Maui Real Estate Blog
Kapalua September 2014 Midyear Real Estate Market Report
The Kapalua Real Estate market has had a tumultuous last five years. The real estate downturn battered the Kapalua Resort’s parent company Maui Land and Pineapple. The financial difficulties and eventual foreclosure of the Ritz Carlton Residences was perhaps the biggest symbol of the recent struggles of the resort. All of that said, the Kapalua Real Estate market showed signs of life in 2013 and the Ritz Carlton Residences are under new ownership and management. The relaunch of the Residences under the Montage brand has brought a buzz back to Kapalua. While Montage brings the buzz, Kapalua wasn’t exactly going to seed. This remains one of the more beautiful resort communities on the planet with renowned golf courses and some of the prettiest beaches in the country. This post takes a look at the state of the Kapalua market for 2014. We compare how the market performed compared to 2013.We take an even deeper dive into recent market history with some of the condo complexes. We also give our thoughts on what some of the numbers mean and the current state of the Kapalua Real Estate Market.
When comparing the first eight months of 2014 to the first eight of 2013, the Kapalua Condo market has seen a modest decrease in sales activity. There have been 22 condo sales to date this year vs 24 in the same period last year. There are seven different condominium communities within the Kapalua Resort. The difference in sales between those communities year to year has been more substantial.
With the differences in sales volume, I thought it might be worth delving into the market dynamics at a number of the seven different condo communities.
The Montage Residences at Kapalua Bay
Montage has grabbed the most headlines of the Kapalua Condo communities this year. The project was previously known as the Ritz Carlton Residences on Kapalua Bay. It came to market in 2009. Developer sales at the upscale condo complex were shut down in 2011 as the development faced headwinds in a more difficult real estate market. While the property has always been impressive, so were constructions costs. Coming to market in the doldrums of the real estate downturn was too tall of a task. The property was foreclosed on in early 2013. Lantern Capital, the new owners, subsequently appointed Montage Hotel and Resorts to manage the property. Montage is a well established luxury brand with a loyal following thanks to communities in Deer Park, Beverly Hills and Laguna Beach. Prior to coming back to market, significant improvements were made to what was already arguably the nicest physical plant of any condo community on island. Among the improvements was the opening of a new restaurant and bar Cane and Canoe. It has been receiving rave reviews since it opened.
The combination of the Montage brand, the beautiful property and the five star service create a package that has been very well received since the property came back to market in June. There have been five developer sales and one resale over the last few months. This is particularly impressive considering the price points that are involved. The lowest priced sale was $4,300,000 while the highest sale was $8,250,000. The high sale was the highest priced condo sale in Kapalua history. The second and third highest priced sales in Kapalua history also occurred at Montage over the last couple of months. There was one other thing that I found to be notable among the sales that have occurred. Four of the Montage buyers were represented by Wailea based agents. While Wailea and Kapalua are both world class resort communities, they each have their own distinctive feel. You seldom have buyers torn between the two communities. The buyers tend to gravitate toward one community over another. While the agents in our office are location agnostic, you tend to see more agents who focus on one of those communities instead of both. It says something about the compelling nature of the The Montage Residences at Kapalua that you are seeing Wailea based agents, and presumably Wailea type buyers making the trek up the coast to Kapalua.
At this time, there are two additional Montage Kapalua condos that are currently under contract with five others units listed. They will slowly release the remaining developer condos out on to the MLS as other units are sold. We anticipate that this luxury development will remain a popular offering for Maui Luxury condo buyers for some time to come.
Coconut Grove and The Ironwoods
I thought it was worth touching on these properties as they formerly had the distinction of being Kapalua’s most upscale condominium developments. One might think that the introduction of Montage into the market might have an adverse effect on both of these condos. I am not so sure that will be the case. It could be argued that Montage will be a complimentary rather than a competitive offering. All three condominiums have their own diverse personalities, locations and physical plants. Coconut Grove offers a lower density complex with an incredible location right on Kapalua Beach. The Ironwoods are also lower density and have their own beautiful setting nestled between Oneloa Beach and the fifth hole of the Kapalua Bay Course. The Ironwoods are also available at a lower price point than either Montage or Coconut Grove. Both the Ironwoods and Coconut Grove are different from Montage in that they prohibit vacation rentals. Neither condo complex tends to see a high volume of real estate transactions in any one year. It will likely take a few years before we get a better sense of how those properties continue to be received by the market with Montage available as another options for Ultra Luxury Condo buyers.
Kapalua Golf Villas
The condo complex that saw the sharpest decrease in sales activity when comparing this year to last year is Kapalua Golf Villas. I would argue that the decreased activity may be a reflection of the a strengthening situation at Golf Villas rather than a weaker market. To understand my reasoning, it is worth taking some time to look at the history of the complex. Aside from the former Ritz residences, it is safe to say that Golf Villas has seen more upheaval over the last few years than any other condo complex in Kapalua. The challenges stemmed from a large assessment that was imposed on the condos. When crews began work re-roofing the condos in the fall of 2011, they started to uncover some much larger maintenance issues that needed to be addressed immediately. Each of the condo owners were required to pay a special assessment over a 24 month period. The assessment ranged from an extra $700 to well over $1,200 a month depending on the size of the floor plan. Within a couple of months of the assessment being announced, there was a flood of inventory that hit the market. The numbers below provide some interesting context for the market dynamics over the last four years.
- In 2011, there were 11 sales at Kapalua Golf Villas and the median sales price was $510,000. The low sales price for the year was $425,000. It was November of 2011 when the need for a special assessment was announced.
- In 2012, there were 25 sales with a median price of $480,000. The low sale was $330,000. That was one of five sales during 2012 below $400,000 at Kapalua Golf Villas.
- In 2013, the sales volume at Kapalua Golf Villas dipped to 11 sales, but the median rose dramatically to $650,000. The low sale price was $489,000.
- In 2014, there have 5 condos sold year to date with a median price of $710,000. The low sale was $645,000.
The flood of inventory that hit the market in late 2011 and 2012 forced some sellers at Kapalua Golf Villas to slash prices. It was clear there were owners that didn’t want to pay or couldn’t afford to pay the new assesment. As a result, you saw those five exceptionally low sales prices. The scope of work covered by the assessment was comprehensive and suggests that the heavy lifting for the maintenance should be covered for some time. The high volume of sales suggests that there were quite a few buyers who saw the upside in the improvements and the long term potential. By the beginning of 2013, the pool of discounted condos at Golf Villas was largely gone and prices began began to recover quickly. You can see that reflected in the significant increase in median prices. By 2014, sales volumes have slowed even further. Sellers have been trying to push the envelope at Golf Villas on pricing. As it stands, the low sale for this year is just $5,000 below last year’s median. This should make for lower sales volume and lower potential for appreciation the rest of the year.
The Ridge at Kapalua
The Ridge at Kapalua hasn’t seen the same tumult that was experienced at Golf Villas, but there have been some similarities in recent market dynamics. In 2011, sales at the Ridge were slow with only 3 transactions recorded. In 2012, we saw some more motivated sellers as well as a few bank owned properties hitting the market. That contributed to a stronger year for sales with a total of 14 transactions recorded. Buyers were able to take advantage of some lower priced opportunities, and we even saw some Bank owned sales in the $400s. In 2013, the lower priced inventory was gone and we started to see stronger appreciation. That said, it was interesting to note that the progression wasn’t linear. The first half of the year saw only one transaction, the second half of the year had 12 sales. Buyers appeared reticent to support the higher prices at the first half of 2013, but the barrier was broken as the comparative value of the Ridge was recognized. Well maintained grounds, beautiful views and a good location compared to comparable priced properties helped drive buyers into the market. For 2014, sales volumes have slowed and the rate of appreciation has begun to slow as well. Buyers seem to be putting a premium on quality over the lower priced units. The 2 one bedroom units that have closed have been very high quality condos in the $800s, while 2 of the 3 two bedroom units have been priced in the $1,400,000 range. I suspect we will continue to see a focus on quality for the remainder of the year.
Kapalua Bay Villas
When looking at the year to year sales, Kapalua Bay Villas has seen the same number of sales to date this year as it did over the same period last year. That isn’t necessarily a good thing in light of current inventory. There are currently 24 active listings at Bay Villas with one condo under contract. Bay Villas has had pretty extensive inventory for the last few years. I would anticipate that the depth of inventory will significantly limit the potential for appreciation. Sellers will need to listen to market feedback and adjust pricing if we are going to see any significant increase in sales volumes.
Overall, the Kapalua Condo market seems to be transitioning from a period where a good portion of the transactions were value driven. After seeing significant appreciation at condos like Golf Villas and the Ridge over the last couple of years, the opportunity for bargain hunting is limited. It is safe to say that the surge of activity at Montage is not bargain hunting. More buyers are seeking quality above all else. There is plenty of quality to choose from among the active listings. You can check out the current inventory of Kapalua Condos for Sale at MauiRealEstate.com.
The Kapalua Home market has not been as robust as the condo market for the year to date. There have been five sales thus far with a median sales price of $3,250,000. By comparison, last year there had been nine sales by this point in time at a median price of $3,500,000. There are a few things that I thought were noteworthy about this year’s closes.
- The five sales included one close in Honolua Ridge, two closes in Pineapple Hill and two more sales at Pineapple Hill Estates.
- The Honolua Ridge close was a bank owned property. This neighborhood was just coming to market towards the tail end of the last real estate boom. As a result, there have been quite a few distressed sales.
- The bank owned property was the lowest priced sale at $1,700,000. This was the only home sale under $3,000,000 in Kapalua this year.
- The high sale was $4,700,000 for Carlos Santana’s home in Pineapple Hill. That home has 7,687 square feet of living space.
Island wide, home sales over $2,000,000 are up 32% compared to last year. It is interesting that Kapalua sales activity has dropped in light of the island wide increase in high end sales. That said, the relatively small sample size of Kapalua sales makes me reticent to read too much into the drop in activity. One thing that I can say is that there have been fewer opportunities for owners looking for bargains. Over the previous two years, a number of the homes that have changed hands have been value purchases priced at the very low end of the various Kapalua neighborhoods. This year there was just the one sale under $2,000,000. There has also just been one other listing priced below $2,500,000. The smaller pool of purchases this year appear to be skewed more towards buyers seeking quality homes that fit their needs.
Moving forward for the rest of the year, Kapalua still has a significant inventory of homes available with 24 active listings. Based on the current pace of sales, that would suggest that there are at least a couple of years worth of inventory still available. While conventional wisdom indicates that more than six months of inventory can lead to price decreases, that isn’t as applicable to a market like Kapalua. Kapalua and other high dollar markets typically have much longer days on market. It is not uncommon for some of the highest priced properties to sit for years. The sellers of these homes are typically high net worth individuals with the staying power to hold on to the property long enough to wait for offers that fit their needs. There may be one or two sellers among the active listings who are motivated; the challenge lies in identifying those sellers. While values are unlikely to fall at this point, the depth of inventory should blunt any movement to push prices upward. You can see the full inventory of Kapalua Homes for Sale at MauiRealEstate.com.
The land market on Maui hasn’t seen a ton of transactions as of late. When you look at a smaller community like Kapalua, the number of transactions shrinks even further. There have been three land transactions in Kapalua this year. One sale was located in the Plantation Estates subdivision. The other two were in the Honolua Ridge area of Plantation Estates. That total is lower than the five sales that we saw last year as of this time. There are a total of nine active listings currently. They are spread amongst all of the residential communities including Plantation Estates, Pineapple Hill, Pineapple Hill Estates and Honolua Ridge. Plantation Estates and Honolua Ridge offer acreage for potential buyers with some lots in Honolua Ridge in excess of 20 acres.
Kapalua Long Range Outlook
There is much to like about Kapalua property over the long term. The resort seems to have weathered the storm of the last real estate downturn and is positioned to grow as a destination. Montage will help to draw new visitors to the resort community. Some of those visitors may find themselves compelled to own their own slice of paradise in Kapalua. Some of those will snatch up some of the remaining new developer inventory at Montage, while others may opt to look at one of the nearby condos, one of the residential neighborhoods or identify a lot to build a dream home. The natural environment, beaches, golf and other amenities make Kapalua as a whole offer a world class destination resort and make for a compelling place to own a home. Contact The Maui Real Estate Team if Kapalua appeals to you. We would welcome the chance to speak with you about the various properties available for sale around the resort. There may be one that fits you!
Maui Real Estate Blog
Sneak Peek at the February 2014 Maui Real Estate Statistics
It was another great February on Maui. It is hard to beat winter on the Valley Isle. Beautiful weather, dramatic waves and an abundance of Humpback whales frolicking offshore make this a special time of year. The end of another month means another opportunity to take the pulse of the Maui Real Estate market. This month’s statistics post includes a look at median prices and sales volumes this February and compares them to what was reported in February of 2013. I provide some additional numbers that I came across while compiling the sales volumes and medians. I am also continuing a new feature to our stats post that I began last month. To get a better sense of current demand, I am providing information on the number of properties that went pending during the month compared to the properties that went pending during February of 2013. Without further ado, here are the numbers.
Maui County Realtors reported 60 home sales in February with a median sales price of $560,000. Last February, there were 66 home sales with a median price of $537,500. That is roughly a 9% drop in sales activity and a 4% increase in median price.
There were 86 condo sales reported last month with a median sales price of $345,000. The February of 2013 condo sales totaled 101 units with a median price of $360,000. That is a 15% reduction in volume and roughly a 4% reduction in median sales price.
There were 11 land sales reported last month with a median price of $400,000. The February 2013 land sales totaled 14 with a median price of $502,500. That is a roughly 21% drop in sales volume and a 20% drop in median.
Before going further, it is worth noting that the decrease in median for both land and condos is a reflection of the distribution of sales rather than any decrease in property values. I surmise the decrease in condo medians may have something to do with heavy sales activity for entry level condos zoned for owner occupants and long term renters. Ironically, that is one of the parts of the market that has seen some of the strongest appreciation during the market recovery. The lower median for land is due in part to sample size. Median prices for land can swing pretty widely on a month to month basis as the sample of properties is small and often quite heterogeneous.
While compiling the median prices and sales volumes, I came across quite a few other numbers that I thought were worth sharing including information on last month’s Maui Luxury Real Estate sales.
- The highest priced home sale for the month of February was an oceanfront estate in Spreckelsville. This property consists of 3.42 acres with an exotic 5,409 square foot home and a beautiful pool area. The Seller was represented by the Maui Real Estate Team.
- That was one of four home sales over $2,000,000 in February. The other three sales were in Wailea, Ka’anapali and Lahaina.
- The highest priced condo sale last month was $3,850,000 for a front row two bed/two bath unit at Wailea Elua. This was a new all time high sales price for Wailea Elua. It was particularly notable in that this unit has 380 square feet smaller than the previous high.
- The Wailea Elua close was one of four February condo sales over $1,500,000. There was another high priced Elua sale and big closes at Kai Malu and Ho’olei.
- The high land sale last month was $895,000 for a 5.45 acre lot in Ka’anapali Coffee Farms.
- There were 8 REO or bank owned sales in February. That is down slightly from the 10 bank owned sales last year. It is noteworthy that a couple of the REO sales were higher priced transactions. There was a partially finished home in the Honolua Ridge subdivision of Kapalua that sold for $1,700,000. There was also a nice unit at Kapalua Bay Villas that sold for $1,250,000.
- There were 8 successful short sale transactions down from the 15 that closed in February 2013. Rising prices and the end of short sale tax relief means that we are likely to see fewer and fewer of these transactions on Maui.
Looking at the March stats, the big thing that stands out is the decrease in sales volume. This doesn’t come as a huge surprise to me. Last month, I took a look at the properties that have gone pending since the start of peak buying season. The 2014 peak season activity was running behind 2013. The end of 2013 also saw less activity than the end of 2012. It is hard to give an exact reason why things are slowing, but I would surmise shrinking inventory and rising prices are the two main factors. The lower priced home inventory has been shrinking over the last 6-12 months giving fewer options to a still healthy pool of buyers. I have also seen something of a standoff between buyers and sellers at some of the lower price points in the home market. Sellers have been shooting for higher prices well above recent comparable sales. Buyers are reticent to accept those higher prices with the last real estate bubble still fresh in many minds.
Does the slower start to 2014 mean that we will see a slower 2014 overall? That is a little too early to tell at this point. After taking a look at pending properties last month, I decided that this was a feature we would retain for future blog posts. The table and chart below show the number of properties that went pending in February of 2014 compared to what went pending last February.
As you can see, more homes, condos and parcels of land went under contract in February of 2014 as compared to February 2013. It will be interesting to see how the trends develop over an extended period of time. If we are going to meet or exceed last year’s sales totals, it will be due in part to stronger activity at higher price points. Limited data shows that the high end market is doing pretty well. As we have theorized before, there appears to be a correlation between luxury activity and a strong stock market. After hitting a rough patch earlier in the year, the Dow appears to have regained steam.
What does all of the above mean for buyers or sellers interested in sticking their toes in the waters of the Maui real estate market? Market conditions vary pretty widely depending on the community, neighborhood and price range. The abundance or scarcity of inventory in any one area is bound to have a big impact on pricing and rates of appreciation. The Maui Real Estate Team would welcome the opportunity to sit down with you to discuss the parts of the market that might fit your real estate needs. Contact us today for a free consultation.
Maui Real Estate Blog
Kapalua Market Report
Kapalua is a beautiful resort community on the Northwest coastline of Maui. The resort boasts stunning natural beauty, renowned beaches, tropical foliage and two great golf courses. One of the courses is the site of the first PGA event of the year. The community is home to beautiful estate properties and luxury condominiums. We wanted to look at how the Kapalua market performed in 2012, how it has done in the first two months of 2013, and the outlook for the rest of the year.
There were six homes sold in Kapalua during 2012 with a median sales price of $2,880,000. The 2011 numbers were eleven sales with a median sales price of $2,850,000. That is a 45% drop in sales volume and a 1% increase in median values.
The condo market in Kapalua was more active in 2012 with fifty closes at a median sales price of $570,500. There were twenty-seven sales in 2011 with a median price of $830,000. That is a robust 85% increase in activity for 2012, while the median price dropped by 32%.
There were six land transactions in 2012 with a median sales price of $838,200. There were five land transactions in 2011 at a median sales price of $950,000. With sample sizes this small I am reticent to comment on changes in volume and median as they tend to be misconstrued.
Here are some other numbers that I found interesting about the 2012 Kapalua Real Estate Market.
- The high sale for a home in Kapalua during 2012 was $5,998,000 for a 7,645 square foot home in Plantation Estates
- All of the home sales in Kapalua were $2,000,000 or higher. Kapalua has the highest entry point of any community on Maui with the exception of Makena.
- There were four homes sold in Plantation Estates. That was the busiest year of sales ever in Plantation Estates.
- 197 Plantation Club Drive sold for $2,600,000. That was the lowest recorded sales price for a home in Plantation Estates.
- The high condo sales price in 2012 was $3,425,000 for a three bedroom, four bath beachfront condo at Kapalua Ironwoods.
- There were a total four condo sales over $1,500,000 in Kapalua in 2012.
- Kapalua Golf Villas was the complex with the most activity. There were 25 closes at Golf Villas in 2012.
- There were seven bank owned sales and five short sales that closed in Kapalua during 2012.
This was an interesting year for the Kapalua Real Estate market. The decrease in home sales follows a market trend we saw with luxury properties around the island. Sales of homes over $2,000,000 were down island wide including other resort markets like Wailea and Makena. For the sales that did close, value appeared to be a driving force among many of the sales. The six sales included the lowest priced sale in Plantation Estates and the second and third lowest sales prices for Plantation Estates. In addition to those three value closes, we also saw the second lowest sales price for a home on two acres or more in Kapalua up in Honolua Ridge.
The Kapalua condo market saw a sharp increase in activity. The focal point for the boost in activity was Kapalua Golf Villas. Last year was a year of transition for Golf Villas. It was discovered late in 2011 that the complex needed to undergo a big maintenance project. That resulted in a significant assessment for all of the owners. The assessment flushed a lot of motivated sellers on to the market. The market absorbed most of these listings in 2012 as buyers took advantage of good values in a complex that should have strong upside with all major maintenance issues in the process of being addressed. Kapalua Ridge was another complex that saw pretty good activity as buyers took advantage of a number of listings offered at good comparative values.
The Kapalua land market saw a very slight uptick in activity during 2012. That is in line with what we saw in general island wide. We did start to see a bigger uptick in land sales on other areas of the island late in 2012, but much of that activity came at lower price points where buyers were looking for alternatives due to a diminished inventory of homes. Kapalua still had a pretty healthy home inventory through much of 2012 as it does during the start of 2013.
What does 2013 have in store for the Kapalua Real Estate market? We have two months of sales / results for some perspective. On the home front, early market feedback shows that buyers are continuing to show a trend towards value purchases among the Kapalua Luxury home inventory. There has been one sale and there are two properties pending. The one sale was $1,795,000 for a home in Pineapple Hill. That is at the low end of pricing for Pineapple Hill historically. One of the pending sales is a short sale up in Honolua Ridge. Construction was abandoned on the home and the price reflects the work remaining to be completed.
In addition to the two properties currently under contract, there are an additional 32 homes actively listed in Kapalua ranging in price from $2,295,000 to $28,000,000. The depth of inventory makes for good selection for buyers. Typically, this type of inventory may create some motivated sellers. That being said, luxury home owners tend to have more staying power when it comes to waiting out the market.
It will be interesting to monitor the condo market in Kapalua during 2013. The initial market data appears to be positive with 10 sales and 4 pending sales to date. Of note, two of the sales and one of the pending were priced over $1,500,000. We are on pace to exceed the ultra luxury sales totals for 2012.
There are currently 60 condos active in Kapalua. The chart below shows the current number of active listings by complex and compares it to last year’s sales by complex.
Looking at the chart above, you can see there are some complexes with a year or less of inventory and some condos that have an abundance of inventory based on last year’s absorption rates. Last year’s busy complex was Kapalua Golf Villas due to an abundance of motivated sellers. The motivated sellers have for the most part sold their properties, and we aren’t seeing the rock bottom prices that we saw just a year ago. I would surmise that Kapalua Golf Villas will see a little less activity as prices return to normal. At the other end of the market, Kapalua Bay Villas has the biggest inventory compared to recent sales. Typically, that type of inventory could result in a few motivated sellers coming to market. That being said, many of the Bay Villas sellers might have the means and inclination to wait until market conditions improve in their favor. Bay Villas will be a place to watch the rest of the year.
A condominium complex that might have the biggest impact on the Kapalua Market isn’t event listed in the chart above. I am speaking of the Residences at Kapalua Bay, formerly known as the Ritz Carlton Residences at Kapalua Bay. The Residences opened their doors in 2009. The developers spared no expense when they built the Residences. Finishing and materials are all top notch. Unfortunately, they had a tough time recouping their investment in a slumping real estate market. The property was foreclosed upon in June of 2012. A foreclosure auction was held in December with a winning bid of $55,000,000. On January 1, Timbers Resort took over management of the property for Ritz Cartlon. On February 1, 2013, a confirmation hearing was held for the foreclosure auction. Two other parties ended up bidding on the sale driving the price up to $100,000,000. The resulting sale should take up to two months to be completed. That means it is likely that at some point later this year, condos at the Residences at Kapalua Bay will be coming back on to the market.
The Residences at Kapalua Bay will have a significant impact on the ultra luxury market place in Kapalua. They will offer significant competition to sellers at places like Coconut Grove, The Ironwoods and other luxury condominium developments around the island. The full ownership condominiums at the Resort include both three and four bedroom floor plans with roughly 3,000-4,000 square feet of living space. The amenities and the physical plant of the Residences are second to none on island. It will be interesting to see how they are received by the market now that their financial future is well defined and market conditions have improved. Contact The Maui Real Estate Team if you are interested in being kept up to date on the latest developments regarding The Residences at Kapalua Bay.
What does this all mean for Kapalua Buyers and Sellers for the rest of 2013? Buyers should find that the Kapalua market has plenty of inventory to choose from throughout this year. The only place with a scarcity of inventory is at the entry level of the Kapalua Condo market. Kapalua condo buyers will find a lot fewer rock bottom price opportunities with fewer bank owned properties coming to market, and the situation at Kapalua Golf Villas stabilized. Sellers will find that there is a fair amount of competition in the marketplace. If they want to sell quickly, they will need to price well compared to the rest of the market. Contact The Maui Real Estate Team today with questions or for assistance buying Kapalua Properties. You can search the current active inventory of Kapalua Homes for Sale and Kapalua Condos for Sale on MauiRealEstate.com.