September on Maui marks the start of the quiet season for visitors. The beaches and restaurants are a little quieter. Most years the real estate market slows as well. September also brings the first Northwest Swells of the season much to the delight of island wave riders. The air also starts to get a little cooler at night. I live Upcountry and I have found myself reaching for a sweater at night over the last week. The start of September also means it is time to look at the August Maui Real Estate Statistics. As usual, this post features a comparison of the number of sales and median prices verses what we saw in August a year ago. I also highlight some of the interesting notes and numbers that I came across while compiling the stats. I give my thoughts on the state of the market and what it means for buyers and sellers. This post also gives some insight into what we might expect to see in terms of sales in the coming months by looking at the pending sales for August. Without further ado, here are the numbers for August.
August 2014 Maui Real Estate Sales Volumes and Median Prices
There were 68 homes sold in Maui County during August with a median sales price of $567,500. Last August, there were 81 homes sold with a median price of $585,000. That is a 16% drop in volume and a 3% drop in median when comparing this August to last August.
During August, there were a total of 94 condo sales reported by Realtors in Maui County with a median price $410,000. The August 2013 condo sales figures were 113 transactions closed with a median price of $420,000. That is a 17% drop in volume and a 2% drop in median comparing this August to last August.
The August 2014 land transactions in Maui County totaled 14 with a median price of $395,000. Last August, there were 25 sales with a median price of $350,000. That is a 44% drop in volume and a 13% increase in median price comparing this August to last August.
Other Interesting Notes and Numbers from the August Maui Real Estate Stats
While compiling these numbers, I found a few other numbers that I thought were worth passing along.
- The highest priced home sale last month was $2,500,000 for a 5,222 square foot home on 2.58 acres in the Launiupoko subdivision in Lahaina.
- It was a quiet month for luxury home sales with only one other transaction recorded above $2,000,000. That home was located in Ka’anapali Hillside.
- Believe it or not, the lowest priced home sale in Maui County for month and this year for that matter was $1. The leasehold home in Molokai was bank owned. Its lease is set to expire in December when the property will revert back to the lessor who owns the underlying land.
- While luxury home sales were relatively slow, luxury condo sales were strong in August. The high sale for the month was $8,250,000 for a four bedroom condo at Montage in Kapalua. That is the highest ever sales price for a condo in West Maui.
- That was one of eight condo sales last month priced over $1,500,000. There were three additional big sales at Montage including closes of $7,750,000 and $7,500,000. There is a buzz about Montage and we recently looked at the resort’s impact on the market in our Kapalua Real Estate Update. There were also two sales at Papali in Wailea, one sale at Wailea Elua and one at Honua Kai.
- There were only 8 bank owned sales this year compared to 14 sold last year. This isn’t necessarily due to a lack of inventory. June and July saw more bank owned inventory hit the market than what we had seen at any time in the last 24 months. However, the banks have different pricing strategies at this stage of the market. Many of the bank owned listings are being priced above market values.
- There were six successful short sales completed last month compared to 14 completed in August of 2013.
- While land sales were relatively quiet, there were 2 transactions that closed for over $2,000,000 in Kapalua.
Thoughts on the August Stats
This was not exactly a robust month for sales on Maui. This is the fifth straight month where condo sales have been lower than same month in 2013. Home sales have been a little stronger than condos, but we have still seen fewer sales overall compared to last year. Land sales are also down compared to last year after two straight months of lower sales. Inventory or lack thereof is clearly playing a part in the reduced activity. Prices are higher and the selection at the entry levels of the market is limited. That is leaving some buyers on the sideline. A reduction in the percentage of cash purchases on Maui suggests that we may be seeing fewer institutional and professional investors buying properties as well.
There are also some sellers who have overshot the market. They are pricing well above what the market is willing to pay. That may also be reducing the volume of sales. Prices in some parts of Maui have surged from market lows at high rates of appreciation. Limited inventory and pent up demand helped bring prices up rapidly. However, the initial rates of appreciation weren’t sustainable over the long haul. The memories of the last real estate bubble are a little too fresh in the minds of some buyers. This phenomenon is apparent in the Kihei entry level condo market. Places like Kihei Villages and Southpointe were selling in the low $100,000s at the bottom of the market with a handful of units in particularly poor shape closing below $100,000. We started to see sales prices as high as the low to mid $200,000s by the second half of 2013. Prices have since held in that range with little or no upward appreciation. Inventory has increased and days on market has gone up significantly. We are seeing this in other parts of the market as well. Kapalua Golf Villas is a nice vacation rental friendly property in the Kapalua Resort. It saw prices bottom out in 2012 when a large assessment was required to address a big maintenance project. Prices began to rise again rapidly in 2013 with the median price rising from $480,000 to $650,000. The median for this year’s sales has pushed all the way into the $700s. Each significant increase in median has been accompanied by a decrease in sales volume.
Are there any other factors at play with the decrease in sales volumes? That is tough to say at this point. The broader economic picture appears to be good at this time. National sales of existing homes continue to increase as of the last National Association of Realtors report in July. However, California saw a decrease in the number of properties sold compared to the same period last year. That is a continuation of a trend for that state. California is far and away the biggest feeder state for Maui Real Estate buyers. Maui tends to follow the same trends as the California market albeit a few months behind.
August Pending Sales
In addition to tracking closed sales. We also like to keep tabs on the number of properties that went under contract during any one month. This gives us some sense of what the stats might look like in the next couple of months.
After seeing an uptick in land and condo pending sales in July, the pending sales are down again. It appears as if the continued trend of lower sales activity will continue in the September and October sales numbers for Maui.
What Buyers and Sellers can expect under Current Market Conditions
While the market has slowed in terms of sales volume, buyers will find that well priced properties remain competitive. This is particularly true with lower priced homes. Buyers looking in this market should be pre-approved by a qualified mortgage professional as they are starting their home search. When the right property comes on the market that meets their needs, buyers will need to be decisive and act quickly to improve their odds of a successful offer. Sellers can see some of the cautionary tales reflected in the paragraphs above. Buyers are balking at overpriced properties and rates of appreciation appear to be slowing. That makes determining your go to market pricing that much more important. Both buyers and sellers should also be aware that market dynamics vary throughout the island depending on price points and neighborhoods. If you are a buyer or seller interested in Maui Property, we would welcome the chance to sit down with you for a free consultation. Contact The Maui Real Estate Team today to discuss your real estate needs.