November 2009 Unofficial/Official Maui Real Estate Statistics

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For some time now, I have been posting an unofficial Maui Real Estate statistics blog entry. My unofficial stats feature my calculations for the monthly statistics as well as a little bit of discussion and analysis. My unofficial post is usually posted a week before the local Realtor Association releases official statistics. This month, we are reversing time lines. The Realtors Association of Maui was quick to get their stats out within a couple of days of the first of the month, while I was a little slow out of the gates. As a result, I am going to switch things up a little this month. I will post a few highlights from the official stats as well as a link to the official stats followed by a brief analysis.

In November of 2009, there were 67 homes sold at a median price of $465,000. That compares to 65 sold at a median of $472,000 during the same month in 2008. That translates to a 3% increase in volume when comparing the two Novembers.

There were 69 condos sold on Maui at a median price of $307,500 during the month of November. In November 2009, there were only 29 sales at a median of $399,000. That represents a 238% increase in volume when you compare this November’s sales to last November’s sales.

November 2009 land sales totaled 17 closes at a median price of $450,000. This compares to 4 sales at a median of $507,140 for November of 2009. This is a 425% increase in sales volume when comparing November of 2009 to November of 2008.

For more granularity, charts and historical data, check out the official November 2009 Maui Real Estate Statistics.

One thing you won’t see in the official stats, that I have been keeping tabs on in the unofficial statistics is information on foreclosure and short sale activity. There were 25 REO or bank owned properties that closed in Maui last month. There were an additional 15 short sale closes. That means 38% of the home closes were either bank owned or short sales. Short sales or foreclosures constituted 20% of the sales activity in the condo market. We also saw a smattering of this type of activity in the land market with one REO close and one short sale close. These numbers are in line with what we have seen in recent months on Maui. I don’t think we are quite ready to see a decrease in REO and short sale activity as there still seems to be a healthy volume of pending foreclosures.

Overall, the November market was decent for sales volume. The overall numbers are also in line with what we have seen the last few months. The year to year comparison when comparing November of 2009 to November of 2008 was intriguing. The November 2008 condo numbers represented the true bottom of the market for condo sales volume. This months totals are still a ways away from peak market volume, but they shows clear signs of improvement. The November sales were undoubtedly helped a little by first time home buyers who were pursuing tax credits, but we are also seeing signs of rejuvenation among the vacation rental condo market.

Land also appears to have had an impressive year to year recovery statistically. That being said, my enthusiasm over land sales volume is tempered a little by two things. First, the 17 sales this month include 5 mixed use lots that are also commercial lots. The twelve residential lots that sold are a healthy number when looking at the last couple of years, but we are again still well below peak numbers.

The recovery in home sales was not as drastic statistically, but 2008 numbers were bolstered in part due to some long term new development contracts. There were roughly 20 of those transactions. Were they to be removed from the equation, the year to year recovery would be a little more robust. To be fair, it is likely that the first time home buyer credit also had a positive impact on November’s home sales as buyers tried to close before the tax credit was supposed to have expired. The good news is that while many markets are going into their winter doldrums right now, we are rapidly approaching our high season for real estate. Peak tourism season starts in the next couple of weeks. That should help to maintain or potentially increase sales volume in all property classes.

What does this all mean? Sellers need to be mindful that this remains a buyers market. Well priced homes at or below recent comparable sales are the best bet for attracting buyers. Buyers still have good inventory to choose from and prices have shown nice adjustments from the peak. Please feel free to contact us if you have additional questions on the state of the market, or would like assistance buying or selling Maui Real Estate.

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