It is hard to believe we are already into the month of February. January was another beautiful month on Maui with spectacular weather, some fun events like TEDxMaui, an abundance of whales offshore and big waves. The end of the month means that it is once again time for The Maui Real Estate Team’s unofficial Maui Real Estate Statistics. See below for more information on last month’s sales volumes and price medians for Maui County.
Thus far, Maui Realtors have reported 49 homes sold at a median price of $408,000. By comparison, there were 54 homes sold in January 2011 with a median price of $495,414. That is a 9% reduction in sales volume and an 18% reduction in median price when comparing January 2012 to January 2011.
I counted 88 condos sold in January 2012 with a median sales price of $339,500. Comparatively, there 87 condos sold in January 2011 at a median price of $295,000. This calculates to a 1% increase in volume and a 15% increase in median price when comparing January 2011 to January 2012.
The land sales total for January 2012 was 8 closes at a median price of $330,000. There were 9 lots sold at a median price $300,000 in January 2011.
The Maui Real Estate Market continues to be impacted by short sales and bank owned properties (REOs). There were a total of 48 bank owned closes and completed short sales last month. Of the 49 homes sold, 18 were REOs or Short sales. That is approximately 37% of the sales volume. By comparison, 47% of last January’s home sales were REOs or shorts. Of the 88 condos sold last month, there were 27 sales that were either REOs or Short Sales. That is roughly 31% of the transaction volume. Last January, 37% of the condo sales were REOs or short sales. There were 3 REO sales among the 8 land sales last month. Last year, 2 out of 9 closes were REOs and shorts.
Looking at the numbers above, I didn’t see anything too earth shattering. While down a touch from last year overall, the numbers comparing this January and last January were fairly similar. If there was one thing that caught my eye it was the distressed property market. Bank owned transactions were down and short sale transactions were up a little. I am wondering if we may be seeing some side effects of ACT 48 on the market. ACT 48 is a new law related to foreclosures that was passed in May if 2011. The law passed by the Hawaii legislature was intended to encourage banks to mediate with owner occupants facing non-judicial foreclosure. The law hasn’t been all that successful in getting banks to engage in the mediation process. Instead, many banks have been putting homes in the judicial foreclosure process. This is a much lengthier process. Banks have also been more proactive in processing short sales. The end result has been fewer homes foreclosed upon over the last 7-8 months. There was a backlog of bank owned homes waiting to go to market, but it is tough to say how deep that pool might be. The bank owned sales and bank owned new inventory will be interesting to follow over the coming months.
Overall, market conditions have not changed drastically and my advice to buyers and sellers remains the same. Buyers will find that this is a good time to look as there are some well priced opportunities. That being said, the best opportunities are attracting strong interest. Buyers should be prepared to act quickly and with strong offers when pursuing the best opportunities. Patience may be needed as inventory is starting to thin in some segments of the market. Buyers requiring financing should be pre-approved prior to submitting offers and better yet prior to looking at properties. It is best to get a good handle on your budget in advance. Sellers in this market will need to keep their pencils sharp. Those who want to sell quickly should look closely at recent comparable sales and price at/or below those numbers. Sellers fishing for high prices may be best advised to stay on the sidelines. Contact The Maui Real Estate Team if you have questions on the January stats or need assistance buying or selling Maui Real Estate.