inventory. As you start to go up in price you see a greater range of inventory. Many home buyers are finding that they need to exercise patience to wait for good opportunities. The best opportunities often attract multiple offers. If a buyer requires financing, they should get loan pre-approval prior to searching for properties. That will put you in a better position to act quickly when good deals come on the market. Sellers who want to sell quickly should pay close attention to recent comparable sales and competing inventory. If you have the means, hiring a home inspector in advance can help to identify potential issues with your property. It is better to know up front than be caught by a surprise in the middle of a transaction.
Stay tuned for additional statistical data on the Maui Real Estate Blog. The official Realtors Association of Maui stats will be coming out next week. I will post some year end stats along with the official numbers. As time allows, I also hope to do some final year statistics and market analysis for selected island communities. Contact The Maui Real Estate Team with any questions or for assistance buying or selling Maui Real Estate.