Maui Oceanfront Luxury Update

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As a part of my continuing review of the various Maui Luxury Real Estate markets, I wanted to take some time to look at the performance of the ocean and beachfront real estate market on Maui. I have previously done an overall luxury real estate market update, a North Shore and Upcountry luxury update, a Wailea update, a Kapalua update and a Ka’anapali Update. When people speak of luxury homes on Maui, oceanfront properties are one of the first things that comes to mind. While there are many amenities that are valued in luxury homes, it is hard to beat the sights and sounds of having the ocean out your back door. This post compares year to date sales of oceanfront homes and high end oceanfront condos with last year’s sales over a similar time span.

  • Beach and Oceanfront Home Sales

Sales between January 1, 2007 -> August, 9 2007 = 10
Sales between January 1, 2008 -> August 9, 2008 = 8

  • Beach and Oceanfront Condo Sales over $2,000,000

Sales between January 1, 2007 -> August 9, 2007 = 28
Sales between January 1, 2008 -> August 9, 2008 = 16

Here are some thoughts and additional details behind the numbers above. Regarding home sales, the number shows a 20% drop vs. 2007. This suggests oceanfront homes are performing just a little better than the overall home market on Maui where sales have decreased 22%. These numbers would have a little more significance if the sample size for oceanfront home sales were larger.

At a more granular level, sales in 2008 ranged from a low of $600,000 to a high sales price of $10,500,000. The low was a modest home on a small lot in Hana. It still represents a pretty extraordinary value for an oceanfront home in Maui. The $10,500,000 sale was of a luxurious estate on the ocean in Makena. The highs and lows for ocean and beachfront homes in 2007 range from $2,250,000 to a whopping $19,200,000. The $2,250,000 sale was for a relatively modest oceanfront home along front street in Lahaina. The high sale was for an estate property on 1.69 acres in Makena. This is a big chunk of land for Makena oceanfront. This sale is the highest residential sale in Maui to date. It is hard to compare home values year to years as these properties are tremendously varied in size, location and finishing.

Regarding the condo figures, it is probably best to start with the reasoning behind the $2,000,000 threshold. Fee simple oceanfront condos start in price around $300,000 and make their way up. You can find a luxurious condo on the water for well under $2,000,000, but the condos in this price range really start to distinguish themselves. They may be notable for location, view, size, amenities or more than likely a combination of the above factors. On to the numbers, it looks like we had a pretty substantial drop from year to year. The numbers show a 43% decrease in sales volume. This is a far sharper drop off than the 20% drop we have seen for condos island wide.

Why the big discrepancy? Some of this can be attributed to new project sales. In 2007, we saw 9 sales at Wailea Beach Villas. These were either new project sales or new project flips. If you strip out these numbers, the difference starts to shrink. New project sales play a factor in other ways as well. Those that are shopping for luxury beach and oceanfront condos on Maui in 2008 have a number of new projects under construction to consider. Maluaka, Baccarat, the Villas at Royal Lahaina, the Ritz Carlton Kapalua and Honua Kai all have condos available for $2,000,000 or more. There have been properties going under contract at these high end resorts, but sales won’t start to record until next year at the earliest. Another thing to consider is that this has been a big year for luxury new project sales located off the water. Ho’olei and Papali Wailea have both had a considerable number of sales over $2,000,000. When you consider all of those factors, the big sales drop may not be that significant, or at least is is a poor indicator for luxury condo market activity.

There is a nice range of inventory to choose from for oceanfront and beachfront homes and condos on Maui. Check out to see all of the current Maui Oceanfront Homes for Sale and Maui Oceanfront Condos for Sale. Contact us directly for additional assistance.

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