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Wailea and Makena 2014 Year End Review and 2015 Outlook

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After looking at the North Shore communities of Paia and Spreckelsville, we decided to head to South Maui for a look at the Wailea and Makena Real Estate markets. This is an overview of how this market performed in 2014 and what we may expect in 2015. Wailea is Maui’s most renowned resort community thanks in part to its beautiful beaches, three golf courses and luxury hotels and spas. Makena is the more understated of the two communities, but is arguably more exclusive with some of the island’s most expensive real estate. These are the notable numbers from the 2014 Wailea and Makena Real Estate Sales activity, a few thoughts on the 2014 market, followed by our thoughts on what to expect in these luxury communities during 2015.

Wailea and Makena Real Estate Sales Volumes 2013 and 2014

This chart compares the real estate sales volumes for homes, condos and land in Wailea and Makena during 2013 and 2014

There were 32 homes sold in Wailea and Makena in 2014 with a median price of $1,892,000. In 2013, there were 29 homes sold with a median price of $2,750,000. That is a 10% increase in activity and a 31% decrease in median price.

There were 92 condos sold in Wailea and Makena in 2014 with a median price of $1,021,250. In 2013, there were 122 condos sold at a median price of $1,105,000. That is approximately a 25% drop in volume and an 8% drop in median price.

There were 7 land transactions in Wailea and Makena in 2014 with a median price of $1,550,000. There were 12 land sales in 2013 at a median price of $1,150,000. This is a 42% drop in sales activity and a 35% increase in median.

Notable Numbers from the 2014 Wailea and Makena Real Estate Market
While compiling the numbers above, I came across a few other numbers that were worth sharing.

  • Of the 32 homes sold, 7 were in Makena.
  • The high sale price for a home was $9,300,000 for an Oceanfront home in One Makena Place. This is the second year in a row that the highest priced sale was located in this gated enclave.
  • The Makena Place transaction was one of 15 sales over $2,000,000 and 6 sales over $5,000,000 that closed during 2014. In 2013, there were 14 sales over $2,000,000 and 7 sales over $5,000,000.
  • There was one sale under $1,000,000 in all of Wailea and Makena during 2014. The Wailea Kai home with three bedrooms, three baths and 1,766 square feet of living space sold for $890,000.
  • Wailea Fairway Estates was the subdivision in Wailea with the most sales activity with 6 closes in 2014.
  • The highest priced condo sold in Wailea and Makena during 2014 was one of the Villas at the Andaz Residences. This 3 bedroom, 4 bath condominium sold for $5,495,000.
  • The Andaz Condo was one of 26 condos that sold for $1,500,000 or more during 2014. There were 36 condo sales over $1,500,000 in 2013.
  • Grand Champions was the condo complex with the highest number of sales in 2014 with 12 total sales.
  • Only 2 of the condos sold were in Makena. Both of the condos that closed were at Na Hale O Makena.
  • There were 5 condo sales under $500,000 in 2014. In 2013, there were 2 condo sales under $500,000.
  • There were 5 REO or bank owned properties that closed in Wailea during 2014. That was the same as the 2013 REO sales totals for the area.

Thoughts on The Wailea and Makena Real Estate Market During 2014
There are a few things worth discussing from the 2014 Wailea and Makena Sales numbers. The dip in condo sales is certainly noteworthy. There was a decrease in condo sales island wide, but the 25% drop in Wailea outpaced the 11% drop throughout Maui County. It is especially interesting considering the fact that condos sales over $1,500,000 were up 9% around the island. There are no obvious reasons for the decrease in activity that jump out at me. With that in mind, I broke down the sales further to see if any plausible explanations appeared.

The first thought that came to mind was that there may have been a decrease in activity at the lower end of the market due to a contraction of inventory. That was something we were seeing in other geographic areas around the island. Looking at condo sales under $1,000,000 in Wailea, there was a 25% drop in total sales compared to 2013. However, when you look at condos sold between $1,000,000 and $1,999,000, there was a 38% drop in activity compared to the previous year. When you look at condos priced over $2,000,000, there was a 20% drop in activity compared to 2013. While it is possible the dip in activity below $1,000,000 may still be related to the contraction of inventory, what would explain the drop in activity in other parts of the market? It can’t claim to have definitive answers, but I have a couple of thoughts.

The dip in buyer activity in the $1,000,000 to $1,999,999 range may be a case of buyers deferring their purchase. There are a few different condo project that are expected to come to market in the Wailea market soon. Keala O Wailea and Makali’i at Wailea were both supposed to start pre-construction sales during the second half of 2014. Delays have pushed the initial sales sometime into 2015. There may be some buyers who opted to wait with the hopes of purchasing in one of the new developments verses purchasing at existing complexes like Kai Malu.

While the drop in sales was not as pronounced above $2,000,000, the dip was surprising nonetheless. There are a couple of factors at play that may have curtailed high end sales. Again, there may be competition from new developments. Makali’i may be causing some buyers to defer their purchase. At even higher price points, the Makena Golf and Beach Club may be causing some buyers to defer their purchases. The other factor at play is the draw of Montage in Kapalua. Traditionally, Wailea Buyers have been Wailea Buyers and Kapalua Buyers have been Kapalua Buyers. Even though they are both high end resorts on Maui, they tend to draw their own distinct clientele due to the unique personality of the resorts. When you look at the sales that have occurred at Montage, you are seeing quite a few buyers represented by Wailea area Realtors. It would appear that Montage is a property that has appeal to some traditional Wailea buyers.

The Wailea and Makena home market did not experience the same dip in activity as the condo market with sales exceeding 2013 totals. The dip in median home price does not reflect a decrease in values. It points to a shift in market activity with fewer high end sales and a few more homes sold in the $1,000,000-$2,000,000 range compared to 2013.

Activity in the the Wailea and Makena land market reflected the Maui Land market overall which saw a decrease in sales during 2014. The lack of sales wasn’t for lack of inventory. It is a question of where that inventory is positioned in the market. There was a lack of lower priced lots for sale. It also appears that the Ridge at Wailea, Wailea’s newest land development, may be priced above what the market is willing to support. There has only been one sale in the development since it came to market almost a year ago.

Wailea and Makena 2015 Real Estate Market Outlook
In our 2014 outlook, we anticipated that the Wailea and Makena Markets would be heavily impacted by the influence of new condo developments such as Makali’i at Wailea and Keala O Wailea. While some buyers may have deferred their purchases waiting for new developments scheduled to market, none of the new developments actually came up for sale. While we still don’t have definitive go to market dates for those two projects, the Makena Golf and Beach Club is starting to come on the market. This new development should have a big impact on the Maui Luxury market.

The Discovery Land Company’s Makena Golf and Beach Club is a significant new development. The area was in the initial stages of development during the last real estate boom only for the property to go into foreclosure during the downturn. The Wailea Beach and Golf Resort hotel, two golf courses and a total of 1,800 acres of land were purchased by consortium of AREA Property Partners, Trinity Investments and Stanford Carr Development LLC. The ownership group has chosen Discovery Land Company to spearhead a major redevelopment of the area that will occur in phases. Malauaka Estates is the first part of the development to hit the market. Maluaka Estates consists of eight oceanfront home sites with price tags ranging from $9 to $12 Million. Two of the Eight lots that hit the Maui Multiple Listings Service in the last month, and both are already under contract.

The existing Makena Beach and Golf Resort Hotel is being converted from a 310 room hotel into the Makai Residences. The Makai Residences will include 50 private residences ranging in size from 2,500 feet to 5,600 feet. Prices will range from roughly $6-$20 million range. The highest priced units will be far and away the highest priced condos sold to date on Maui.

In addition to the Makai Residences and Maluaka Estates, this phase of the Makena Golf and Beach Club will include the Kula Villas, Spa Hales and the Beach Cottages. The nine Beach Cottages will have 4 bedrooms, 4.5 baths and roughly 3,400 square feet of living space. Prices are anticipated to range from $9.5-$12 million. The 12 Kula Villas will be 3 or 4 bedrooms with sizes ranging from 2,950 to 3,900 square feet. Pricing is as of yet to be determined. The 5 Spa Hales are the smallest offerings in the resort to date. They will be two bedrooms and are likely to have the lowest entry point into the first phase of the Makena Golf and Beach Club.

Discovery also plans to create a a small village with a general store, restaurants, post office, retail space and a resort hotel. All residents will also be members of the Beach Club and have access to a variety of resort amenities.

The Makena Golf and Beach Club will be nothing short of the most significant new luxury development on the island since the creation of the Wailea and Kapalua Resorts. By all indications, the entry level price points will be significantly higher than either of those developments. It is tough to say what the impact will be on the rest of the Wailea and Makena market. The high price points will limit the impact on the lower priced properties in Wailea, while I suspect it may draw some buyers who would have otherwise been looking at some of the existing ultra luxury homes and condos within Wailea. This development also has the potential to attract buyers from some of the ultra high end resort communities on neighboring islands such as Kuki’o on the Big Island.

While we have spoken about the supply side of the market for 2015, we haven’t talked too much about demand. As it stands it appears that current economic conditions should favor a strong year for sales in Wailea and Makena. We may see a little less demand out of Canadian buyers due to the decrease in value of the Canadian Dollar.

You can check out the current inventory of Wailea and Makena Homes for Sale and Makena and Wailea Condos for Sale on MauiRealEstate.com You can also contact The Maui Real Estate Team if you are interested in buying or selling property in Wailea or Makena. .

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2/20/2015

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