Maui Real Estate Blog
July 2016 Maui Real Estate Statistics
Why is the Maui condo market showing signs of improvement in 2016? That is one of the questions, I asked myself in this post and did my best to answer by taking a deeper dig into this year’s condo sales. You will find all of those thoughts and a rundown on the overall July 2016 Maui Real Estate Stats. Without further ado, here are the July numbers and some thoughts and context on the market.
July 2016 Median Prices and Sales Volumes
There were 93 home sales with a median price of $600,000. In July of 2015, there were 129 sales with a median price of $590,000. That is a 28% decrease in volume and approximately a 2% increase in median price.
There were 110 condos sold for a median price of $440,000. Last July, there were 94 sales with a median sales price of $394,000. That is a 17% increase in median price and a 12% increase in median price.
There were 7 land sales with a median price of $490,000. There were 13 sales in July of 2015 with a median price of $250,000. This is a 46% decrease in volume and a 96% increase in median price.
Notable Numbers from the July Real Estate Sales Activity
While compiling the sales volumes and median prices, I came across some other noteworthy numbers.
- The highest priced home sale in July closed for $18,000,000. The Beachfront Oli Oli Kai Property on Stable Road in Spreckelsville closed for a new North Shore record. That said, it could of or maybe should have been classified as three separate sales. The property was condominiumized into three separate units. The three units included a total of three homes and approximately 3.6 acres.
- This was one of 7 home sales over $2,000,000. The six other sales included three properties in Lahaina and one sale each in Wailea, Kula and Ka’anapali.
- The highest priced condo sale closed for $3,850,000. The 3 bed, 3.5 bath unit at Montage Kapalua has 2,789 square feet of living space.
- That was one of 10 sales over $1,500,000 to close in July. The other sales included 2 closes at Ho’olei and one each at Ka’anapali Ali’i, Sugar Cove, Wailea Elua, Makena Surf, Honua Kai, The Whaler and The Palms at Manele.
- The high land sale for the month closed for $1,800,000. The four acre lot is located in Kapalua Plantation Estates. There was one other $1,000,000 plus land sale this month. That 17.47 acre lot is located in the Makila Ranch Area of Launiupoko.
- There were 13 bank owned properties that closed in July. That is down from the 20 that closed in July of 2015. There was only one successful short sale completed last month compared to the 8 completed in July of 2015.
New July Pending Sales Contracts
We track the number of properties that go pending in a particular month. It gives us a more recent data point on buyer demand and it also helps us to better suss out whether the prior month’s sales activity is something of a one off event or part of a broader trend. I will spell that out a little better as we review last month’s pending data.
Looking at the pending sales activity, the number of homes that went under contract in July was down compared to last year. The number of condos that went under contract was the same as last year and land pending sales were up ever so slightly. The decrease in home sales is part of what appears to be a continuing trend that we have seen over the last few months. Shrinking home inventory, particularly at lower price points, has led to a reduction in sales activity. The condo market appears to be continuing a recent trend of sales at or above last year’s totals. I will delve into that in more detail below. While land sales aren’t exactly booming, it was good to see that they were up slightly from last year. That would suggest that the low July land sales numbers were more of an outlier than the start of any sort of trend.
Thoughts on the Market
We have discussed the decreases in home sales volumes over the last few posts, but I haven’t talked a whole lot about the increase in condo sales activity. Of the 7 months of sales this year, one month had the same sales volume as the same month from 2015, and one month was down from the same month last year. Five of the months have experienced greater sales volume than the same month of 2015. The last four months have all seen an increase over the same month of 2015. Over that period from April-July, sales volumes are up 14% compared to the same period of 2015. That raised the question of why we may be seeing an increase in activity. I dug into the sales data a few different ways to try to see if I could come to any conclusions as to what is driving the increase in sales activity.
The first thing I did was break down the sales volume over the last four months by price point.
I can’t say that this breakdown provided me with a clear picture of the driving force behind price increases. We can see an increase in sales below $300,000 and an increase in the $1,500,000 and higher range. The middle price ranges tend to be a mixed bag. The biggest increase in activity of any price range occurred between $500,000-$749,999. I can’t say off the top of my head why that would have occurred. The middle of the market, so to speak, also included the only two price points where sales were down compared to last year. The remaining price ranges saw relatively limited increases over 2016.
Not feeling like I had a clear answer, I took a look at two other data points. The first data point is is whether or not the property allows short term rentals. This data is somewhat flawed as it is not a mandatory field in our multiple listing service. In other words, not every condo sale that occurred over the last month reported whether or not the condo allowed vacation rentals.
It is pretty clear that there was an increase in sales for properties that are reported to be vacation rentals. I calculated a 26% increase over the period between April 1, 2015 and July 31, 2015. It was interesting to note that the increase in vacation rental condo sales was particularly evident in the $500,000-$749,999 price range. That appears to point to a significant driver for sales activity in that price range.
The one other data point I wanted to look at was new developer sales. New developments can be market drivers that boost the overall sales activity. In some cases, the boost can mask other market trends. An example of this is when Honua Kai started to close a lot of condos while we were still in the thick of the downturn. Overall condo demand was low, but sales numbers were relatively high as buyers were closing on contracts that were originally written pre-construction during the peak of the real estate boom. From what I could glean, we haven’t seen a similar phenomenon over the last four months. There was an uptick in new development sales. I counted 29 new development sales from April 1, 2016-July 31, 2016. That is up from 23 sales during that same period last year. However, the vast majority of these contracts were written recently.
While I can’t say I have definitive answers on what is driving the recent uptick in condo sales, the data above points to three price ranges where the improvement was most prevalent and a type of condo that saw more activity. Based on anecdotal evidence and the quantitative evidence, I am going to postulate a few reasons for the increases in each of these segments. The increase in sales at the low end is a reflection of the continued strength of the buy over renting argument on Maui. Maui rental rates have soared. Low borrowing costs make owning a number of Maui condo less expensive than renting. As long as rents remain high and rates remain low and inventory is sufficient, that part of the market should continue to be busy. I can’t say definitively why the high end market is outperforming last year in terms of sales. When I look at the luxury home market, sales totals between 2015 and 2016 have been almost identical. It just seems as if high end buyers are gravitating more towards condos this year. I believe the increase in vacation rental condo sales, and in the $500,000-$749,999 range in particular, is a reflection of pretty strong consumer confidence among some mainland buyers. West Coast real estate markets have been strong and the stock market has performed well. This means more cash for discretionary purchases like a vacation rental condo on Maui.
A Few Closing Thoughts for Maui Buyers and Sellers
I think there are some things to be learned for the overall Maui market from my review of the condo numbers. The biggest is that there is variability in the strength of the market by price point. I think you can also add geographic variability as another factor. Not all communities are seeing equal levels of buyer demand. While these stats tend to paint the market in broad brushes, how buyers and sellers approach the Maui market is going to be a reflection of their specific segment of the market. Contact The Maui Real Estate Team if you are interested in buying or selling a property on Maui. We would welcome the chance to hear about your needs and to discuss market conditions that are most relevant to you.
Maui Real Estate Blog
June 2016 Maui Real Estate Statistics
It’s almost the end of the month so I wanted to make sure I squeezed in a June stats post.This is something of an abbreviated post with more numbers and less analysis. I will give a few more thoughts on the state of the market in the July stats. Without further ado, here are the numbers.
June Real Estate Sales Volumes
There were 98 homes sold in June with a median home price of $657,000. Last June there were 101 homes sold with a median price of $650,000. That is a 3% drop in sales volume and a 1% increase in median price when comparing this June to last June.
There were 110 condos sold in June with a median price of $384,000. In June of 2015, there were 99 condos sold with a median price of $355,000. That is an 11% increase in sales volume and an 8% increase in median price.
There were 13 lots sold in June with a whopping median price of $1,200,000. Last June, there were 14 sales with a median price of $420,000. That is a 7% decrease in volume and a 285% increase in median price.
Notable numbers from the June Real Estate Sales Activity
While compiling the stats above, I came across some other notable numbers worth sharing from the June sales activity.
- The highest home sale price in June was $7,000,000. This Makena property includes almost 10 acres of land and two pole homes. It is close to Big Beach.
- That was one of 5 home sales over $2,000,000. The other sales were for properties in Kihei, Kapalua, Launiupoko (Lahaina), and Hana.
- The highest price condo to close in June is located in Wailea. The 3 bedroom, 3.5 bath condo Ho’olei in Wailea sold for $2,850,000.
- That was one of 8 condo sales in June sold for $1,500,000 or more. There was one more Ho’olei sale and two sales in Wailea Elua. There were individual sales of $1,500,000 or higher at Ka’anapali Ali’i, Maui Ka’anapali Villas, Honua Kai and Makena Surf.
- The highest priced land transaction closed for $2,950,000. This oceanfront lot in the Kuau area of Paia consists of 18,861 square feet of land.
- This was one of 7 land sales over $1,000,000 in June. That is a pretty extraordinary number. Five of these sales were in Launiupoko. They were part of the new Makila Ranch subdivision of Launiupoko. The one other sale was in Haiku.
- There were 12 bank owned sales that closed in June. That was down just a little from the 13 REO sales in June of 2015.
- There were 2 short sales that closed in June. That is down significantly from the 8 short sale transactions that closed in June of 2015.
June Pending Sales
All of the numbers discussed prior to this point were from properties that sold in June. We also wanted to take a look at the properties that went under contract with buyers in June. This will give us a little better sense of more recent market activity and demand.
June marked the second month in a row where pending home sales were down. I don’t believe this is a reflection of decreased demand as it is a reflection of limited inventory for first time home buyers. I expect this trend to continue with lower sales volumes and higher median prices due the decreased number of entry level homes available for sale. The condo market continues to follow recent trends of outperforming 2015. The land market pending sales are skewed a little by new development sales that showed 0 days on market. These were contracts that were likely written before this month.
Wrapping it all up
I don’t have a whole lot of in depth analysis to offer this month. We have seen fairly steady market demand overall with pockets of greater activity based on geography and price point around the island. As mentioned directly above, I believe the lack of lower priced home inventory will continue to impact the total numbers of homes sold. Contact The Maui Real Estate Team if you are thinking of sticking your toes into the waters of the Maui Real Estate market. We would welcome the chance to sit down and learn about your real estate needs and give our thoughts on market conditions specific to the properties that might fit your needs.
Maui Real Estate Blog
January 2016 Maui Real Estate Statistics
I have to admit, I have been struggling to keep up with the blog as of late. It has been a busy start to the year between transactions and listings. On a personal level, we are finishing the remodel of a home and planning to move in on Friday. Needless to say, cobwebs and dust have been forming on the little corner of cyberspace known as our blog. I started the research for this post on the 6th and began to write this post over ten days ago. That said, I have a quick window this afternoon to finish up a look at the January numbers. January was a little bit off from last year’s numbers. I will give all the details below as well as a few thoughts on what it all means. Without further ado, here are the January 2016 Maui Real Estate Statistics.
January Sales Volumes and Median Prices
There were 73 homes sold in January with a median price of $630,000. Last January there were 75 homes sold with a median price of $577,000. That is roughly a 3% drop in volume and a 9% increase in median price.
Maui County Realtors reported 82 condos sold last month with a median price of $397,500. In January of 2014, there were 83 condos sold with a median price of $378,000. That is just over a 1% drop in volume and a 5% increase in median price.
It was a particularly slow month for land sales with 5 closes and a median of $850,000. Last year, there were 11 sales with a median price of $750,000. That is a 55% drop in volume and a 13% increase in median price.
Notable Numbers from the January 2016 Maui Real Estate Sales
While compiling the numbers above, I came across some other notable numbers that I thought were worth sharing.
- The highest priced home to sell in January closed for $3,975,000. That house is an oceanfront home in the Baby Beach area of Lahaina. That was the only home sold for more than $2,000,000 last month.
- The highest priced condo transaction closed for $3,300,000. That was a 3 bedroom, 3.5 bath top row unit at Ho’olei. It was one of the better located units in the complex.
- That was one of four condo sales for over $1,500,000 in January. The other sales included two transactions at Polo Beach and one sale at the Honua Kai Resort.
- There were no land sales for more than $1,000,000 in January. The highest priced land transaction for the month closed for $865,000. It was a 1.42 acre condominiumized lot in Launiupoko with entitlements to build a main house.
- There were 9 bank owned sales in Maui during January. There were also 9 bank owned sales in January of 2014.
- There was just one short sale that closed in January. Last year, there were 6 short sales that closed in January.
Pending Sales Activity in January
With the January Sales numbers down from last year, I was interested to see how many properties went under contract in January.
The number of homes that went pending in January was up 8% compared to January of 2015. The number of condos that were pending went down 8% compared to last year. Land was also down 26% compared to last year. That said, the 17 land pending sales is a nice improvement from the 5 closes in January.
Thoughts on the January Maui Real Estate Statistics
This is the first month since August 2014 where all three property types saw a decrease in sales volume compared to the year before. I can’t say that I am horribly surprised to see the decrease in activity in home sales. We saw accelerated demand in the later parts of 2015 as buyers were trying to grab properties before the anticipated bump in interest rates. After the rates bumped, albeit modestly, there was a a dip in demand. Looking at the pending numbers, this drop in activity for homes appears to be relatively short lived.
The condo market may be experiencing influences above and beyond fluctuations in interest rates. After seeing a decrease in sales compared to last January, condo pending sales were also down compared to January 2015. I would postulate that there are two additional factors at play. January was a bumpy month for the stock market. Purchasing a condo as a second home on Maui is a discretionary purchase that is more likely to occur when the potential buyer is feeling flush. If a potential buyer takes a big hit to their stock portfolio, that typically isn’t when they are reaching for their wallet to make a big discretionary purchase. The other factor that is dragging on our condo market is the weakened Canadian Dollar. From 2007-2014, the Canadian Dollar was at or near par with the U.S. Dollar. It is now sitting at roughly 70 cents on the dollar. A significant number of the Canadian buyers were from Alberta. The big dip in oil prices, one of the big drivers of the decrease in the Canadian Dollar, has been an extra hit to the oil driven Alberta economy.
The five land sales recorded in January was the second lowest monthly total since 2010. That said, we saw a pretty healthy number of land listings go under contract in January. The land market has never come close to reaching the sales numbers we saw during the last boom. Financing is harder and that is a factor. There also appear to be fewer lower priced lots on the market. We saw a little more activity a couple of years back as there were some lot prices that made more sense when doing a build vs. buy preexisting analysis. I am not saying there aren’t lots like that still on the market, but they appear to be fewer in number.
Overall, this remains a somewhat schizophrenic market with some parts of the market scorching hot while other segments are chock full of inventory with limited demand. Contact The Maui Real Estate Team if you are considering buying or selling property on Maui. We would welcome the change to listen to your needs and give you our thoughts on market conditions for the type of property that might fit your needs.
Maui Real Estate Blog
November 2015 Maui Real Estate Statistics
It is New Year’s Eve, and I am just getting around to the November 2015 statistics. Needless to say, the holiday season is a whirlwind and blogging can find itself on the back burner. Since this is a last minute attempt to squeeze in the November numbers before the end of the year, this is going to be something of an abbreviated post with limited analysis. Don’t worry, I plan to delve deeper into stats next week with year end numbers. In the interim, here are the November Maui Real Estate Stats.
November Sales Volumes and Median Prices
There 72 homes sold in November with a median price of $550,000. By comparison, there were 76 homes sold in November of 2014 with a median price of $587,500. That is a 5% drop in sales volume when comparing this November to last November.
There were 74 condos sold in November of 2015 with a median price of $475,000. Last November, there 68 condos sold with a median sales price of $366,250. That represents almost a 9% increase in sales volume when comparing the two Novembers.
There were a total of 9 land parcels sold in November with a median price of $520,000. In November of 2014, there were 10 lots sold in Maui County with a median sales price of $411,500. That is a 10% drop in volume comparing this November to last November.
Notable Numbers from the November Maui Sales Activity
While compiling sales volumes and sales medians, I came across some notable numbers that I thought were worth sharing.
- The highest priced home to sell in November was located in the Kaanapali Coffee Farms. The 3,716 square foot home has big ocean views, an infinity pool and over 4.6 acres of land. It closed for $3,475,000.
- This was one of four home sales in Maui County for more than $2,000,000 in November. The other sales were in Lanai, Paia and Wailea respectively.
- The Wailea sale set a new record for the Wailea Kai neighborhood. It closed for $2,200,000.
- The highest priced condo to close in November was a 3 bedroom, 3 bathroom unit at Honua Kai with 2,170 square feet of living space. It closed for $3,197,450.
- The Honua Kai sale was one of six condos to close for over $1,500,000 in November. The other big condo sales included two more at Honua Kai, a Hoolei, a Ritz Carlton Residences and a Makena Surf.
- The highest priced land transaction last month was for a .43 acre parcel in the Maluaka Estates Neighborhood of the Makena Golf and Beach Club. The lot closed for $9,000,000. Six of the ten lots in Maluaka Estates have now sold.
- There were 16 bank owned sales and 1 short sale that closed in November. In November of 2014, there were 12 bank owned sales and 4 short sales.
November Maui Pending Real Estate Sales Activity
As I have said before in our stats posts, sales volume can be a lagging indicator. With contracts that typically take 30-60 days to close, the November sales are more of a reflection of buyer interest in September and October. That is why we also like to look at the total number of properties that go pending in a particular month. The chart below compares the number of homes, condos and parcels of land that went pending this November as compared to last November.
Home pending sales were up significantly over November of 2014. Condos and land saw a modest dip in pending sales activity. In the one bit of analysis in this post, I would surmise that the strength of pending home sales may pertain to the anticipation of increases in interest rates. While the December increase in rates proved to be modest, buyers wanted to lock down as low as rate a possible.
Wrapping it up
With the new year upon us, expect quite a few stats posts in the coming weeks. We will be taking a look at the December stats, the overall 2015 stats and year end reviews and outlooks for a handful of communities around the island. We wish everyone a Happy New Year. Contact The Maui Real Estate Team if buying or selling real estate on Maui is part of your 2016 plans. We would welcome the chance to sit down with you and discuss your needs.
Maui Real Estate Blog
Sneak Peek at the October 2015 Maui Real Estate Statistics
It seems like just a few days ago when I was writing about the September Maui Real Estate statistics. Actually, it was a just last week when I wrote that post. Last month, a busy schedule kept me from posting the stats until the last week of the month. I had an opportunity to get the October stats out a little sooner. They are early enough in the month that I may even miss a few late reported sales. This is my sneak peek at the October sales volumes, median prices, notable sales numbers and pending sales. I also give a few thoughts on the state of the market, and what it all means for buyers and sellers. Without further ado, here are the October numbers.
October 2015 Sales Volumes and Median Prices
By my count, there were 103 homes sold in October with a median sales price of $585,000. Last October, there were 84 homes sold at a median price of $566,000. That is almost a 23% increase in sales volume and roughly a 3% change in median price.
There have been 102 condo sales reported to date for October with a median sales price of $391,450. By comparison, the October 2014 numbers were 95 condos sold at a median price of $419,000. That is a 7% increase in volume and a 7% decrease in median price.
There have been 16 lots reported sold in October with a median sales price of $375,000. Last October, there were 14 sales at a median price of $467,500.
Notable Numbers from the October Maui Real Estate Sales Activity
While compiling the numbers above, I came across some notable numbers from the October sales that I thought were worth sharing.
- The highest priced home to sell on Maui in October closed for $3,750,000. The home in the Wailea Golf Estates Subdivision has 4 bedrooms, 4 bathrooms and 4,277 square feet of living space. The home is located on the fourth green of the Wailea Blue Course. It has unobstructed ocean views and a 20 meter pool.
- The Wailea Golf Estates sale was the only home to close for over $2,000,000 last month.
- The highest priced condo to sell in October closed for $3,650,000. The condo in question is a 3 bedroom, 4 bathroom oceanfront condominium in the Kapalua Ironwoods complex.
- The Kapalua Ironwoods transaction was one of 7 condo sales to close for over $1,500,000. The other sales included 2 condos at Honua Kai, 2 at the Ritz Carlton Residences, a Wailea Point condo and a unit at Ho’olei.
- The high land sale last month was at the Makena Golf and Beach Club. The .4399 acre parcel in the Maluaka Estates neighborhood sold for $8,500,000.
- That was one of three land sales over $1,000,000. The other sales included a home site near Manele Bay on Lanai and a 131 acre parcel in Haiku.
October Pending Maui Real Estate Sales
Sales are a lagging indicator of buyer activity. Most of the sales referenced above were based on contracts that were written in August and September. The chart below shows the number of properties that went pending or under contract in October.
The October pending sales look pretty strong with only home pendings down compared to October of last year. That said, the dip in home pendings is noteworthy as the home market had been particularly strong over the last couple of months. The modest dip in activity comes as a bit of a surprise as I have been in three multiple offer situations over the last month for homes below $600,000. That is a small sample, but it still feels like there are quite a few buyers in the market. It will be interesting to watch home sales over the next couple of months. Are things cooling down a little or was this an aberration?
Thoughts on the Maui Real Estate Market and What it All Means for Buyers and Sellers
The October Stats showed another strong month of buyer activity. As mentioned in other recent stats posts, the stronger sales activity can be attributed in part to buyers trying to get into the market to take advantage of what has been a long run of really low interest rates. The federal reserve continues to discuss an increase in rates and buyers are trying to tie properties down before any rate increases occur. The low borrowing costs are that much more appealing due in part to a really tough rental market on Maui. Rental prices have gone up significantly over the last few years and some borrowers are finding that mortgages are equivalent to or in some cases better than monthly rents.
Buyers who are interested in entering this market place will find that they need to be well positioned to act quickly when good opportunities are listed. Homes under $600,000 will often attract bidding wars if they are well priced. It is not uncommon to see bidding wars on well priced homes at significantly higher price points. Sellers will find pretty favorable conditions when going to market. That said, over priced properties are still sitting even with stronger than usual fall buyer activity. There are also some parts of the market that are a little slower than others. Sellers should look closely at market conditions specific to their type of property when determining go to market prices. Contact The Maui Real Estate Team if you are thinking of buying or selling a property on Maui. We would welcome the chance to discuss your real estate needs and talk about the market particular to properties that might be of interest.
Maui Real Estate Blog
September 2015 Maui Real Estate Statistics
It has been a busy month for me and the rest of the Maui Real Estate Team. We have seen more buyer activity than usual for our “slow” season and we have some exciting new listings that we have brought to market. Our busy fall is reflected by the fact that I am not putting out a monthly stats post until October 28th. Since it is so late in the month, this is going to be more abbreviated than usual. That said, I will still have information on sales volume, median prices, pending sales and some notable numbers from the September sales activity. Without further ado, here are the numbers.
Maui Sales Volumes and Median Prices
There were 97 homes sold in September with a median price of $573,000. During September of 2014, there were 95 homes sold on Maui with a median sales price of $570,000. That calculates to 2% increase in sales volume and a .5% increase in median price.
There were 109 condos reported sold in September with a median price of $399,000. Last September, there were 80 condo sales with a median sales price of $462,500. That calculates to a 36% increase in sales activity and a 14% drop in median price.
There were 17 land sales reported in September with a median sales price of $625,000. Last September, there were 12 land sales with a median price of $520,000. That is roughly a 42% increase in sales activity and a 20% increase in median price.
Notable Numbers from The September Sales Activity
While compiling the median prices and sales volumes, I came across some other numbers from the September Real Estate sales activity that I thought were worth sharing.
- The highest priced home sale during the month occurred Upcountry. A 22 acre estate in Kula with a 4,972 square foot main house and a 1,268 square foot cottage sold for $6,500,000.
- That was one of five total home sales of $2,000,000 or more in September. There was one other sale in Kula, 2 sales in Wailea and one sale in Kapalua.
- The highest priced condo to sell in September was located at Montage Kapalua Bay. The 3 bedroom, 3.5 bath condo with 2,789 square feet of living space sold for $4,900,000.
- The Montage sale was one of 8 sales over $1,500,000 during September. The other 7 transactions included another sale at Montage, 2 Hoolei, a Honua Kai, a Kai Malu, a Ritz Carton Residence, a Wailea Point and a Kai Malu.
- There were two separate lots in the Maluaka Estates neighborhood of the Makena Golf and Beach Club that closed for $9,000,000 a piece in September. The lots were 19,602 and 17,340 square feet respectively. It is safe to say that the Makena Golf and Beach Club is continuing to see the highest per square foot prices for land on the island.
- There were 15 bank owned transactions that sold on the Maui MLS in September. In September of 2014, there 13 bank owned sales.
- There were 4 successful short sale transactions in September of 2015 which is down from the 6 short sales that closed in September of 2014.
Pending Sales in September
The majority of the September sales were based on contracts that were written in July and August. With that in mind, we wanted to see what type of activity we were seeing from buyers in September. The following chart shows the number of homes, condos and parcels of land that went under contract in September compared to the number of properties that went under contract in September of 2014.
It was a strong month of buyer activity in September with the number of homes that went under contract significantly higher than the number in September 2014. Condos activity is up slightly and land contracts mirrored what we were seeing last year. I would surmise the big increase in home activity is still related to the low interest rates and buyers wanting to obtain properties while those low interest rates last.
Thoughts on the September Stats and the State of the Market
This is the fourth month of a row where the 2015 sales volumes were higher than the sales numbers for the same month of 2014. As mentioned above, I believe most of this can be attributed to buyers trying to “get in” before interest rates increase. The urge to get in is heightened by a difficult Maui long term rental market that has seen rents increase drastically over the last 3 years.
What does all of this mean for buyers and sellers? Well priced properties continue to be very competitive, particularly with properties below or near the median home price. The last three offers I submitted were for homes located in Upcountry Maui that were near or below the median sales price. All three offers were competitive bidding situations. This type of activity is common throughout the different geographic areas of the island. This means buyers will need to be prepared to act quickly when a good opportunity comes on the market. If a buyer will need a mortgage for their purchase, they should get pre-approved before they even start looking at homes. Sellers, particularly those with homes that are valued near or below median prices, will find that this is a good time to sell. To be clear, that doesn’t mean sellers have carte blanche when it comes to pricing. Overpriced properties are still sitting in this market. Contact The Maui Real Estate Team if you are interested in buying or selling a property on Maui. We would welcome the chance to sit down with you and listen to your real estate needs.