April is a transitional month on Maui. Winter waves become more scarce on the North Shore. The Jacarandas and silk oaks really begin to bloom Upcountry. Mangoes begin to ripen in South Maui and Lahaina. We also see the end of our peak visitor season and the end of our “traditional” peak season for real estate activity. This peak season has seen pretty healthy market acivity. Buyers have been actively seeking out deals and trying to take advantage of the great interest rates available. Demand is no longer the market’s biggest problem. We are now seeing supply issues in quite a few market segments. With all of that in mind, I wanted to provide you with a sneak peak on how the Maui Real Estate market performed last month. Here is some information on sales volumes, sales medians and other numbers that I found to be of interest.
By my early count, there were 77 homes sold last month in Maui County with a median sales price of $500,000. The April 2012 numbers were 79 sales at a median price of $469,000. That is a 3% decrease in sales activity compared to last year and a 7% increase in median sales price.
I counted 142 condo sales last month with a median sales price of $369,995. Last April, there were 129 condo sales at a median price of $399,000. That calculates to a 10% increase in activity over last year and a 7% decrease in median sales prices.
Maui Realtors have reported 14 land sales thus far for April 2013 with a median sales price of $497,500. In April 2012, there were 8 land sales with a median price of $365,000. That is a 75% increase in sales activity and a 36% increase in median sales price.
In addition to the numbers reported above, here are a few other numbers that I came across while compiling the statistics that I thought were worth sharing.
- The high sales price for a home during the month of April was $8,150,000 for an estate property in the One Palauea Bay subdivision in Makena.
- That was one of four sales over $2,000,000 in Maui County during the month of April. By comparison, there was only one sale over $2,000,000 in April 2012.
- The highest priced condo sale in Maui County last month was at Honua Kai Resort. A luxurious three bedroom unit at this West Maui beachfront resort sold for $4,450,000.
- The Honua Kai transaction was one of six condo sales priced over $1,500,000 last month. There were also six condo closes over $1,500,000 in April of 2012.
- One of the condo price ranges that saw a clear bump in activity was the $1,000,000-$1,500,000 price range. There were 14 sales in that range this year verses only 6 last year.
- The busiest condos for sales activity were Honua Kai, Hoolea in Wailuku and Wailea Ekahi. Hoolea is a new development that prohibits vacation rentals.
- There were 13 REO or bank owned sales that closed last month. Last April, there were 21 REO sales. That is a 39% drop in REO sales compared to last April. REO condos have become particularly scarce with only 3 REO closes last month. That is only 2% of the condo sales volume.
- There were 15 short sale transactions that were completed successfully last month. Last April, there 32 short sale transactions that were completed. That is a 53% decrease in short sale transactions.
The condo market highlighted this month’s stats. The 142 condo sales was tied for the second busiest month in the last five year. The only month to exceed that sales volume benefited from a significant volume of new development closes based on contracts originally signed back in 2005 and 2006. The high volume of sales was driven by increased activity in the vacation rental and second home condo markets. This activity helped to offset decreased activity in the lower price ranges of the vacation rental prohibited condo market. This segment saw sales decrease largely due to decreased inventory. With decreased inventory, the few offerings that came on the market at reasonable prices were snatched up quickly in bidding wars. These dynamics are pushing prices up steadily. The price increases are moving slowly from the bottom of the market to higher price points.
The home market saw a nominal decrease in activity due largely to decreased inventory. Demand is there for properties, but inventory is lacking particularly at or below Maui median sales prices. For example, just looking at Maui and excluding Molokai and Lanai there were 22 sales under $400,000 in April. Last April, there were 30 sales on Maui under $400,000. That is a 27% decrease in activity. Stronger demand at higher price points in the market offset most of the decreased volume at the low end.
What does this all mean for buyers and sellers? What can you expect over the next few months? Busy season may be over, but I wouldn’t expect real estate activity to sag much at all. In general, entry level properties in the different communities around the island are likely to see the most competition amongst buyers. Multiple offer situations are common on well priced properties. You will find pockets of competition in higher price ranges as well. The thinner the inventory, the greater the competition for properties. The competition is causing upward price pressure. Buyers should take steps to have necessary funds available and get pre-approved for financing if they don’t want to miss out on opportunities. Sellers will find that market conditions have turned in their favor in quite a few segments of the Maui Real Estate market. That being said, there are plenty of overpriced properties on the market that are languishing without interest from buyers. Sellers need to evaluate their time frame to sell and recent comparable sales to determine their best pricing strategy.
If you are interested in buying or selling Maui Real Estate, the Maui Real Estate Team would welcome the opportunity to meet with you for a free consultation. If you are interested in buying, tell us about your search parameters and we would happy to find inventory that might meet your needs. If you are thinking of selling, we would be happy to discuss market conditions in your neighborhood, share recent comparable sales and provide an estimate of your properties’ current market value. Contact The Maui Real Estate Team today to get started. We look forward to being of assistance.