October came and went quickly on Maui. It was an eventful month on the island with beautiful weather, big waves, a tsunami scare and the rollicking antics of Halloween on Front Street in Lahaina. It also happened to be an eventful month for the Maui Real Estate Market. Typically, October is slow season for the Maui market. It is one of our quietest months for visitors. Fewer visitors mean fewer potential real estate buyers. It is usually a good time for Realtors to stretch their legs a little before the start of peak buying season in late December. That is a far cry from what we have experienced this October. The Maui Real Estate Team has been running all over the island showing properties. Listings that were previously quiet are getting showings and offers. It feels like there has been a shift in the market. Based on the above, I am going to do something a little different for this month’s unofficial Maui Real Estate Statistics. In addition to the usual data on properties that have sold, I wanted to take a look at some of the buyer activity in October for properties that may not have closed yet. There was actually enough data to support two blog posts. This first post looks at sales volumes, medians and a few other numbers that caught our eyes among the October sales. The second part of the stats will take a look at current market activity and our overall thoughts on the market. Without further ado, here is part I.
By my count, there were 95 homes sold during October with a median price of $489,000. Last October, there were 74 homes sold at a median price of $482,500. That translates to a 28% increase in volume and a 1% increase in median price when comparing this October to last.
Thus far, there have been 94 condos reported sold in Maui County this October with a median sales price of $482,500. By comparison, there were 77 condos sold with a median price of $351,495 in October 2011. That means we saw a 22% increase in sales volume and a 37% increase in median price compared to last October.
Land sales remained slow on island last month with only 7 sales reported with a median sales price of $345,000. This was slightly lower than October 2011 activity when 8 sales were reported at a median price of $465,000.
Looking through the stats, I came across a number of other numbers that I thought were worthy of sharing.
- There were 16 bank owned properties sold last month. Most of those were single family homes. By comparison, there were 40 bank owned properties that closed in October of 2011. That is a 60% drop in bank owned transactions. Limited bank owned inventory means that we will continue to see fewer bank owned sales.
- October was the busiest month for single family housing sales of 2012. It was the slowest month of the year for land sales.
- There were 25 short sale transactions that closed in October. There were 33 short sale transactions that closed last October.
- The highest sale for a home this month was $3,142,730 for a 5,126 square foot home on 2.35 acres in the Plantation Estates area of Kapalua.
- That was one of three sales in Plantation Estates. That’s a pretty healthy number of sales considering there were only 19 sales in the subdivision dating back to 2003. Also of note, those are three of the four lowest sales prices for the subdivision. It appears that value is driving volume in this luxury community.
- Overall Luxury sales were slower this month. The three home sales over $2,000,000 was below the seven sales over $2,000,000 last October. There was only one sale of $1,500,000 in the luxury condo market. By comparison, there were five over $1,500,000 during October of 2011.
There are several notable details worth discussing in this month’s numbers. I want to start with the luxury numbers before moving on to some bigger picture numbers. On the luxury real estate front, we saw slower activity for home and condo sales this month. The lower luxury sales volume reflects the continuation of a trend in the Maui luxury property market over the course of 2012. For the year, there have been 35 homes sold over $2,000,000. That compares to 44 sold last year over $2,000,000 for the same period. That is roughly a 20% dip in activity. For the Maui luxury condo market, there have been 31 condos sold year to date over $1,500,000. That compares to 60 sold during the January through October 2011 period. That represents a 48% dip in activity. While the overall Maui market appears to be trending up, the luxury market is lagging. I think the properties that were sold in October were representative of a recurring theme among this year’s luxury buyers. The Kapalua Plantation Estates sales were all luxury values. While there are still some luxury buyers willing to pay a premium, many are still seeking value above all else.
As with last month, there was a decrease in the number of Bank Owned or REO properties that sold compared to what we were seeing in 2011. We wrote last month about how the pipeline of REO properties has been decreasing on Maui. For all of October, there were only 13 new bank owned listings coming on the market. That was the lowest total to come on the market as of yet. We spoke with two agents who list a lot of the REO properties and both indicated that their pipelines were looking pretty dry for the foreseeable future. While it was surmised that the shadow inventory may provide us some relief on the inventory crunch, that just doesn’t seem to be the case right now. It appears as though many of the properties that are in the foreclosure pipeline are in some sort of legal limbo.
The decrease in bank owned inventory has been part of a general decrease in inventory. In my unofficial September statistics, we documented a decrease in sales activity. I offered the theory that the decrease in sales was driven in part by the lack of inventory. Based on our own anecdotal evidence and discussions with other Realtors, there are quite a few buyers looking who haven’t been able to find properties or are coming up short in bidding wars.
So what happened this month? One of the most notable numbers from the October stats is that home sales were higher than any other month of the year. While condo sales weren’t as notable, they still showed quite a spike over the September numbers. What caused the bump? Was I wrong on my theory that buyers not finding what they want was keeping sales numbers down? Has there been a bump in inventory that helped quench some of the buyer demand? What’s happening with the market? Read Part II of our Unofficial October Maui Real Estate Statistics.