Market Update-Ultra Luxury Properties Strongest

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As we approach the end of the first quarter of 2007, I thought I would pass along a couple of quick observations on the state of the Maui Real Estate market. The heyday of booming appreciation and sales volume that we experienced between 2001 and 2005 is over, but our market has by no means dried up. There are opportunities for both buyer’s and seller’s on Maui. That being said, it is difficult to paint a picture of the Maui real estate market with a broad brush. Volume of sales and appreciation is varying pretty broadly by property type and price range. This should give one man’s observations of different segments of the market.

Single family home sales are up when comparing the first two months of 2006 to the first two months of 2007. Part of that is fueled by closes in some new developments. The other part of the increase can be attributed to more realistic sellers. Overall, sellers appear to be pricing closer to comparable sales than they were in early 2006. It is difficult to tell where we stand from an appreciation stand point. The volume of sales is low enough on island that monthly variation in median and average sales prices can be influenced heavily by sales of a new development or even individual properties. Seller’s will find that they can expect longer days on market unless they price themselves close to recent comps.

For Condos, the volume of transactions is off from last year. Condos are sitting on the market longer and it is a part of the market where we are seeing more price adjustments. Entry level condos were one of the hottest parts of the market at the tail end of the boom and that is one of the reason we have seen price decreases. These price decreases have helped to fuel a steady volume of transactions. The vacation rental condo market has been more resilient in terms of price, but sales volume has been much lower. The lower volume of sales is creating opportunities for buyers. Every once in a while we are seeing, motivated sellers going below recent comps to generate market interest.

Land transactions are down in numbers. Average and median pricing varies wildly in this segment of the market as it has the smallest sample size. There is a pretty large inventory of vacant land, but we have not seen many price decreases.

The one part of the market that has been the strongest has been the ultra high end properties. In 2006, there were 20 transaction on the island for $6,000,000 or more. This year, we have already seen ten deals over $6,000,000. This includes a $19,200,000 sales price for a spectacular oceanfront estate in Makena. That is the highest sales price recorded to date on Maui. Two of the ten sales were condos at the exclusive Wailea Beach Villas. Most of these transactions are all cash taking which mitigates against the effect of interest rates.

This is just a quick synopsis of what’s going on in the Maui Real Estate market. Don’t hesitate to contact us directly to discuss the market as it pertains to your specific real estate needs.

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