Friday was Lei Day in Hawaii. The first of May is a celebration of the Hawaiian Lei and Hawaiian culture in general. The passing of the first of the month also means that it is time to take a look back on the April Maui Real Estate Statistics. Our sneak peek at the April Maui Real Estate stats includes information on sales volumes, median prices, notable sales numbers, pending sales activity as well as a few thoughts on the stats and what they mean for buyers and sellers. These numbers were compiled on May 2nd so there may be a few sales reported after we publish this post. If there are any substantial changes, we will make note in the comments. Without further ado, here are the April numbers.
April Maui Real Estate Sales Volumes and Median Prices
By my count, there were 84 home sales that have been reported thus far for April of 2015 with a median sales price of $574,625. In April of 2014, there were also 84 homes sold at a median price of $583,000. That is a 1.5% decrease in median prices with volume unchanged when comparing the two Aprils.
There have been 103 condo sales reported to date for April of 2015 with a median sales price of $405,000. That is significant decrease in volume from April 2014 when there were 136 sales with a median sales price $403,500. That calculates to a 24% decrease in activity and a less than 1% increase in median price.
There were 12 land sales last month with a median price of $417,500. Last April, there were 19 sales with a median price of $510,000. That represents a 37% decrease in sales activity and an 18% decrease in median price.
Other Notable Numbers from The April Maui Real Estate Sales Activity
While compiling the numbers above, there were a few other notable numbers from the April Sales activity that are worth sharing.
- The highest priced home sale last month was $9,750,000 for a 39.7 acre estate in Haiku. The home is known in the community as the Baldwin Estate after one of its previous owners. The property includes two parcels of land and a main house with 10 bedrooms, 10.5 bathrooms and over 9,600 square feet of living space. In addition to the main house, there are multiple outbuildings, a pool area, tennis court and sumptuously landscaped grounds. This was the highest ever sales price for a home in the community of Haiku.
- The Baldwin House was one of five home sales over $2,000,000 in April. There were 2 sales in Ka’anapali, a sale in Wailea and a home on Keawakapu Beach in Kihei. The value of the $7,700,000 Keawakapu sale was almost exclusively in the land.
- In addition to the sales reported above, there are rumors of a sale in the Makena area for $41,750,000. That would be a new record high for Maui. This has not been published on the MLS and the details are sketchy. We will provide updates if we learn anything new.
- The highest priced condo transaction in April was for a 3 bed, 3.5 bath unit at Wailea Beach Villas. It closed for $6,100,000.
- While overall condo sales were down, the market over $1,500,000 remained strong. The Wailea Beach Villas transaction was one of 9 sales over $1,500,000 in April. The other transactions included 2 at Honua Kai, 2 at Makena Surf, a Hoolei, a Montage, a Palms at Manele, and a Ka’anapali Ali’i.
- It was notable that there were no land sales over $1,000,000 last month. The high sale was $718,291 for 4.54 acres on the ocean in the Paukukalo area of Wailuku.
- There were 9 bank owned (REO) sales on Maui sold via Realtors last month. That is the same number as April of 2014.
- There were 4 successful short sale transactions last month. Last April, there were 10 short sale transactions that were completed successfully.
Some Quick Thoughts on the April Sales Activity
Looking at the numbers above, this was a stinker of a month for condo sales activity. This was the slowest April for condos sales since April of 2009. It clearly wasn’t due to the top of the market. The 9 sales above $1,500,000 was higher than the 6 sales in that price range during 2014. Below, $1,500,000, there was a decrease in activity at all price points. Condo sales under $300,000 were down from last April by 27.5%. Condo sales between $300,000 and $800,000 were down from last April by 28%. Sales between $800,000 and $1,500,000 were down from last April by 24%.
I don’t have any great quantitative data that points out why these different market segments were down. My guess is that the under $300,000 market is driven in part by decreased inventory. There are fewer condos under $200,000 available and fewer vacation rental condos available under $300,000. As you get up into the next price brackets, I suspect we are feeling the impact of decreased activity from Canadian buyers. With the Canadian dollar down significantly from two years ago, we are seeing fewer Canadian buyers. We are also seeing some sellers failing to adjust to the market. Activity has been down, but there are still a number of sellers trying to push the envelope on pricing with asking prices way above recent comparable sales.
Land numbers were down even more significantly on a percentage basis than condo sales, but those numbers tend to appear more dramatic due to a small sample size. I would argue that this month’s drop is a reflection of monthly variability than any sort of substantive change in market conditions. That said, the land market on Maui remains a lot slower than it was during the last real estate boom.
It is important to note that sales are a lagging indicator. Since the average Maui Real Estate transaction takes somewhere between 30 and 60 days to close, sales activity does not speak to more current buyer demand. That is one of the reasons why we like to keep an eye on pending sales activity in a month.
Pending Maui Home Sales
A grim month of condo sales is partially offset by a better month of pending condo sales. March pending sales for condos were also pretty good so I would expect that we may see an uptick in condo sales for May. Land and homes also saw solid months for pending sales activity. It looks like our last month of peak season was a pretty busy one for buyers.
What Does This Mean for Buyers and Sellers?
The Maui Real Estate market remains schizophrenic. There are strong parts and there are soft parts. Buyers will find that well priced properties priced at or below the median sales price are the most competitive. Those types of properties tend to go quickly and they can attract multiple offers. Well priced properties above the median sales price may also attract heavy buyer interest. Buyers who require financing should get pre-approved prior to their search so that they can better define their budgets, and they can show financial qualifications to sellers. Sellers need to continue to look closely at market activity for their particular neighborhood, community and price point. Overpriced properties are sitting in this market. Pricing above market can cost you money in the long run. It is worth sitting down with an agent to determine a go to market strategy and price. Contact The Maui Real Estate Team today to talk to an agent to discuss your real estate needs. We look forward to being of assistance.