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August 2015 Maui Real Estate Statistics

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The end of Labor Day weekend marks the end of summer for many people on the mainland. The kids are back in school. The weather is starting to cool off. Summer days at the beach are becoming more of an afterthought. Here on Maui, it is safe to say our changes in season are a little more subtle. Winter waves are just around the corner, and we may even start to see the first whale spouts off our coastal waters before the end of the month. Of course, the end of labor day also means it is time that we check in and take a look at the Maui Real Estate market. This is our look at the August Real Estate Statistics for Maui. We include information on median sales prices, sales volume, pending sales, notable sales and a few thoughts on the overall state of the market. Without further ado, here are the numbers.

August Maui Real Estate Sales Volumes and Median Prices

A comparison of sales volumes on Maui during August 2015 and August 2014

This table compares the sales volume of properties on Maui during August 2014 and August 2015

By my count, there were 95 homes sold at a median price of $550,000 in August. Last August, there were 69 homes sold at a median price of $570,000. That calculates to a 38% increase in sales volume and a 4% decrease in median price.

There were 99 condos sold this August with a median price of $355,000. In August of 2014, there were 94 condos sold at a median price of $402,000. That means there was a 5% increase in volume and a 12% decrease in median price.

In August, there were only 4 lots sold with a median price of $347,500. Last year, there were 13 sales with a median price of $440,000. That represents a 69% drop in activity and a 21% drop in median price.

Notable Numbers From the August Sales Activity on Maui
While compiling the sales volume and median prices, I came across some other notable numbers that I thought were worth sharing with readers of the blog.

  • The highest priced home sale last month was $2,035,000 for a place in Haiku. The four bedroom, three and a half bath home has 3,288 square feet of living space and a pool on 2.29 acres.
  • This was the only sale over $2,000,000 this month. That is a pretty quiet month for luxury home sales.
  • The highest priced condo to sell last month was a unit in Montage Kapalua Bay that went for $4,600,000. This condo has three bedrooms, three and a half bathrooms and 2,789 square feet of living space.
  • After a couple of slow months, the luxury condo market saw an uptick in activity. The Montage sale was one of eight sales of a $1,500,000 or more. The other closes included 3 units at Honua Kai, 2 at Makena Surf, and 2 at Ho’olei.
  • The highest priced land transaction last month was $7,800,000 for a lot in the Maluaka Estates area of Makena Golf and Beach Club. This development continues to fetch premium prices considering that this lot is .65 acres and not directly on the ocean.
  • There were 8 bank owned sales and one short sale last month. The short sale is becoming an increasingly rare event. In addition to many people being in improved equity situations, buyers are likely wary of the time frames associated with short sales with an interest rate hike looming.

August was another healthy month for sales. I think it is worth starting our review of the stats with the one part of the market that did not have a good month. While the land market has never really taken off with the current market recovery, this was a particularly slow month. The four sales reported last month made it the slowest month we have seen since 2009. What was it that drove the reduced activity? Shrinking inventory could play a part. The entry point for vacant land is pushing higher and higher. I also think interest rates could be having an impact. While some buyers have previously been looking at land to build as an alternative to the housing market, that pool of buyers may be shrinking with the knowledge that the time frame for lower interest rates is shortening. It may also just be something of an anomaly. There were 16 lots that went pending in Maui County in August. I will have a little more on the pending land sales and the overall pending sales below.

Home sales continued to be strong thanks again to the threat of interest rate increases. There are quite a few buyers trying to get into the market before rates increase. That is bolstering sales compared to what we saw last year. Last month’s home sales were also boosted by 16 closes in Waikapu Gardens Phase II. This affordable housing subdivision in Wailuku will continue to bolster sales over the coming months. There are a total of 56 homes that will be sold in the subdivision, and there have been 17 sales reported to date.

The condo market fared a little better than it did in August of 2014. The one thing from the condo sales that I thought was particularly noteworthy was the bump in activity in the luxury condo market. The eight sales reported last month was a positive sign after what had been a slow few months of reduced activity.

August Pending Sales Activity
Sales are in some ways are a lagging indicator of market activity. The majority of the closes that occur in any one month are based on contracts that were written 1-2 months prior. That is one of the reasons we like to track pending sales activity.

A comparison of pending Maui Real Estate sales during August 2014 and August 2015

This chart shows the difference in pending sales between August 2014 and August 2015

It was a good month for pending sales across the board in August. I think we are going to continue to see pretty good pending activity until we see an interest rates hike. I would not be surprised if activity slows when that occurs. As mentioned above, there were quite a few more lots that went pending than were sold. The interesting part about that was that there was a good bit of activity at the different extremes of the market. There were 4 lots that went pending on Molokai for $30,000 or less. There were also four lots that went pending in the Maluaka area of the Makena Golf and Beach Club.

What Does it All Mean for Buyers and Sellers?
Buyers who require financing will likely be scrambling over the rest of the month as they try to get the last of the best interest rates. As a result, buyers should expect that well priced properties are going to be competitive. Multiple offers and over asking sales prices are a regular occurrence on the well priced properties on the low end and the middle of the market. Sellers will find that our usually quiet fall sales season may be a busier time of year than usual. Waiting for the busy season to list may not be advisable depending on the type of property you sell, the location and the price point. While market conditions are favorable for sellers, that shouldn’t be an invitation for sellers to overprice their property. Overpriced homes are still sitting in this market. Contact The Maui Real Estate Team if you are considering buying or selling a property on Maui. We would welcome the chance to sit down with you for a free consultation to discuss your needs.

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9/12/2015

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