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The Hana Ranch and A Hana Real Estate Market Update

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The highest priced listing on Maui over the last four years has been the Hana Ranch. This 4,500 acre property located in East Maui was originally listed at $65,000,000 and is currently listed for $55,000,000. This is a legacy property that required a pretty unique buyer with A LOT of capital. While Hana is a magical part of the island, the seclusion and the unique character of the area made it a poor match for those that are looking for acreage for development opportunities. For that matter, the sellers were hoping to attract a buyer who would be more inclined to preserve the area. While there is an active agricultural component to the property, it isn’t exactly a cash cow. Ranching operations were cash flow negative. For such a big price tag, this property doesn’t pencil out for most who are looking for business opportunities. That being said, it appears as if the right buyer may have come along. As noted in last Thursday’s Maui News, Bio-Logical Capital is under contract to purchase Hana Ranch. While terms of the contract and a closing date have not been disclosed, Bio-Logical Capital has made its intentions with the Ranch known. They hope to preserve and potentially expand existing cattle ranching operations. They also hope to do additional sustainable agriculture on the property. Indications are that they are sensitive to the rural character of the community. On paper, things sound promising that Bio-Logical Capital will be good stewards of the land. We will provide additional details on the Hana Ranch sale as they become available.

The contract to purchase Hana Ranch cast the spotlight on East Maui Real Estate last week. It is the marquis sale or potential sale in what has been a year of renewed interest in Hana properties. Hana’s real estate market languished last year. During the first half of 2011, only one home and one parcel of land sold. There were only six properties sold in all of East Maui last year. There has been a positive uptick to the market through the first half of 2012. Here are the numbers.

A Comparison of Real Estate Sales Volumes for Hana for the First Half of 2011 and the First Half of 2012

A Comparison of Real Estate Sales Volumes in Hana and East Maui for the First Half of 2011 and the first half of 2012

There were seven homes sold in the first six months of 2012 with a median price of $349,900. There were 2 condos sold at the Hotel Hana with a median price of $475,000. There were three lots sold at a median price of $335,000. While we are dealing with small sample sizes, this is a 600% increase in activity over the first six months of last year.

Here were a few other things that I found notable about the Hana real estate numbers for the first six months of 2012.

  • Three of the twelve properties included above are in the community of Nahiku.
  • Two of the sales in Hana and East Maui were bank owned properties.
  • There were no sales in the East Maui Communities of Kaupo or Kipahulu. That being said, inventory has been pretty limited in both communities
  • The highest sale was $720,000 for a home on 5.4 acres in the Hana Ag Park. This property was listed by The Maui Real Estate Team.
  • The lowest sale was $225,000 for a property with multiple structures of questionable permitting in Nahiku.
  • Hana sellers have had to show a little more flexibility on pricing. Only one property sold for full asking price. Many of the properties sold for significantly less than original asking.

The Hana market is showing sings of life after what can only be described as a pretty dismal 2011. One factor in the resuscitation is addressed in my last bullet point directly above. Sellers have become more flexible on pricing and buyers have been responding to the values. This isn’t rocket science, but it is a clear theme coming up with all of my other midyear market updates. Buyers in this market are value sensitive and well priced properties are moving.

With a better first half of 2012, what can we expect for the rest of the year in Hana and East Maui? There is still a sizable inventory in Hana. There are twenty homes listed with three pending. That suggests a pretty good variety of properties for buyers. The pool of Hana buyers isn’t all that deep due to its relative seclusion. This means Hana home sellers are going to need to keep their pencils sharp. The land market is also pretty flush with listings. At this time, three of the twenty-seven land listings are under contract including the Hana Ranch. This is another market segment where motivated sellers will need to keep sharp on pricing to draw interest from the smaller pool of buyers. The Hana Ranch transaction could be an X factor in the Hana Real Estate market for the rest of the year. There have been other examples where high profile closes have drawn attention to a community and bumped real estate activity. It will be interesting to see if that happens with Hana if and when Hana Ranch closes.

If you are interested in the Hana Real Estate market, you can browse the current inventory of East Maui Homes for Sale on MauiRealEstate.com. Feel free to contact The Maui Real Estate Team if you are interested in selling or buying Hana Properties.


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8/22/2012

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