It has been a while since I have beaten the the local Realtor association to the punch with a true sneak peek at the Maui statistics. That said, I think it is important to still put out a monthly stats post on our blog. We are able to offer some unique data with our pending data and notable numbers. I also try to avoid the hype train that can come with real estate statistics. You will never read the words “the market is on fire!” in one of these posts. That said, here is my look at the March Maui Real Estate sales, and a few thoughts on what some of the numbers might mean.
Maui March Real Estate Sales Volumes and Median Prices
By my count, there were 97 homes sold in Maui during March with a median price of $610,750. In March of 2015, there were 86 homes sold with a median price of $632,625. That is a 12.8% increase in activity and just over a 3% decrease in median pricing when comparing this March to last March.
There were 104 condos sold on Maui in March with a median sales price of $494,000. Last March, there were 123 condos sold with a median price of $440,000. That is just over a 15% drop in sales activity and a 12% increase in median price when comparing the two Marches.
There were 17 lots sold in Maui County during March with a median price of $439,000. The March 2015 numbers included 16 lot sales with a median price of $451,000. That is a 6% difference in volume and a 3% decrease in median price when comparing this March to last March.
Notable Numbers from the Maui March Real Estate Sales Numbers
- The highest priced home to sell in March closed for $5,700,000. The six bedroom, six and a half bath home with 8,210 square feet of living space and 3,100 square feet of lanai space is located in Ka’anapali Golf Estates.
- That was one of 4 homes sold for more than $2,000,000 in March. The other big closes included two properties in Kapalua and one home in Wailuku Country Estates.
- The highest priced condo to sell in March closed for $4,600,000. It was a 2 bedroom, 2 bathroom beachfront unit at Ka’anapali Ali’i.
- That was one of seven condo sales over $1,500,000. The other sales included 3 units at Honua Kai, 2 units at Wailea Point and a Mana Kai condo.
- The highest priced land transaction closed for $1,825,000. That was a 24 acre parcel on Waipoli Road in Kula.
- There were 16 bank owned transactions that closed in March. That is up from the 13 bank owned transactions that closed last March. There were only 4 successful short sales completed in March. That is up 1 from the 3 short sales completed in March of 2015.
March Pending Sales
March is the last full month of our peak season for visitors and buyers. Looking at the total number of properties that went pending gives us some sense of what kind of buyer activity occurred with all of those visitors on island.
As the chart shows above, it appears to have been a good month. Homes, condos and land all had more pending sales compared to March of 2015. Home and condo sales activity were up pretty significantly. The increased home buying activity stems from a few factors. Low interest rates, high rents and limited supply have created strong buyer demand at or below the median price points in the market. The bump in condo sales is something of an anomaly from recent market activity. I will discuss that in more detail below.
Thoughts on the March Market
March was a microcosm of the first quarter of 2016 for Maui Real Estate sales. Home sales were up, land was up slightly and condo sales were down. I discussed the boost in the home market above. The dip in condo sales is due in large part to a dip in luxury condos. For the quarter, luxury condo sales on Maui were down 32%. I think we can attribute the drop in the luxury market to a number of different factors. A recent Wall Street Journal Article on price adjustments in the luxury property market suggests that there is a broader slowdown on the mainland. Maui appears to be following part of an overall national trend. I surmise that some of the national weakness could be due to weakness in the stock market during the end of 2015 and the beginning of 2016. Looking locally, I think another factor could be a reduction in new developer inventory at Honua Kai. Honua Kai has been one of the strongest condos for luxury sales on Maui over the last couple of years. There were 3 fewer sales over $1,500,000 at Honua Kai in the first quarter of this year. The other factor hampering the luxury condo market is the weakness in the Canadian dollar and the Canadian Oil Industry. A number of Maui luxury buyers over the last 5 years were coming from Alberta’s Oil industry. With that industry hurting and a bad exchange rate, those buyers are not as active as they had been.
What Can Buyers and Sellers Entering the Market Expect if They are Entering the Maui Market?
It is tough to paint the Maui market with a broad brush. Some parts of the market are strong and some are slow. It depends in part on the type of properties and the price point. That means the strategy of buyers and sellers is going to be contingent on budget and property type. If you are looking for entry level homes or entry level condos to be used for a primary residence, a pre-approval from a lender is a prerequisite before you start looking at property. When listings that appear to be good values hit the market, showings should be scheduled as soon as possible. If a buyer wants to put in an offer, they are usually advised to act quickly. If it is a potential multiple offer situation, buyers should put their best foot forward on initial offers. While less common, you can see this level of competition at higher price points in the market if the property is extraordinary, well priced or both. Buyers shopping in the vacation rental condo market can expect a different market place with fewer buyers and more inventory. That means a little less pressure to act and a different offer strategy. Reading the above, you might expect that most sellers should have an easy go of things. That isn’t necessarily the case. Overpriced properties can still sit in this market regardless or price point. Shooting for the moon can result in a lower sales price down the road and a much longer period on market. Sellers should also also do what they can to address potential transaction pit falls before they go to market. Deferred maintenance or unknown issues can be identified with a pre-listing home inspection. 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 to listen to your real estate needs and market conditions specific to properties that might fit your needs.