It has been a busy January so I have been slow to get around to statistics posts. The Realtors Association of Maui posted their official December Maui Real Estate Statistics a few days following my Unofficial Stats. There were no changes in the numbers from what I had posted. There was just some additional community level granularity and detail. There was also information on the overall year end 2011 Maui Real Estate Statistics. The year end numbers and their significance are the primary focus of this post.
Home sales were up 10% when comparing 2011 to 2010 yearly totals. The median sales price for homes was down 6%. Condo sales were up just 1% with the median falling 18%. Land sales volume was up 9% with the median sales price down 25%.
It was encouraging to see increased activity across the board. Continued increases in sales volume are going to be necessary for median prices to stabilize. We saw median prices fall across all three property types. Those decreases are due in part to continued downward adjustments to property values. That being said, there are other factors impacting medians. I will discuss those more below.
Looking at the condo numbers, the one percent increase in activity was anomalous when compared to the other two property types. The big reason for that seemingly low increase can be traced to what I have called the Honua Kai effect. Honua Kai is a big beachfront development over in West Maui. The property first went for sale pre-construction back in 2005 and 2006. Construction started to finish and closes started to occur in 2009. There was a steady stream of sales through 2009 and well into 2010. These sales bolstered the overall Maui condo sales volumes for both years. While there were a smattering of long term contract sales that closed at Honua Kai in 2011, it wasn’t at near the same volume. The end of the “Honua Kai Effect” is the primary reason why the condo market saw the smallest year to year increase in activity.
As for the large decrease in condo medians, RAM executive Terry Tolman cites mainland owners dumping their condos at low prices as the primary reason for the 18% decrease. He references the Honua Kai Effect as another contributor. I would agree that Honua Kai played the bigger role in decreasing medians. Not only were there a lot of Honua Kai Sales in 2010, most were at higher price points. Sales started in the $500,000s and ran all the way up into the $4,000,000 range. Those closes helped raise the median for 2010. I would be less likely to attribute the decrease in medians to mainland owners dumping their second homes. If anything, vacation rental condo prices have held value much better than condos that are geared more towards Maui residents. I would argue that continued increases in foreclosure transaction volume were an additional drag on median prices. There were 269 REO condo sales in 2011 compared to 177 in 2010. The median price for the 269 REO condo sales was $145,000. To reiterate, there were decreases in condo values on Maui last year but not as much as what is implied by the percentage decrease in medians.
Land sales also saw a more significant decrease in median prices. As with the condo market, it is clear that values decreased for vacant land. I would also argue that the decrease in values were not quite as significant as the change in medians. While the cause for the bigger decrease isn’t quite as clear, Maui land sale statistics should always be viewed with an element of skepticism. Smaller sample size and the tremendous variability in the size, location and orientation of land sold make median price changes a relatively poor barometer of changes in value.
If time allows, I hope to do a couple more blog posts looking at the 2011 Maui Real Estate statistics for specific communities. In the interim, feel free to Contact The Maui Real Estate Team if you have any questions on the overall market, specific communities or if you would just like assistance buying or selling Maui Property.