Maui Real Estate Blog

September 2021 Kula Real Estate Market Update

Once again, it’s time to check in on market conditions for another community on Maui. Let’s head Upcountry and look at the Kula real estate market. Kula spans a vast geographic area along the Western Flank of Haleakala. It runs from roughly 1,200 feet in elevation up to 4,000 feet. From an MLS perspective it includes smaller communities like Keokea, Ulupalakua and Kanaio. Kula is an agricultural hub of Maui with a number of fruit, flower and vegetable farms dotting the landscape as well as some larger livestock operations. Homes range from modest plantation style homes on rural or residential lots to substantial estates on big acreage. This post looks at market activity for the year to date as well as a few thoughts on the market outlook.

Notable Numbers from this Year’s Kula Home Sales

  • As of September 13th, 65 homes sold in Kula during 2021. That is a 33% increase over the 49 sold during the same period of 2020.
  • The median price of the homes sold in Kula during 2021 is $1,225,000. The average price of the homes sold is $1,521,778. The median price and average price are up 28% and 38% respectively compared to the same period of 2020.
  • Fifty-seven percent of the homes sold in Kula this year closed for asking price or higher.
  • The highest priced home to sell this year closed for $9,200,000. Home doesn’t quite do the property justice. The sale included two lots totaling 23 acres, two extra large water meters, a 7,809 square foot main house, a pool, a detached 7 car garage and a second 2,712 square foot home. This is the highest ever sales price for a residential property in Kula.
  • This was one of 13 sales over $2,000,000 for the year to date. That compares to 3 during the same period of 2020.
A property in Kula represented by the Maui Real Estate Team that closed for $2,680,000 in June.
This home and cottage on 2 acres closed for $2,680,000 in June. The seller was represented by the Maui Real Estate Team, Inc.

Thoughts on the Kula Home Market for the Year to Date

Like the rest of the island, the Kula home market experienced robust activity over the year to date. Demand was high while supply remained low. Based on the rate of sales, there were 3.3 months supply of home inventory in January. After that, it dropped as low as 2.1 months supply in April and has yet to climb above 3 months supply again. Strong demand and limited supply helped to boost prices significantly. The question is how much? The change in average price and median price don’t just reflect shifts in value. They also reflect an increase in activity at higher price points in the market. Sales of homes over $2,000,000 increased 433% compared to 2020.

Outlook for The Kula Home Market for the Rest of the Year

It’s the classic push pull of supply and demand that should be in play for the rest of the year. At this point, it appears as if demand remains strong. We started unofficially tracking a new metric in our office over the last few weeks. We are looking at how quickly new listings are going under contract. With a high number of properties going under contract in less than a week, it is pretty clear that demand is still pretty strong. The question is whether we might see any relief with new inventory. While inventory is slowly increasing on the mainland, it remains near all time lows in Kula and Maui in general.

The Kula Land Market

Kula is an area of the island where you tend to see more land sales. A handful of new developments over the last few years and smaller subdivisions usually translates into a healthy supply. This year, increased buyer activity put a serious dent in inventory numbers.

Notable Numbers from the Kula Land Market

  • As of September 13th, Maui Realtors reported 35 land sales for the year. That is up 21% from the 26 sales over the same period of 2020.
  • The median sales price of the lots sold is $930,000. The average sales price is $1,058,473. The median price increased 206% from the median of $450,000 during the same period of 2020. The average price increased 24% compared to last year’s average of $853,148.
  • The lowest priced transaction closed for $350,000. That was for a 1/2 acre lot without water.
  • The highest priced lot to sell closed for $4,500,000. That parcel in lower Kula included 148 acres of land.
  • That was one of 11 lots to sell for more than $1,000,000. By comparison, there was just one lot that sold for $1,000,000 or more during the same period of 2020. That one sale was a large land acquisition by the state of Hawaii.

Kula Land Market Activity and Outlook

The Kula land market mirrored many of the other places around the island in terms of market activity for the year to date. Higher demand, shrinking supplies and rising prices. The increase in higher priced sales was another particularly notable aspect of this year’s activity. As mentioned above, there was just the one sale over $1,000,000 in 2020 compared to the 11 sold thus far this year. Seven more properties listed for $1,000,000 show as pending on the MLS. This constitutes a massive increase in demand for higher end properties in Kula.

A lot of the higher end sales activity occurred in the Kula I’o subdivision. This gated community of 2.5 acre-25 acre lots experienced modest sales activity the first couple of years on the market. The development benefited from this year’s increased high end sales activity with 15 closes ranging in sales price between $830,000 and $1,650,000. At this point, most of the developer’s lots in Kula I’o are sold or pending. That said, I imagine we will see resales and CPR lots in the future.

It’s important to keep the increased higher end activity in mind when looking at the big shift in median and average prices. While limited supply and increased demand led to rising values, the 206% increase in median price is largely a reflection of the increased sales activity with high end lots. While the big land, big view lots in Kula I’o heavily influenced the average and median price in 2021. The big driver in 2020 was a subdivision with half acre lots in the $450,000-$500,000 price point.

Moving forward, inventory or lack thereof is going to be the big market driver for the rest of the year. Unless there is a big influx of new inventory, I can’t anticipate a lot of sales activity. If demand remains relatively strong, I anticipate that the combination of demand and low inventory will mean continued upward pressure on pricing.

Contact The Maui Real Estate Team

The Maui Real Estate Team works extensively in the Kula market. Contact The Maui Real Estate Team if you are interested in property in Kula. We would welcome the chance to discuss the market and learn more about your real estate interests and needs. You can search the active inventory of Kula Homes for Sale and Kula Land for Sale on MauiRealEstate.com.

Pete Jalbert

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