Fall is just around the corner in Maui. We are starting to go into the slow season for tourism on the island. Surfers are eagerly anticipating the return of winter waves. There was even an extremely early whale sighting off of Kona on the Big Island last week. The end of August also means that it is time to chime in with our monthly unofficial Maui Real Estate statistics. It has been a busy start to September for the Maui Real Estate Team with a number of new listings in the works. That means I am a little late to the presses with these stats. It also means my commentary will be abbreviated this month. Without further ado, here are the numbers that I came up with while sorting through the Maui MLS database.
There were 74 homes sold in Maui last month with a median sales price of $521,000. Last August, there were a total of 81 sales at a median price of $410,000. That is a 9% reduction in sales volume and a 27% increase in median prices.
There were 97 condos sold on Maui in August 2012 with a median sales price of $344,900. In August 2011, the numbers were 86 condos sold at a median price of $266,000. That calculates to a 13% increase in activity and a 30% increase in medians.
There were 13 land sales last month with a median price of $350,000. Last year, there were 11 sales with a median price $180,000.
Here were a few other notes from the monthly sales numbers.
- There were fifty-five REO closes and Short sale transactions this month. Forty-one percent of all the home sales were REOs or Short sales. Twenty-six percent of all of the condo sales were REOs or short sales. While still a substantial part of the transaction volume, they are below the fifty-two percent and thirty-five percent of last August’s home and condominium transactions.
- It is also notable that short sales constituted the majority of these sales. Last year, REO activity was higher than short sales. While this has been fluctuating over the last few months, it appears as if the banks are trying to do more to complete successful short sales. Our brokerage has experienced faster decision cycles in a few of the short sales we have been involved with lately.
- The highest priced home sale last month was $5,999,999 for a beautiful oceanfront estate on Halama Street in Kihei. The highest sales price for a condos was $3,150,000 for a three bedroom condo at Papali Wailea.
- Luxury activity was down compared to last year. There were only two homes sold over $2,000,000 and two condos sold over $1,500,000. Last August, there were four homes sold over $2,000,000 and four condo sales over $1,500,000.
There was nothing else too ground breaking to report from this month’s statistics. I think it is worth mentioning that one shouldn’t read too much into the sharp increase in median prices across the board. As is often the case on Maui, changes in medians are driven more by shifts in where sales activity is occurring than changes in value. There were a lot of foreclosure sales at the low end of the market in August 2011. That increased low end activity depressed median sales prices. This August, the lower foreclosure activity and overall lower inventory of entry-level priced properties means less activity at the low end, and a higher median sales price as a result.
What does this all of this mean for prospective Maui Real Estate Buyers and Sellers? Our advice remains the same. Buyers will find opportunities in this market, but for many market segments the best opportunities require vigilance and quick action. Parts of the Maui market are experiencing scarce inventory. Well priced properties in those segments are going under contract shortly after hitting the market. Buyers that require financing should be pre-approved before they start their search so they can determine their accurate budget and be able to submit a pre-approval letter with their offer. Sellers will have to adjust their strategy by motivation and market segment. Motivated sellers need to price close to comparable sales to generate market activity. While some market segments lack inventory, other segments still have an abundance of properties for sale. In those market segments, motivated sellers will need to differentiate themselves from the rest of the market. This is a challenging market for buyers and sellers of Maui Real Estate to navigate. Contact The Maui Real Estate Team to discuss how we may be assistance if you are considering buying or selling Maui property.