Maui Real Estate Market Update Q4 2023 Vol. 3

Maui Market Update Quarter
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It’s a new year and another opportunity to check in on the Maui Real Estate Market. This is our last update for the fourth quarter of 2023. This edition looks at December market activity and end-of-the-month inventory levels. I even look at Median price trends, which I typically avoid in my market analysis posts. Keep reading to learn more about recent Maui market activity.

December Market Activity

The tables below show new inventory, new pending sales, and sales in the Maui market during December of 2023. I include numbers from December from the previous five years for additional context.

December 2023December 2022December 2021December 2020December 2019December 2018
Homes709298115121120
Condos17279162153143173
New Listings in December from 2018-2023

New home listings were down 24% below last December. They came in around 42% lower than December 2019 and 2018. New condo listings were up substantially this December. They are 117% higher than last December and 20% higher than December 2019. Only December 2018 saw more new condo listings, but just one more that month.

December 2023December 2022December 2021December 2020December 2019December 2018
Homes7052691177475
Condos7649136137113110
New Pending Sales in December from 2018-2023

New pending home sales were up 34.6% from last December, 5.4% lower than in December of 2019 and 6.7% lower than in December 2018. New pending condo sales were up 55% over December 2022 and 33% and 31% lower than December 2019 and December 2018, respectively. It’s worth remembering that December of 2022 was a quiet month for buyer activity.

December 2023December 2022December 2021December 2020December 2019December 2018
Homes55641131069691
Condos8967171166124122
Maui Home and Condo Sales from December 2018-2023

December home sales were down 14.1% from December 2022 and 48.2% lower than in December 2019. They were 39.6% lower than in December 2018. Condo sales were up from 32.8% in December of 2022 and down 28.3% and 27.1% from December 2019 and 2018, respectively.

End of December Maui Home Inventory

The tables below show active and pending inventory by price point and community on the last day of December. Inventory from the last days of November and October are provided for context and to illustrate recent trends.

October 31, 2023November 30, 2023December 31, 2023
ActivePendingActivePendingActivePending
<$749,9991269116 (-3)10 (-1)
$750,000-$999,9992216142110 (-4)23 (+2)
$1,000,000-$1,499,9994439384220 (-18)52(+10)
$1,500,000-$1,999,9992914281932 (+4)22 (+3)
$2,000,000-$2,999,99935733532 (-1)5
$3,000,000-$4,999,99926734541 (+7)6 (+1)
$5,000,000-$9,999,99931432235 (+3)5 (+3)
$10,000,000-$19,999,99911013016 (+3)0
$20,000,000404040
Total21493205105196 (-9)123(+18)
Maui active and pending home inventory by price point on the last day of October, November, and December.
October, 31, 2023November 30,2023December 31, 2023
ActivePendingActivePendingActivePending
Haiku24719914 (-5)13 (+4)
Hana11110111 (+1)1
Ka’anapali11011214 (+3)1 (-1)
Kahului76687 (+1)13 (+5)
Kapalua52618 (+2)1
Kihei3111291517 (-12)19 (+4)
Kula26825625 6
Lahaina10517419 (+2)3 (-1)
Makawao1116121420 (+8)18 (+4)
Napili/Kahana/Hono…1031149 (-2)4
Pukalani54361 (-2)5 (-1)
Sprecks/Paia91719 (+2)1
Wailea20425319 (-6)7 (+4)
Wailuku2525193015 (-4)27 (-3)
Active and Pending Home Inventory by community on the last day of October, November, and December 2023

Five Notable Things about the End of December Maui Home Inventory

The end-of-the-month active home inventory decreased for the second consecutive month, and the pending home inventory increased from the month prior. Active inventory on December 31st decreased 4.4% from November 30th. Pending home sales increased 17.1% from the end of November on the last day of December.

Looking at changes in active inventory by price point, inventory dropped at lower price ranges. The most significant drop occurred in the $1,000,000 to $1,499,999 price range. With two exceptions, active inventory increased over $1,500,000. The most considerable increase occurred between $3,000,000 and $4,999,999.

The only price point where pending sales decreased is below $750,000, just by one listing. All other price points saw an increase in pending sales or stayed the same. That $1,000,000 to $1,500,000 price range saw the most significant increase in pending sales.

At a community level, active inventory grew in more communities than decreased. The most significant increase in active inventory occurred in Makawao. That is mainly due to a release of new listings at the Hoku’ula subdivision. The active inventory of Kihei Homes for Sale decreased substantially. There were also more significant decreases in Wailea’s and Haiku’s active home listings.

Several communities experienced a healthy bump in pending sales. Kahului led the way with five new pendings, followed by Haiku, Kihei, Makawao, and Wailea with four new pendings each. Wailuku was the only community to see more than one less pending compared to the end of last month. That decrease can be traced to new developer closings at Anuenue at Kehaleani.

End of December Maui Condo Inventory

The tables below show active and pending condo sales by price point and community on the last day of the month from October through December. Wailea and some of the higher price points continue to get a boost in pending sales due to long-term developer contracts at La’i Loa. That said, the impact is gradually diminishing. Thirty-one of the 75 units in the development have now closed. The rest of the units should be completed by late spring.

October 31, 2023November 30, 2023December 31, 2023
ActivePendingActivePendingActivePending
<$250,00000011 (+1)1
$250,000-$499,999131019711 (-8)13 (+6)
$500,000-$749,9993519343239 (+5)28 (-4)
$750,000-$999,9995117572574 (+17)20 (-5)
$1,000,000-$1,499,9994412572185 (+28)19 (-2)
$1,500,000-$1,999,9993125392247 (+8)20 (-2)
$2,000,000-$2,999,9991933263037 (+11)28 (-2)
$3,000,000-$4,999,9991815261330 (+4)15 (+2)
$5,000,000-$9,999,999809015 (+6)1 (+1)
$10,000,000+31417 (+3)0 (-1)
Total222132271152346 (+75)145 (-7)
Active and pending condo inventory by price point on the last day of October, November and December 2023.
October 31, 2023November 30, 2023December 31, 2023
ActivePendingActivePendingActive Pending
Ka’anapali40744865 (+21)14 (+6)
Kahului21514 (+1)3 (+2)
Kapalua12216222 (+6)1 (-1)
Kihei67277846106 (+28)42 (-4)
Lahaina00100 (-1)0
Ma’alaea51679 (+3)4 (-3)
Napili/Kahana/Hono…6016761580 (+4)21 (+6)
Wailea3070386452 (+14)54(-10)
Wailuku58695 (-1)5 (-4)
Active and Pending Condo Inventory by community on the last day of October, November and December 2023.

Five Notable Things about the End of December Condo Inventory

The number of active condo listings increased by 27.7% between the last day of November and the last day of December. While still below the inventory numbers we saw before COVID-19, active listings are the highest since March 2021. The number of pending sales dipped 4.6% between the last day of November and the last day of December.

All but one price point increased in inventory between the end of November and the last day of December. The most significant increases occurred between $750,000 to $1,500,000.The $2,000,000 to $2,999,999 price range and the $5,000,000 to $9,999,999 also saw notable increases. The only decrease in active inventory occurred between $250,000 to $499,999.

The number of pending listings decreased at far more price points than increased over December. The most significant decrease occurred in the $750,000 to $999,999 price range. The biggest increase in pending sales occurred between $250,000 and $499,999. The price ranges between $3,000,000 and $9,999,999 saw a modest rise in pendings.

Looking at active listings by community, only two communities saw active listings increase during December. Kihei, Ka’anpali, and Wailea saw the most significant increase in active inventory. The only two communities that decreased in active inventory were Wailuku and Lahaina.

The number of Pending listings increased in one more community than decreased between the last day of November and the end of December. Ka’anapali and Napili, Kahana and Honokowai saw the biggest increases. Remember that those communities are coming up from very low sales activity in the wake of the Lahaina Fire. Wailea saw the biggest decrease in pending sales between the end of November and the end of December. Much of that shift can be traced to the sale of units at La’i Loa with the developer completing another couple of buildings.

Some Thoughts on The Numbers Above and the State of The Market

There is one thing in particular that stands out about the current market. There is a clear divergence between the directions of the home inventory and the condo inventory. Home inventory remains tight with the number of active listings falling over the last couple of months. Conversely, condo inventory grew steadily since September with December seeing the largest monthly growth yet. While active condo listings remain below “normal,” we are at the highest inventory levels seen since the first quarter of 2021.

With regards to home inventory, the biggest decrease in inventory is in the price ranges between $750,000 and $1,500,000. This tends to be a segment of the market that skews towards primary residences. The drop in mortgage rates in December helped out buyers looking to purchase in range. We may also be seeing a little more activity in this range from buyers displaced by the Lahaina Fire. Even if a small percentage of Lahaina residents are buying properties elsewhere on the island, it adds pressure on the already limited inventory.

Home inventory is increasing at the higher price points in the market. Much of that can be traced to new listings for the Winter buying season. That said,

We touched on this in our last market update, but various reasons are driving the increase in inventory in the condo market. Inventory grew in part throughout the fall due to less demand from buyers. The decrease in visitors in the aftermath of the fire meant fewer potential buyers. It’s more than just a lack of demand, though. We can see that most clearly in the number of new condo listings in December.

We are seeing more supply for a variety of reasons. Some of it is sellers who delayed listing in the aftermath of the fire. Some of it is investors seeing less income. We may be seeing some sellers who entered the market concerned about potential rental restrictions or property tax increases due to local and state government efforts to provide housing for Lahaina residents. There are also a fair number of developments that have larger assessments currently. Increased costs of ownership, combined with lower rental returns translates to more sellers.

It will be interesting to follow inventory as our winter season progresses. Will home inventory continue to remain limited? Will condo inventory continue to grow, or will demand be sufficient to stabilize or decrease supply? We will continue to keep track of things here on this blog.

Looking at Median Price and Values in the Maui Market

If you are a long-time reader of our stats posts, you will note that we allocate minimal discussion to median prices. Too often, changes in median prices are misconstrued to reflect changes in values directly. The median sales price reflects the composition of properties sold and the changes in values.

That’s one of the reasons we started doing stats posts on our blog back in 2006. The local newspaper kept on talking about the big increase in median prices as a reflection of changes in values. The narrative did not reflect the reality on the ground. The big increase in median prices stemmed from a large numbers of condo closing at Wailea Beach Villas, a new development. All of those expensive new developer sales pushed median values up sharply. Meanwhile, there were a lot of condos on island holding steady on price or even starting to decrease in value.

Specific to Maui, we are also looking at a relatively small sample size of properties sold. The smaller the sample size when comparing medians, the more noise you will encounter. We talked to Ryan Lundquist one of my favorite real estate twitter follows about this challenge. Ryan’s an appraiser out of the Sacramento area, but his real estate statistical wisdom has no boundaries. He said anytime your volume is below 300 properties, median can be problematic. He suggested looking at a slightly longer time scale in order to get more meaningful numbers.

So, we figured we would try to look at quarterly values over the last few years.

Maui Median Home and Condo Sales Price by Quarter between 2021 and 2023.

The chart above shows the Maui Median Home and Condo price by quarter between 2021 and 2023. A few things that caught our eye in the chart merit a brief discussion.

It is safe to say that there was a steady upward march in values in 2021, and at least the first half or more of 2022. That said, the chart shows periodic dips in median prices. We suggest that the chart shows some of the seasonality in high prices that you also see in markets back on the mainland. Median prices tend to peak in the late spring or early summer on the mainland. This reflects a more competitive Spring market and a tendency towards larger homes selling in the Spring. In Maui, our busier season is winter/early spring. We see home prices peak in the second quarter of both of those years.

We also see a dip in median home prices in the fourth quarter. That reflects the quieter fall period for buyer activity in the fall.

The other thing worth noting is that 2023 is an outlier. We see steady upward pricing throughout the year with no apparent seasonality. Is this indicative of stronger price appreciation? I don’t think so. It is worth noting that 2023 was a slow year for sales. Quarterly sales volumes dipped below 300 homes and condos sold. That was the threshold Ryan Lundquist suggested was necessary for meaningful analysis.

With all that being said, this exercise reaffirmed my wariness toward medians as an accurate indicator of values. There is also some variability in values depending on property type, location, and price point. We are always happy to provide insights on values in any market segment of interest to our buyers and sellers. We will go back to ignoring median prices in these posts for the foreseeable future.

A Little Maui Beauty to Brighten This Post

A rain squall passing offshore from Wainapanapa State Park in Hana
A rain squall passes offshore from Wainapanapa State Park in Hana

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