Maui Real Estate Market Update Q1 2022 Vol. 3

Sugar Cove Building 6 from Above

Welcome to the third edition of Maui Market Musings. It’s our almost weekly take on a variety of Maui Real Estate topics. This week I wanted to take a look at competition in the market. We know first hand that quite a few listings are seeing bidding wars, but I wanted to look at some of the sales numbers to gauge where competition is most intense. We also take at some of the notable numbers from our condo listing at Sugar Cove. Last but not least, I offer a few closing thoughts on the state of the world and the state of the market. Without further ado, here is musings volume III.

Maui’s Most Competitive Markets

It is safe to say that buyers shopping for property on Maui are experiencing some of the most competitive conditions in the history of our local market. I took a look at recent sales data to try to get a sense of where the competition for properties is the most intense. I focused on two primary metrics. Properties selling for above asking price and properties selling for asking price or above. When comparisons were relatively close, I also looked at the number of cash transactions.

I used sales that closed between February 1st and March 9th. Keep in mind that this is something of a lagging indicator. Sales closed during this period mostly likely came from contracts agreed upon sometime between December and early February. Anecdotally, it felt like there were a large number of bidding wars in the second half of February. Most of those transactions are yet to close. By the same token, the war in Ukraine and its impacts on the economy are largely unknown. Depending on the direction of the economy, competition could ease. That will be something to watch over the coming weeks and months.

Most Competitive Property Type

The condo market is the most competitive market segment based on the sales data. A whopping 42.86% of the condos sold over that period closed above asking. The total for those at asking price or above comes in at 73.73%. If you were shopping for a condo over the last few months, you needed to be at or above asking price with your offers on the majority of the sales to ensure your chances for success.

Honorable mention goes to the single family home market. A total of 30.19% of home sales came in above asking price with an equal number coming in at full price. That means a grand total of 60.38% of homes sold went for asking price or higher. Needless to say, competition is strong for homes too!

Most Competitive Condo Market by Location

If you bought a condo in Kihei over the last six weeks, chances are that you had a lot of competition. A total of 85.72% of Kihei condos sold for at or above asking including 54.55% over asking price.

Lahaina earns honorable mention with 83.3% at or above asking price. It is worth noting that this skews towards asking price sales with 50% selling at asking price.

Most Competitive Condo Market by Price Point

This was a tough one to call as there were two price points with really similar levels of activity. In the below, $500,000 market, 34.21% sold above asking with a grand total of 81.58% at or above asking. It is worth noting that 42% of all transactions in this price range were cash purchases. In the $500,000 to $999,999 price range, 77.39% sold for at or above asking price. That said, 52.17% ended up selling for above asking price. Realtors reported cash transactions for 38.2% of sales in this price range. The lower price range had a slightly higher level of cash and at or above asking sales prices. The $500,000 to just under a million range came in with a much higher percentage of above asking price sales.

Most Competitive Home Market by Location

Competition for homes in Wailea was pretty tight as of late albeit on a limited number of sales. Three homes sold with two going for full price and one going over asking price. All three sales were cash.

Of the markets that had higher sales volumes, Haiku experienced the most competition. 77.78% of the homes sold for at or above asking price. Of all the sales, 44.44% closed above asking price.

Most Competitive Home Market by Price Point

The lower the price, the higher the competition. There was no category for sales under $500,000 as there were no sales in this range. In the below $1,000,000 range, 77.27% of all transactions closed for at or above asking price. That includes 31.82% closing for more than asking price.

Honorable mention goes to homes listed in the $1,500,000 to $1,750,000 price range. I didn’t set out to make this a specific price point for comparison, but the activity in this price range jumped out in the sales data. Nine of eleven listings closed for at or above asking with 72.7% closing for above asking price.

A Few Other Thoughts Looking at The Numbers

  • This is a really challenging time for entry level buyers on Maui. Let’s be honest, it’s been really tough for quite some time. However, the threat of rising rates seems to have enhanced the urgency of some buyers. Investors with cash are lurking in this part of the market making for tough competition.
  • The West Maui resort markets experienced some of the most competition in late 2020 and throughout out 2021. It seems as if relocations played an important part. This year, those markets cooled a little. Kapalua has the lowest percentage of condos closing for at or above asking with 25%. The one Ka’anapali home sold for below asking and quite a few homes are sitting. Some of that stems from sellers really pushing the envelope on pricing.
  • While I found that competition was indeed stronger in some places than others, well priced properties were likely to draw competition regardless of price point or location.

Sugar Cove Building 6 Behind the Numbers

Our office listed a condominium in Sugar Cove in Spreckelsville for the jaw dropping number of $17,000,000. That is a pretty extraordinary asking price. That said, it is a truly unprecedented condo offering both for the North Shore of Maui and the island as a whole. These are some of the notable numbers that justify what would be one of the highest sales prices on record for a Maui Condo.

Sugar Cove Building 6 from Above
An aerial perspective of Sugar Cove Building 6
  • 5,950:The interior living space of this listing. That is 23% larger than any previous condo sold on the island. It is the 3rd largest interior living space of any oceanfront condo or home actively listed for sale. The list prices for the larger properties are $22,900,000 and $59,500,000 respectively.
  • 1: This listings is for 1 whole building at Sugar Cove. There are no shared walls with any neighbors.
  • 3: Originally 3 units, the owners combined 2 of the units for a truly luxurious primary living space. The 3rd unit is used as a 4 bedroom, 3.5 bathroom guest space.
  • 8: The total number of bedrooms. This is the first condo listing on Maui with 8 or more bedrooms.
  • 4: The number of bedrooms with direct ocean views. There are a lot of beautiful condos on island where the bedrooms lack ocean views. This offering has four direct oceanfront, big view bedrooms. No more fighting over the bedroom with the best view.
  • 70: There are over 70 feet of windows and glass doors overlooking the beach and ocean from the living/kitchen/dining area of the primary living space.
  • 15.6: The total number of kilowatts generated by the 50 solar panels
  • 28: The total number of racks for surfboards, windsurf boards or stand up paddle boards located on Sugar Cove Building 6. There is plenty of room for friends and family to store their gear after taking advantage of the world class combination of wind and waves located right offshore.

The numbers add up to a truly impressive property. Not a numbers person? Enjoy this short video to get a better feel for Sugar Cove Building 6.

Check out the listing page for more photos and details.


It’s been heartbreaking to watch the last two weeks of violence since Russia invaded Ukraine. Our thoughts go out to the Ukrainian people.

In light of the human tragedy, it feels difficult to talk about how the war could impact the real estate market. That said, some clients reached out to us over the last week asking about the potential impact of the war on the market. I thought it would be worth sharing a few thoughts. The reality is that this is a question that economists and people a whole lot smarter than us are still trying to answer. At this point, this looks like it will be a drawn out war, and it is becoming increasingly clear that it will have significant impacts on the global economy.

The upward pressure on gas and utility prices is well known. Air travel to and from the islands is going to become a lot more expensive and local utility rates are forecast to rise 20%. Russia is also a major exporter of raw materials above and beyond petroleum. The end of raw material exports out of Russia through the end of the year is likely to put upward pressure on all sorts of goods and commodities. The tweet below shows the global supply of certain raw materials coming out of Russia.

Ukraine is also an important raw material provider. It provides as much as 50% of the neon supply in the world. Neon shortages would impact a lot more than beer signs. It is an important component in the lasers used to etch semiconductors. The semiconductor and microchip shortages of the last couple of years are unlikely to go away anytime soon.

While inventory remains near record lows, inflation pressures could further push interest rates and/or take the steam out of parts of the economy. Thus far, the local market is more than weathering increased rates from before the start of the war. It remains to be seen if these additional challenges will cool off demand.

Contact The Maui Real Estate Team

Limited supply and increasing global uncertainty call for quality representation. Contact The Maui Real Estate Team if you are interested in buying or selling the current market. We welcome the chance to discuss your current needs.

About The Author

More posts
Table of contents