Maui Real Estate Blog

Maui Market Musings Volume II

This week’s edition of Maui Market Musings is another grab bag of topics. I look at days on market on Maui, try to get a sense of price increases since the start of Covid and check in on sales activity at Hoku’ula, the new development in Upcountry Maui.

Properties Continue to Move Quickly

One way of gauging the strength of the Maui market is looking at days on market. The local Realtor Association publishes days on market for sold properties. I wanted to use data from recently listed properties for a more current look at market activity. Between February 9th and February 16th, 71 listings came to market. Of the 71 listings, 40 already went under contract. Of the remaining 31 listings, 7 are waiting to review offers until a later date or are in the process of reviewing offers. One bank owned listing successfully completed an auction with the buyer and the bank completing contract paper work. Two additional listings are vacation rentals with no opportunity for showings as of yet.

We are seeing things go under contract really quickly. What does this mean for buyers? Over 50% of properties are going under contract in 10 days or less. Many sellers are setting offer deadlines a week after listing to allow for strong showing demand. Multiple offers are common. Buyers who want to enter the fray need to have pre-approvals and proof of funds in hand. They also need to prepare to write very strong offers.

How Much Have Property Values Increased on Maui?

How much have prices gone up since the start of Covid? This is one of the most common questions people ask about the Maui market. This is a surprisingly difficult question to answer. The Maui market is incredibly heterogeneous. While changes in median price give some indication of changes in value, it isn’t an exact indicator. Changes in median prices aren’t just due to changes in price. Differences in the composition of the market in any one month also contribute to changes in median. For example, if you have a greater proportion of higher end homes selling in any one month, median prices will tend to go up.

With that in mind, I thought I would do my best to try to get a better sense of how much prices changed since early 2020. To do that, I went through the sales over the last month and compared them to sales during the same period of January and February 2020. I tried to find as many like for like properties to compare from each of the two time frames. Truth be told, the list of properties that fit that criteria is surprisingly small. Here are some of the properties I identified, notable differences if any, their sales prices and the percentage change.

Comparing Early 2020 and Early 2022 Home Prices

  • The first example I found was actually a home that sold on January 31st of 2020 and sold again on February 9th of 2022. 24 W Makaukau Loop is located in the Waikapu Gardens subdivision of Wailuku. The seller made one notable improvement during their two years of ownership. They added a photovoltaic system with a Tesla Powerwall. It closed for $731,000 in 2020 and $990,000 in 2022. That is a 34% difference. If you add roughly $35,000 for the improvements, you are looking at a 29.4% increase in value.
  • I found two very similar homes in the Pi’ilani Villages subdivision in Kihei that sold in 2020 and 2022 respectively. 38 Polale and 62 Polale are both three bedroom, two bathroom homes with 1,478 square feet of living space. Both homes have net metered photovoltaic systems. and new flooring. The home at 38 Polale has original bathrooms, while the home at 62 Polale includes nicely remodeled bathrooms. The lot at 38 Polale is 300 square feet bigger. The home at 38 Polale sold in early 2020 for $756,000. The home at 62 Polale sold in early 2022 for $1,100,000. That is a 45.5% difference in value. Regardless of the bathroom improvements, this is a big shift in values.
  • While the next two homes don’t offer a true apples to apples comparison, they are still worth sharing. Both homes are in Kaimana at Kehalani. This is a subdivision with a single developer and a handful of different floor plans. The first home is a 4 bedroom, 3 bath with 2,021 square feet of living space and a Photovoltaic system. The home is located on a 4,500 square foot lot. The second home is 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms with 1,185 square feet of living space. It is also situated on 4,500 square foot lot. The 4 bedroom home sold in early 2020 for $725,000. The second sold for $815,000. That is a 12% higher sales price for a home that is 41% smaller.

Comparing Early 2020 and Early 2022 Condo Prices

  • The first two condos I wanted to compare are located in the same floor of the same building at Aina Nalu in Lahaina. They are both 2 bedroom, 2 bath unit with 832 square feet of living space. Unit C 203 sold in early 2020 for $599,000. The seller did add some new flooring and there was some sort of bamboo ceiling covering added in parts of the condo. Unit C 209 was almost identical minus the improvements. It sold in early 2022 for $766,000. That is a 27.8% price increase. It is worth noting that Aina Nalu was one of a small handful of condos that actually saw prices go down in mid 2020. During that time, second floor two bedrooms went as low as $500,000. The level of appreciation is that much higher if you factor in that price adjustment.
  • Kai Malu is an upscale non-vacation rental condo in Wailea. There is variability in value within the complex based on location and view. I found two condos with the same 3 bedroom, 2.5 bathroom floor plan in different parts of the development. Both are considered to be good locations. They both overlook the golf course with the ocean in the distance. Unit 5A sold in late January 2020 for $1,700,000. Unit 55B is a little more upgraded unit with some more recent renovations. It sold for $2,200,000 in early February. That is a 29.4% increase in sales price.
  • Kihei Villages is an entry level condo complex that prohibits short terms rentals. I found two pretty similar ground floor units for comparison. Both have two bedrooms, one and a half baths and 750 square feet of living space and an enclosed yard area. Unit 10-103 had some improvements in the kitchen, but bathrooms appeared to be original. It sold in February of 2020 for $365,000. Unit 34-103 was well maintained with a nice yard, but no upgrades to the kitchens or bathrooms. It sold for $535,000 in February of 2022. That is a 46.5% difference in value.
  • I compared two one bedroom, one bath listings in building 2 at Maui Vista. This is a vacation rental friendly condo in Kihei. Both units appeared to be in original condition. Unit 2203 sold for $420,000 in February of 2020. Unit 2308 sold for $572,000 in January. That is a difference of 36.19%.

While this is a relatively small sample size, it does provide both homes and condos over a pretty broad area of the island. Overall, here are my takeaways from this number crunching exercise. You are looking a bare minimum of 27% appreciation over the last two years with some properties seeing more significant increases. There is some variability in appreciation around the island. While all these prices are moving in the same direction at this point,some are taking a little longer to get there.

The significant price increases appear to be continuing. Anecdotally, bidding wars feel that much more competitive of late. In turn, it feels as if values skipped up on some of the properties going under contract over the last few weeks. It will be interesting to see if the sales numbers corroborate this in the months ahead.

Hoku’ula Lottery Update

Last week I posted about the lottery for first phase of the market priced listings at Hoku’ula. This development in Hali’imaile is one of the largest developments ever in Upcountry Maui. It will include 196 total homes with 98 work force housing homes and 98 market rate housing homes. The work force housing units are fully reserved. The developer held a lottery for the first phase of the market rate housing at the end of last week. Per the developer’s representatives, 15 homes went under contract as a result of the lottery. That is half of the 30 homes in the first phase. Registrations for the first phase may still be submitted. Contact The Maui Real Estate Team for buyer representation if you are interested in the development.

Final Thoughts

Well, so far so good on making this a regular feature of our blog. We are hoping that this is valuable tool for buyers and sellers trying to get a better sense of the market. Feel free to reach out if there are any specific things you might want us to discuss in future volumes of the musings. Contact The Maui Real Estate Team if you need assistance buying and selling property.

Pete Jalbert

Maui Real Estate Blog

Taking the Pulse of the West Maui Vacation Rental Condo Market

We recently posted on a surge in activity in the South Maui Vacation Rental Market. Wailea and Kihei both saw a big increase in condo sales for the year to date. West Maui is home to the other big concentration of vacation rental condos on island. The West side has not been the best side for sales this year. Condo activity is off compared to 2016. This post takes a look at sales activity in the different areas of West Maui, looks at a few condos that have seen stronger activity and takes a look at a couple of factors that could be driving the slower sales on this side of the island.

As of June 7th, there have been 145 vacation rental condos sold in West Maui this year. As of the same time last year, there were 176 vacation rental condos that sold in West Maui. That is an 18% reduction in sales volume. I broke down the sales by price ranges to try to see if the decrease in activity occurred across the board. Condo sales $500,000 and under were down 22%. There were 57 sales this year as compared to 73 last year in this price range. The middle part of the market between $500,001 and $1,000,000 performed the strongest of any market segment with a modest increase of 4.6% over last year. There were 67 sales compared to 64 over the same period of 2016. The high end of the West Maui vacation rental market saw the steepest decline in activity of any market segment. Sales were down 51% for vacation rental condos priced from $1,000,001 on up. There were 23 sales compared to 45 sales over the same period of 2016.

Lahaina Condos
The Lahaina condo market was the one area of West Maui that saw an increase in activity compared to last year. Lahaina has a small number of vacation rental condo complexes with four total properties. Those four complexes saw activity increase by 35% for the year as of June 7, 2017. It was a good five plus months of sales in Lahaina, but one condo stood out above the others.

Aina Nalu
Aina Nalu is located one block off of Front Street in historic Lahaina Town. There are 190 units at the complex spread over 11 buildings on 18 acres. There are studio, one bedroom and two bedroom floor plans. Prices range from the $300,000s for one bedrooms to the low $400,000s for two bedrooms. Owners value the grounds, the two nice pools, the tropical design elements and the location. If you were so inclined, this is a place where you could stay without driving your car with Front Street so close by. The property had 5 sales through just over five months of 2016. As of June 7th, there were 12 sales in Aina Nalu. That is an impressive 240% increase in sales activity.

Ka’anapali Condos
As you head North from Lahaina, the Ka’anapali condo market has seen a dip in condo sales activity for the first five months of the year compared to the same period of 2016. Sales slipped from 63 sales to start 2016 to 42 sales as of June 7, 2017. That is a 33% decrease in activity. The decrease in sales was almost across the board with only Ka’anapali Royal registering more sales this year than last year with 4 sales compared to 2. While I typically focus on the condos that stand out among the crowd for higher sales activity, I wanted to take a look at the condo complex that saw the biggest dip in activity.

Honua Kai
Honua Kai is the last fee simple whole ownership condo to be built in the Ka’anapali Area. It has 711 units spread over two seven story towers on 40 acres. The Hoku Lani tower was completed in 2009 and the Konea tower was completed in 2010. Honua Kai has extensive amenities including three separate pools and an onsite restaurant, grocery store and spa. It has studio, one bedroom, two bedroom and three bedroom condominiums. Prices range from the high 600s for a select few mountain view one bedrooms up to over $5,000,000 for the best located three bedroom units. People who own at Honua Kai appreciate the significant amenities, the beachfront location, the newness of the location and the rental demand.

Honua Kai has had a big impact on the West Maui Condo market since 2005 when they started taking the first round of pre-construction reservations. Those reservations generated a significant number of sales during the doldrums of the post crash real estate market. This goosed the condo sales numbers when overall demand was low. I dubbed this distortion of the statistics The Honua Kai Effect.

June of 2016 was the last new developer sale at Honua Kai. There were 15 new developer sales between January 1, 2016 and June 7, 2016. That gives some context before I provide this year’s sales numbers. There were 14 Honua Kai Sales for the year as of June 7th. Last year, there were 32 over that same period of time. That is a 54% drop in sales volume. The new developer sales account for most, but not all of the difference between this year and last year’s sales volume.

The deluxe kitchen area of one of the three bedroom units in the Konea Building of Honua Kai.

Honua Kai remains a popular choice for West Maui condo buyers. While we saw a big dip in activity, it still saw more sales than any other West Maui condo.

Napili, Kahana, Honokowai
The three communities located between Ka’anapali and Kapalua offer the greatest concentration of oceanfront condos in West Maui. It was another area that has seen a decrease in activity in 2017. There were 57 sales in this area five months and a week in to 2017. That is down 22% from the 73 sales through the same period of 2016. The bulk of the condo complexes in this area saw a decrease in activity with a few exceptions.

Papakea
Papakea is an oceanfront complex in the Honokowai area. It has 364 condos spread over 11 buildings on just over 12 acres. There are studio, one bedroom and two bedroom floor plans. This complex is predominantly fee simple, but there are some leasehold units. Papakea has a pretty broad range of prices. Leasehold one bedrooms start right around $200,000. The most expensive units are direct oceanfront two bedroom units. They sell for as much as $1,000,000. Owners like the oceanfront location, amenities and relaxed feel. Papakea had a pretty good start to 2016 with 10 sales in just over five months. This year was 40% better with 14 sales in the same period of time.

A couple of palm trees frame the ocean views of a direct oceanfront unit at Papakea.

Kapalua
While most of West Maui was either markedly stronger or weaker this year compared to last year, Kapalua has been pretty steady with the same number of sales this year as last year. There were 14 vacation rental condos sold this year as of June 7th, compared to 14 over the same period last year. While the overall numbers were the same, there were some shifts in activity among the five complexes that allow vacation rentals. I wanted to highlight the one condo that saw the biggest increase in activity and the highest number of sales overall.

Kapalua Golf Villas
Kapalua Golf Villas is situated along the beautiful Kapalua Bay Course. There are 186 units spread over 16 buildings on 15.8 acres. Amenities include three pools. The property went through extensive renovations in 2014. Prices range from the high $500,000s for one bedrooms lower on the golf course to just under a million for fully upgraded two bedrooms with good ocean views. Views, finishing and floor plans are the primary drivers on price. Kapalua Golf Villas offer the lowest priced entry point into the Kapalua Real Estate market. Owners appreciate the location on the Bay course, the views and the proximity to Kapalua Beaches and to other resort amenities.

Kapalua Golf Villas has been the busiest of the Kapalua condos in 2017. There have been 7 units sold as June 7th. There were 4 sold over the same period last year. That is a 75% increase in sales activity.

What’s Driving the West Maui Market
South Maui vacation rental condos have been booming this year while West Maui has been slower. They are two seemingly similar markets. What is driving the difference in market behavior? I was able to give some pretty good reasons as to why I think the South Maui market has surged to start the year. Determining what might be holding things back in West Maui is a little more challenging. The one clear cut cause was already discussed. Honua Kai is seeing less activity now that it is just resales and there are no more new developer listings.

Are there any other factors keeping down West Maui sales numbers? The state of Kahana Bay may be impacting sales. This section of West Maui coastline has significant erosion issues. Hololani has been struggling with erosion issues for a number of years. Those issues expanded down the coast last year. Royal Kahana and Valley Isle Resort had to put up emergency sandbags during the winter of 2016 to halt a rapid loss of shoreline. There are now nine condo associations that are a part of efforts to develop a shoreline replenishment plan. With the cost of beach replenishment expected to approach ten million dollars, the individual owners in those nine complexes are facing a big assessment to pay for the project. While the numbers of condos sold in the nine complexes this year is pretty similar to what we saw last year, the uncertainty over this coastline and the potential future costs may be limiting the potential for growth in this market.

The one other factor that could be at play is plain old variability. We see that in the market from time to time. Some years West Maui has stronger years for sales activity and some years it is South Maui that has a big year. The underlying reasons aren’t so clear cut. This may be just one of those years for West Maui. When you add in the other factors previously mentioned, those three things in and of itself could account for the 18% drop we have seen. If you are a close follower of the West Maui market and you have any other theories, we would welcome your input in the comments below.

The good news for potential buyers is that there is still a lot of inventory in this market. This is particularly the case with condos priced from $500,000 and up. You can search through the current inventory of Kapalua Condos for Sale and Ka’anapali Condos for sale on MauiRealEstate.com. You can also search the MLS for condos listed in Lahaina, Napili, Kahana and Honokowai. Contact The Maui Real Estate Team if you want to talk to a real estate agent about West Maui Vacation Rental Condos. We would welcome the chance to learn more about what you are looking for and to assist you in your search for a condo that will fit your needs.

Pete Jalbert