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Maui Luxury Home Market Update

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Back when I posted the June Statistics, I promised a series of mid year updates on the real estate markets around the island. Mea Culpa. Sometimes, the rest of my work obligations get in the way of blogging. I have only been able to produce updates on Paia and Spreckelsville. Today, I wanted to turn my sights on the island’s luxury home market. Since it is the end of August, we are going to include all of the sales for the year date. We wanted to look at the volume of high end home sales around the island, notable sales and market conditions specific to some of the different neighborhoods and communities around the island.

Just from a methodology standpoint, I am classifying luxury homes as homes priced for $2,000,000 or more. We have used this $2,000,000 threshold for luxury homes regularly throughout our discussions of stats on this blog. That isn’t to say that there aren’t some very nice homes that have sold this year for less than $2,000,000.

Luxury Home Sales Volumes and Median Prices
There were 43 homes sold for $2,000,000 or more between January 1, 2015 and August 22, 2015. The median price of those sales was $3,196,000. Between January 1, 2014 and August 22, 2014, there were 45 homes sold. The median luxury home price for this period of 2014 was $3,800,000. When comparing this year to last year, there was roughly a 4% drop in sales volume and a 16% drop in median price. Just to be clear, the drop in median does not reflect any sort of change in values in the market. It is a reflection of the inventory sold.

Notable Maui Luxury Home Sales for the Year to Date
Here are some notable numbers that I thought were worth passing along from this year’s luxury home sales.

  • The highest priced sale thus far this year was for a home in the Keahou at Makena Subdivision. The 4 bed/ 4.5 bath home with 6,737 square feet of living space is located on 4.23 acres. It sold for a whopping $41,775,000. That isn’t just the high sales price for the year, it is the highest ever sale price for a home on Maui by a significant margin.
  • Including the Keahou at Makena sale, there were 8 sales over $5,000,000.
  • Wailea/Makena and Ka’anapali were the two busiest luxury home markets through the better part of the last eight months. Realtors reported nine sales in both of those markets.
  • Of the 43 luxury home sales for the year to date, 14 sales were either oceanfront or beachfront.
  • The 43 sales were spread among 12 different towns or resorts in Maui County. Hana and Molokai are two communities that haven’t seen all that many $2,000,000 sales over the previous few years, but they each had one $2,000,000 plus transaction this year.
  • The 43 sales included one bank owned property and two short sales.

A Look at Selected Luxury Home Markets Around the Island
The Maui Luxury home market is fairly diverse. Buyers typically focus their search on one or perhaps two areas of the island. With that in mind, we want to look at how some of the different areas around the island performed during the first eight months of 2015.

Maui Luxury Home Sales Comparison Charts

This chart compares the sales volume of homes over $2,000,000 around Maui County during the first eight months of 2014 and the first eight months of 2015.

Makena and Wailea
The Wailea and Makena area typically sees the most sales activity of any luxury community on island. That rang true during the first half of 2015 as it tied Ka’anapali for the busiest area for closes on the island. Digging a little deeper within the numbers, there were 8 sales in Wailea and just one sale in Makena. Within Wailea, there was a good cross section of neighborhoods that saw activity. There was a sale in Maluhia, a sale in Wailea Highlands, 2 sales in Wailea Golf Vistas, 2 sales in Wailea Golf Estates and 2 in Wailea Kialoa. The sales activity in Wailea was actually up a little from last year. There were 7 homes sold in Wailea proper in the first eight months of 2014.

Makena saw a drop in activity with the one solitary sale compared to 5 sales during the same period the year before. It is hard to say why there was a dip in sales in Makena. Some of that could just be a case of market variability and inventory. The one other factor that could be coming into play is the Makena Golf and Beach Club. This new development spearheaded by Discovery Land Company is located at and around the current Makena Golf and Beach Resort. This new community is set to be Maui’s most exclusive and high end luxury development to date. There are no single family homes for sale in the community yet, but there are some very high end home sites on the market in Maluaka Estates. There has been one lot sold and an additional three lots are under contract. All four lots have prices of $10,000,000 or more. It is possible that some of those buyers may have been potential buyers for other Makena properties. That said, Discovery Land Company is known to have a loyal following that might draw buyers who might not have otherwise looked at Maui.

I thought it was worth briefly revisiting the high sale in Makena. The sale at Keahou smashed the old Maui sales record by $14,700,000. I will be honest, the sales price is something of a head scratcher. The neighboring property is on a smaller piece of land and the house is 1,200 feet smaller, but it is currently listed for sale for $13,400,000. It seems like quite a stretch for there to be a $28,375,000 difference in value between the two homes. As much as it makes the new listing seem like a value, I think it points to the big sale as something of an outlier.

It will be interesting to see what happens over the rest of the year in Wailea and Makena. There is still a fair amount of inventory for buyers to choose from. There are twenty active home listings on the market currently with 7 properties in Makena and 13 in Wailea. Check out the full inventory of Makena and Wailea Homes for Sale on MauiRealEstate.com.

Ka’anapali
Ka’anapali had a pretty strong first eight months of the year with 9 total sales. That is up a little over the seven sales last year. The sales came from six different neighborhoods within Ka’anapali. There were 3 sales in the Pinnacle Neighborhood, 2 in the older section of Ka’anapli Golf Estates, 2 in the Summit at Ka’anpali, and a single sale in both Ka’anapali Hillside and Ka’anapali Coffee Farms. The high sale for the year to date was $3,500,000 for a four bedroom, three and a half bath home with 3,715 square feet of living space on a .65 acre lot in the Pinnacle.

There are 13 homes actively listed for over $2,000,000 in Ka’anapali. That should give buyers who prefer Ka’anapali some pretty good options. You can see the full inventory of Ka’anapali Homes for Sale on MauiRealEstate.com.

Kapalua
Kapalua has been the third busiest luxury home market this year with 7 closes over $2,000,000 for the year to date. All of the subdivisions of Kapalua with the exception of One Kapalua Place have seen sales activity thus far this year. There were 2 sales in Pineapple Hill Estates, 2 sales in Pineapple Hill, 2 sales in Plantation Estates and a single sale in Honolua Ridge. The high sale was $5,700,000 for the Honolua Ridge property. For a price tag of $5,700,000, that buyer now owns a four bedroom, five and a half bath home with 6,509 square feet of living space on a 2.82 acre lot. It has stunning views overlooking the renowned Honolua Bay.

The Kapalua market currently has 29 homes actively listed for sale. This is the biggest inventory of luxury homes of any of the communities around the island. This makes for an excellent selection for potential buyers. That may also allow for some opportunities. Typically, high end sellers have more staying power and will hold out for a premium. That said, you could make an argument that we have already seen a premium property go at a substantial discount with this year’s high sale in Kapalua. The home in Honolua Ridge sold for $4,000,000 below its original asking price and $1,995,000 below the list price at the time that it sold. You can see the full inventory of Kapalua Homes for Sale on MauiRealEstate.com.

Lahaina
There are two parts of Lahaina where high end home sale activity tends to be concentrated. The first is along the oceanfront. Homes along Front Street and Baby Beach typically start over $2,000,000. The other area is just south of the town in the neighborhood of Launiupoko. Launiupoko has been one of the stronger markets for high end sales over the last couple of years. There have been five sales in Lahaina thus far this year. Three of the sales have been in Launiupoko and two have been oceanfront homes. The highest priced sale was $3,500,000 for a 4 bedroom, 4 bathroom residential condominium with 3,675 square feet of living space on 8.513 acres.

There are 16 active luxury home listings for sale in Lahaina at this time. Eleven of the homes are in Launiupoko with the rest located along the ocean. Lahaina is another market where buyers have some pretty good options. Check out all of the current Lahaina Luxury Home listings on MauiRealEstate.com.

Upcountry
The Upcountry area of Maui tends to see fewer high end sales than the resort communities of the island. That said, there are some pretty spectacular estates located along the flanks of Haleakala. Kula and Olinda are places where you will see some bigger acreage estates. There are also some homes along Baldwin Avenue below Makawao that fit the luxury home mold. The first eight months of the year have seen only two sales above the $2,000,000 mark in the Upcountry Area. There was one sale in Kula and one sale in Olinda. Last year, there was just one sale over $2,000,000 in the Upcountry area in the first eight months of the year.

The highest priced sale Upcountry for the year to date was $3,500,000. That was for a 24 acre estate in Olinda. It included a 3,300 square foot, three bed, three bath home and a separate two bedroom cottage. The 24 acres property included three separate parcels of land all with their own water meter.

While there haven’t been a lot of high end home sales Upcountry this year, there has been an uptick in buyer activity over the last two months. There are four homes in Kula listed for $2,000,000 that are currently under contract. That is more than anywhere else on island. There are an additional 16 homes listed for more than $2,000,0000 currently on the market Upcountry. That means a pretty good selection for high end buyers looking for more privacy or a different feel than the resorts or the beach. You can see all of the Upcountry Luxury Home listings on MauiRealEstate.com.

North Shore
The North Shore of Maui has become an increasingly popular location for luxury home buyers over the last five years. Prior to this year, Paia and Spreckelsville was the focal point of high end sales while the Haiku market lagged behind. We saw something of a shift this year. The Spreckelsville market has had limited inventory, Paia has been quiet and Haiku has seen the strongest sales activity since the downturn began. There were three total sales over $2,000,000 through the first eight months of the year. Last year, there were six sales on the North Shore in the first eight month’s of the year. For this year’s sales, two were in Haiku and one in Spreckelsville. The Haiku sales were particularly notable as they were the first and second highest priced transactions for homes in that community. The highest sale was for the 38 acre Baldwin Estate. This historic property includes a 10 bedroom, 10.5 bathroom home with 8,716 square feet of living space as well as a number of outbuildings.

Buyers looking for North Shore luxury homes will find that market conditions are going to vary based on the specific community. Spreckeslville is arguably one of the only true seller’s markets for luxury homes on the island. There are no active home listings for more than $2,000,000. Over the last few years, roughly half of the homes that have sold in this neighborhood have sold before coming to market. Paia has been quiet and it currently boasts the largest inventory of oceanfront homes of any area on the island. I think there may be some values and/ or motivated sellers to be found among those listings. Haiku has seven active listings currently on the market giving buyers some good options. You can check out the current inventory of North Shore Luxury homes on MauiRealEstate.com.

Overall Maui Luxury Home Market Outlook and Thoughts
The Maui Luxury Home market continues to offer a broad cross section of homes for potential buyers. From the privacy of Upcountry Estates to Beachfront Luxury compounds, there is considerable depth of inventory. While a deep inventory typically gives buyers more leverage, that isn’t always the case with the luxury home market. Luxury home owners typically have the means to hold on to properties for longer periods of time and many are less likely to adjust their pricing. That said, there are still bound to be a few sellers out among the current inventory who may have higher motivations. The challenge is finding those sellers.

I would anticipate that the rest of the year will continue to see sales figures at or close to the levels we saw during the fall and early winter of 2014. While projected increases in interest rates have the potential to slow sales activity at lower price points in the market, the majority of the luxury sales involve cash transactions or private banking. The biggest threat to the high end market is the overall economy. If the recent stock market uncertainty continues, you may see some buyers postpone their purchases. Contact The Maui Real Estate Team if you are interested in buying or selling a luxury home on Maui. We would welcome the opportunity to sit down with you for a free consultation to discuss your needs.


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9/1/2015

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