Holiday decorations are going back in closets, the smoke from New Year’s fireworks has cleared and new calendars have been put up for the New Year. That means we are due for another installment of our Unofficial Maui Real Estate Statistics. December proved to be a very busy month for real estate sales. October and November were the busiest months of the year for properties going under contract. We saw that reflected in the higher closes this month. Here are all of the details on this month’s stats followed by some thoughts and context for the December numbers.
There were 82 homes reported sold in December with a median sales price of $511,750. For frame of reference, the December 2011 numbers were 79 homes sold at a median sales price of $411,000. That calculates to approximately a 4% increase in volume and a 25% increase in median values between this December and last December.
I counted 140 condos sold in December with a median sales price of $377,950. Last December, Maui Realtors reported 89 sales with a median price of $304,000. That translates to a 57% bump in sales volume and a 24% increase in median prices.
I counted 26 total land sales for December in Maui County with a median sales price of $315,000. For December 2011, there were 9 sales with a median sales price of $375,000. That is a 288% increase in sales activity and an 16% decrease in median values when comparing Decembers.
Here are a few other interesting numbers that I came across while compiling the Maui sales volumes and medians.
- There were 20 bank owned sales last month on island. Most of those transactions were home sales. In December of 2011, there were 58 bank owned sales. That is a 66% drop in bank owned activity compared to last December.
- There were 22 short sale transactions that were completed successfully last month. There were 21 successful short sales reported in December of 2011.
- The highest sales price for a home was $23,000,000 for a beautiful oceanfront Estate on Keawakapu Beach in Wailea. This estate home features 5 bedrooms, six full baths, two half baths and over 6,000 square feet of living space. The home was situated on .63 acres of beachfront land. This is the second highest ever sales price for a home on Maui.
- There were a total of four luxury homes sold over $2,000,000 last month. In December of 2011, there were six homes sold over $2,000,000.
- There were five luxury condos sold over $1,500,000 last month. Last December, there was only one condo sold over $1,500,000.
- The land sales volume was the highest single month total in Maui County since June 2007.
- The condo sales volume was the second highest monthly total since March 2006
Land has been the ugly step child of the Maui Real Estate market for some time now. Sales have been tepid since 2007. While there have been a handful of months when we may have seen 20+ sales during this span, that month was usually followed by a month of ten sales or less. That changed with the last two months. After reporting 22 sales in November, there were 26 sales reported this month. With shrinking home inventories, we are seeing home buyers expand the scope of their search to include raw land. This is part of what is driving what appears to be a resurgence. It will be interesting to follow the land market over the coming months to see if this level of heightened sales activity is sustained.
The condo market also experienced sales volumes that we have seldom seen since the peak market days. The only month that performed better since 2006 was April 2010. That month of high performance deserved an asterisk as there were 40 new developer closes at Honua Kai based on pre-construction contracts that were originally drafted back in 2005. The December numbers weren’t bolstered by neither the same level of new developer sales or long term contracts. This is particularly surprising as the fall season is usually a relatively weak time for condo buying activity as there are fewer visitors. It will be interesting to see what happens in the coming months during our peak buyers season. Limited inventory and/or potential economic uncertainties are the two impediments that could keep us from sustaining high levels of buyer activity.
One other thing to note with the numbers above are the shifts in median pricing. After a few years of decreasing property values, we did start to see some modest price increases particularly at the lower and middle price ranges in the market. That being said, the 24% and 25% increases in median sales price that we saw respectively in the home and condo market are not due exclusively to increases in property values. Price increases have tended to be far more modest. The biggest driver in the shift in medians are changes in the inventory. While 2011 offered healthy inventories at the lower and middle parts of the market, the inventory contracted significantly during 2012. Fewer sales at the low end combined with more activity in the middle and higher price ranges means higher median sales prices.
With the winter buyer season officially here, what do the numbers above mean for buyers and sellers? For buyers, many segments of the Maui market are proving to be competitive. With limited inventory in many different parts of the island, the conditions are in place for multiple offers and above asking sales prices when well priced properties come on the market. Buyers who require financing to assist with their purchase should take the time and effort to be pre-approved for a mortgage prior to looking at properties. A pre-approval letter may be a requirement with some sellers and/or it could differentiate you from buyers who are only pre-qualified. While inventory is limited in many parts of the market, sellers can’t be complacent. Lots of properties are going under contract, but it appears that there are quite a few transactions that are falling through. If you have the capital, address deferred maintenance. If you can, consider having a home inspection done so that you can help identify and address potential deal breakers in advance. Prices are going up in many segments of the Maui market, but over-priced properties aren’t getting a lot of attention. Look closely at recent comparable sales when determining a go-to market price. Now more than ever, professional and responsive representation is important. Contact The Maui Real Estate Team today to discuss how we may be able to work with you to achieve your real estate goals on Maui.
Stay tuned to the Maui Real Estate Blog for more year end statistics and thoughts on the Maui real estate market. We hope to publish year end stats in the coming days. We will also be taking a look at how individual Maui communities perform in the next week. We already posted on the Spreckelsville market earlier this week. Keep your eyes peeled for year end updates on Paia, Haiku, Wailea, Kaanapali, Kapalua and more.