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Wailea and Makena Mid Year Real Estate Market Update

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We may be almost midway through August, but I wanted to follow through on our promise to provide midyear market updates for a hand full of Maui communities. Today, we are going to cast the spotlight on the resort communities of Wailea and Makena. This corner of Maui is a a world renowned resort travel destination. Wailea and Makena are synonymous with stunning beaches, great golf, fine dining, luxurious resorts and high end shopping. All of these amenities combine to make Wailea and Makena desirable locales for second home owners. The following is a comparison of the sales numbers between the first half of 2012 and 2011 for the Wailea and Makena luxury markets.

A comparison of real estate sales volumes for Wailea and Makena for the first half of 2011 and 2012

This chart compares the Wailea and Makena Real Estate Sales volumes for the first six months of 2011 and 2012.

There were 17 home sales reported in Wailea/Makena with a median sales price of $1,635,000 during the first six months of 2012. During the same period of 2011, those totals were 10 sales with a median price of $1,472,500. That is a 70% increase in volume and an 11% increase in median prices. There were 58 condos sold in Wailea with a median price of $780,000 during January through June of 2012. The numbers for the first half of 2011 were 65 condos sold with a median price of $975,000. That is a 17 percent drop in volume and a 20% drop in median price. There was only one land sale in Wailea/Makena during the first six months of 2012. There were two during the first six months of 2011.

Here are some other noteworthy numbers for the first half of 2012.

  • There were three home sales in Makena during the first six months of 2012. By comparison, there were no sales in Makena during the first six months of 2011. On the other side of the coin, there were no condo sales in Makena during the first six months of 2012. There were four Makena condo sales in the first six months of 2011.
  • The high sale during the first six months of 2012 was $9,850,000 for a 4,155 square foot home oceanfront home in Makena Place. The high in the first six months of 2011 was $5,200,000 for a 5,967 square foot home in Wailea Golf Vistas.
  • The highest priced condo transaction in Wailea for the first half of 2012 was $5,992,000 for a 2,983 square foot unit at Wailea Beach Villas. The high condo sale in the first half of 2011 was $12,500,000 for a front row unit at Wailea Beach Villas.
  • The lowest priced home sale during the first six months of 2012 was $775,000 for a bank owned home in Wailea Pualani. The lowest priced home sale in the first half of 2011 was $900,000 for a home in Wailea Kai.
  • The lowest priced condo sale during the first six months of 2012 was $400,000 for a two bed/two bath unit at Grand Champions. Last year, the low priced sale was $360,000 for a one bedroom, bank owned unit in Wailea Ekahi.
  • There were a total of six REO sales and one short sale in all of Wailea and Makena during the first half of 2012. The numbers were eight REO sales and eight successful short sales in all of Wailea and Makena during the first half of 2011.

The most striking element of the Wailea and Makena numbers was the divergence in market performance between homes and condos. While activity was clearly up for home sales, the numbers trended down for the condo market. I can’t say there is a clear cut reason for the difference in activity. That being said, I have a few thoughts. Looking at the home side of the equation, the bump may be a case of buyers responding to values. At our broker Billy’s suggestion, I looked at original asking price vs. sales prices for homes in Wailea. Looking at the five highest priced sales, the difference between original asking price and sales price was 10%, 15%, 53%, 28% and 20% respectively. The 10% number difference between original list price and sales price on the Makena Place sale may actually be a little low. This home had been on and off the market without selling dating back to 2007. Back then, it was priced as high as $14,900,000. While I can’t say this unequivocally, it appears that buyers responded to these properties in part because of a perception of value. An increase in well priced properties may well be the driver for the increase in activity.

I think this is something worth noting for luxury sellers. There is still a pretty healthy luxury inventory on the market. The buyers like Peter Thiel are more an exception than a rule. Luxury buyers are showing that they are value conscious in this market. Motivated sellers may want to take heed and position their home so that it stands out as a value among the rest of the inventory.

The reasons for the decrease in activity in the luxury condo market are a little murky. In my search for answers, I compared the sales volume of individual condo complexes in the Wailea and Makena area. You can see this comparison in the chart below.

A comparison of sales volumes at the different condos of Wailea and Makena during the first half of 2011 and 2012

A comparison of sales volumes at the different condo complexes of Wailea and Makena during the first half of 2011 and 2012

There was one thing that stood out the most while looking at this chart. There appears to be a sharper decline in activity on the high end of the condo market. Among the places that saw sharper declines in activity, Wailea Palms is the only complex with a median less than $1,000,000. Other complexes with more notable declines included Papali, Wailea Beach Villas, Hoolei, Wailea Point, Makena Surf and Na Hale O Makena. All of these complexes are condos with median prices over $1,000,000 and in some cases well over $2,000,000. I looked back at all of the sales and my suspicions appear to be supported. There were 30 sales over $1,500,000 during the first six months of last year. This year that number shrank to 15 sales. What’s driving a high end condo slow down in Wailea and Makena? That’s tough to say. The decline in volume at Papali and Hoolei may stem from a decrease in inventory. These are new developments that have sold all but a few of the original developer listings. There is only one new developer listing remaining at Papali and the majority of the twelve listings at Hoolei are resales. With the rest of the luxury market, lack of inventory isn’t driving the decline in activity. There are an additional 39 condos on the market over $1,500,000. If these sellers are serious about selling, they may want to take a page from the book of Wailea luxury home sellers and start to sharpen their pencils.

The land market in Wailea and Makena remains limited. The one sale this year was for a property in Makena with upside development potential. There are fourteen vacant lots listed currently. Two of the fourteen are under contract. Looking at this inventory, many of these lots are resales. I can’t see a lot of activity in this market segment unless more of these listings become values in the eyes of buyers.

Contact The Maui Real Estate Team if you have questions or would like assistance buying or selling Wailea and Makena Properties. Search MauiRealEstate.com for the current inventory of Makena and Wailea Condos for Sale. You can also peruse the current inventory of Makena and Wailea Homes for Sale.


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8/13/2012

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