Maui Real Estate Blog

Maui Market Musings Volume X

We made it to Volume 10! Our efforts to keep you abreast of the Maui Real Estate Market in these dynamic times continue. As usual, this is something of a grab bag hitting on a variety of topics. We look at some of the recent data points and outlooks for the National Real Estate market. This post also looks at some of the latest numbers regarding inventory, price reductions and the speed at which properties go pending on Maui. Finally, we provide some thoughts for sellers as the subtle shift in market dynamics continues.

A Smattering of National Real Estate Perspectives

We tend to be data geeks at the Maui Real Estate Team. That means we consume a steady diet of information on the local and national real estate market. With change in the air in the real estate market, the tweets, articles and opinions are coming fast and furious. This is a curation of some of the recent articles and tweets we read we thought were worth sharing.

  • Redfin came out with their latest look at the second home market a little over ten days ago. It’s worth reading past the headline. Demand for second homes in April is down substantially from its peak during the second half of 2020 and 2021. That said, it is still 9.8% above pre-Covid levels. When looking at articles talking about changes in the market, it is particularly helpful when Pre-Covid numbers are provided for context.
  • This is an interesting tweet on a paper highlighting the role of remote work in the role of price increases. This clearly impacted the local market as higher income buyers working remotely entered the Maui market.
  • New construction home sales are feeling the impact of rising interest rates across the country. Although John Burns points out in his tweet below that they are still above pre-pandemic levels. Locally, Maui has relatively limited new development occurring at this time. Hoku’ula in Hali’imaile is doing site work and taking reservations on market based housing. Anuhea at Kehalani is partially completed. Some phases are actively in construction with the next phase likely to come to market in late summer or fall. La’i Loa in Wailea is fully reserved with construction ongoing.
  • Inventory is increasing nationally. The 8% increase this week is substantial, but not unprecedented. Mike Simonsen’s whole thread is worth a read if you are on Twitter.
  • As dynamics in the market shift, the tendency is to look at past markets to find analogues to the current market. Bill McBride from the Calculated Risk Blog argues that we shouldn’t be looking at the last real estate bust for comparisons. He makes a pretty compelling case that the late 70s and early 80s is a more relevant comparison to the current market. Baby Boomer demand then is similar to Millennial demand now. The Federal Reserve found itself in a similar position due to inflationary pressure. While mortgage rates now are still well below rates from that point in time, the year over year change in rates is similar. Will we see similar pricing dynamics?
  • I wanted to include this last tweet from one of my favorite real estate follows on twitter to wrap this section up. It points to one of the values of keeping an eye on statistics. I’ve noted quite a few headlines that create a different impression of the market than what they underlying statistics show. Keeping a closer eye on and understanding the stats helps to strip out some of the hyperbole.

Recent Data Points From the Maui Market

The Maui market is influenced by trends in the national market, but it doesn’t necessarily follow in lockstep with national dynamics. The high volume of second home sales and being a literal island can create different market dynamics. Here are some of the latest numbers on local inventory, price reductions and pending sales.

Overall Inventory

As of May 24th, there are 198 active home listings on the Maui MLS. At the end of April, there were 176. That is a modest 12.5% increase in active home listings for the month to date. For a little perspective, it is worth taking a look at pre-Covid numbers. In the end of May in 2019, there were 445 active listings. We are still less than half of pre-Covid inventory.

Condo inventory remains particularly limited. As of the 24th, there are 160 active condo listings in Maui County. There were 158 at the end of April. Inventory gains for the month to date remain negligible. For further context, there were 487 active listings at the end of April 2019. We are at less than a 1/3 of 2019 inventory.

Clearly, we aren’t seeing the same type of inventory increase that the mainland market is seeing. That said, Maui traditionally doesn’t see the big inventory bump that the National market sees in the late spring. Inventory decreased from the end of April to the end of May in 2017, 2018 and 2019. This modest bump in inventory for homes and condos for the month to date goes against pre-Covid trends. The Maui market’s seasonality may be masking a shift on inventory.

Pending Sales on New Listings

We’ve looked at the percentage of homes going under contract within the first ten days of going to market in Musings II, Musings XIII and Musings IX. In mid February, 56% of new listings went under contract in 10 days or less. In early April, that number decreased to 46%. By mid-late April, the number was down to 43%. Of the 76 listings that came to market between May 7th and May 14th, 27 went under contract within 10 days. That calculates to 35.5%. To give a pre-covid reference point, 21.7% of new listings went under contract in 10 days or less for properties listed between May 7th-May 14th 2019.

Price Reductions

In our last edition of the musings, I started tracking price reductions on Maui. I looked at the percentage of active home and condo listings that reduced the price below their original asking price. On May 24th, 33% of active home listings reduced their price one or more times. That is actually down from May 5th when 37% of active home listings reduced their price one or more time. On May 24th, 18.2% of all active condo listings reduced their price one or more times. That is up from May 5th when 15% reduced their price one or more times.

Thoughts for Sellers

The good news is that by all metrics this is still a seller’s market. Inventory remains well below normal and there is still demand. That said, the dynamics now are not the same that they were six months ago or even three months ago. The “list the property, set a weekend open house schedule and offers due by Monday routine” is not quite the norm that it used to be. Here are some thoughts for prospective sellers entering the market.

Pricing

It’s been a forgiving market when it came to pricing a property over the last 14 plus months. In some cases, buyers set the pricing. Seemingly well priced properties would be inundated with offers and prices would soar well over asking. In other cases, sellers priced their property at levels that seemed really high based on recent comparable sales. They would still get their number. Sometimes, that would happen quickly and others it would just be a matter of the market catching up. That said, the margin for error on pricing appears to be shrinking. As market conditions become more variable, some of the more aggressive sellers are not getting the market feedback that they hoped for.

Sellers should work closely with their Realtor to look at both recent comparable sales and the level of activity in their segment of the market. There is a lot of heterogeneity in the market so pricing a home can be a challenge. If the market is not responding to your price, you may need to adjust pricing a little more quickly.

Negotiation

Price wasn’t the only area where sellers had a lot of leverage in this more recent market cycle. Sellers rebuffed requests for repairs, tightened timelines and sometimes negotiated post-closing occupancy without buyers batting an eye lash. A high number of back up offers only strengthened sellers hands. Buyers with FOMO (fear of missing out) conceded to seller demands far more often than not.

Anecdotally, I have heard stories of sellers overplaying their hand during negotiations in the current market. While sellers still have some leverage, more buyers are willing to walk away. Concessions, repairs and other negotiations are likely to become more commonplace if the market continues to adjust.

Days on Market

As the numbers above indicate, the number of homes going under contract right after listing is steadily decreasing. We are also seeing more price adjustments compared to earlier in the spring. That of course means that days on market is increasing. It may take a little longer to sell in this market. If your circumstances dictate that you need to sell sooner than later, adjusting to market feedback is important.

A Little Maui Beauty

Contact The Maui Real Estate Team

Contact The Maui Real Estate Team with questions, feedback or if you need assistance buying or selling property on Maui. We look forward to hearing from you.

Pete Jalbert

More from our Blog

Maui Market Musings Volume XX

Well, we made it to our twentieth Market Musings. This…

Read More

Well That Was Fun!

For most buying a home on Maui is a lifestyle…

Read More

Maui Market Musings Volume XIX

It’s been a few weeks since our last Maui Market…

Read More