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Sneak Peek at the February 2014 Maui Real Estate Statistics

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It was another great February on Maui. It is hard to beat winter on the Valley Isle. Beautiful weather, dramatic waves and an abundance of Humpback whales frolicking offshore make this a special time of year. The end of another month means another opportunity to take the pulse of the Maui Real Estate market. This month’s statistics post includes a look at median prices and sales volumes this February and compares them to what was reported in February of 2013. I provide some additional numbers that I came across while compiling the sales volumes and medians. I am also continuing a new feature to our stats post that I began last month. To get a better sense of current demand, I am providing information on the number of properties that went pending during the month compared to the properties that went pending during February of 2013. Without further ado, here are the numbers.

This table compares the sale of properties in Maui County during February 2013 and February 2014.

This table compares the sale of properties in Maui County during February 2013 and February 2014.

This Chart compares the real estate sales volumes in Maui County during 2013 and 2014

This chart compares real estate sales volumes for Maui County during February 2014 and February 2013.

Maui County Realtors reported 60 home sales in February with a median sales price of $560,000. Last February, there were 66 home sales with a median price of $537,500. That is roughly a 9% drop in sales activity and a 4% increase in median price.

There were 86 condo sales reported last month with a median sales price of $345,000. The February of 2013 condo sales totaled 101 units with a median price of $360,000. That is a 15% reduction in volume and roughly a 4% reduction in median sales price.

There were 11 land sales reported last month with a median price of $400,000. The February 2013 land sales totaled 14 with a median price of $502,500. That is a roughly 21% drop in sales volume and a 20% drop in median.

Before going further, it is worth noting that the decrease in median for both land and condos is a reflection of the distribution of sales rather than any decrease in property values. I surmise the decrease in condo medians may have something to do with heavy sales activity for entry level condos zoned for owner occupants and long term renters. Ironically, that is one of the parts of the market that has seen some of the strongest appreciation during the market recovery. The lower median for land is due in part to sample size. Median prices for land can swing pretty widely on a month to month basis as the sample of properties is small and often quite heterogeneous.

While compiling the median prices and sales volumes, I came across quite a few other numbers that I thought were worth sharing including information on last month’s Maui Luxury Real Estate sales.

  • The highest priced home sale for the month of February was an oceanfront estate in Spreckelsville. This property consists of 3.42 acres with an exotic 5,409 square foot home and a beautiful pool area. The Seller was represented by the Maui Real Estate Team.
  • That was one of four home sales over $2,000,000 in February. The other three sales were in Wailea, Ka’anapali and Lahaina.
  • The highest priced condo sale last month was $3,850,000 for a front row two bed/two bath unit at Wailea Elua. This was a new all time high sales price for Wailea Elua. It was particularly notable in that this unit has 380 square feet smaller than the previous high.
  • The Wailea Elua close was one of four February condo sales over $1,500,000. There was another high priced Elua sale and big closes at Kai Malu and Ho’olei.
  • The high land sale last month was $895,000 for a 5.45 acre lot in Ka’anapali Coffee Farms.
  • There were 8 REO or bank owned sales in February. That is down slightly from the 10 bank owned sales last year. It is noteworthy that a couple of the REO sales were higher priced transactions. There was a partially finished home in the Honolua Ridge subdivision of Kapalua that sold for $1,700,000. There was also a nice unit at Kapalua Bay Villas that sold for $1,250,000.
  • There were 8 successful short sale transactions down from the 15 that closed in February 2013. Rising prices and the end of short sale tax relief means that we are likely to see fewer and fewer of these transactions on Maui.

Looking at the March stats, the big thing that stands out is the decrease in sales volume. This doesn’t come as a huge surprise to me. Last month, I took a look at the properties that have gone pending since the start of peak buying season. The 2014 peak season activity was running behind 2013. The end of 2013 also saw less activity than the end of 2012. It is hard to give an exact reason why things are slowing, but I would surmise shrinking inventory and rising prices are the two main factors. The lower priced home inventory has been shrinking over the last 6-12 months giving fewer options to a still healthy pool of buyers. I have also seen something of a standoff between buyers and sellers at some of the lower price points in the home market. Sellers have been shooting for higher prices well above recent comparable sales. Buyers are reticent to accept those higher prices with the last real estate bubble still fresh in many minds.

Does the slower start to 2014 mean that we will see a slower 2014 overall? That is a little too early to tell at this point. After taking a look at pending properties last month, I decided that this was a feature we would retain for future blog posts. The table and chart below show the number of properties that went pending in February of 2014 compared to what went pending last February.

February Contracts Table

This table compares the number of properties in Maui County that went under contract in February 2013 and February 2014.

This chart compares properties that went under contract in Feb 2013 with properties that went under contract in feb 2013

This chart shows the number of properties in Maui County that went under contract in February 2014 and compares it to the number of properties that went under contract in February 2013.

As you can see, more homes, condos and parcels of land went under contract in February of 2014 as compared to February 2013. It will be interesting to see how the trends develop over an extended period of time. If we are going to meet or exceed last year’s sales totals, it will be due in part to stronger activity at higher price points. Limited data shows that the high end market is doing pretty well. As we have theorized before, there appears to be a correlation between luxury activity and a strong stock market. After hitting a rough patch earlier in the year, the Dow appears to have regained steam.

What does all of the above mean for buyers or sellers interested in sticking their toes in the waters of the Maui real estate market? Market conditions vary pretty widely depending on the community, neighborhood and price range. The abundance or scarcity of inventory in any one area is bound to have a big impact on pricing and rates of appreciation. The Maui Real Estate Team would welcome the opportunity to sit down with you to discuss the parts of the market that might fit your real estate needs. Contact us today for a free consultation.

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3/10/2014

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