Maui Real Estate Blog

Maui Luxury Home Market Update

Back when I posted the June Statistics, I promised a series of mid year updates on the real estate markets around the island. Mea Culpa. Sometimes, the rest of my work obligations get in the way of blogging. I have only been able to produce updates on Paia and Spreckelsville. Today, I wanted to turn my sights on the island’s luxury home market. Since it is the end of August, we are going to include all of the sales for the year date. We wanted to look at the volume of high end home sales around the island, notable sales and market conditions specific to some of the different neighborhoods and communities around the island.

Just from a methodology standpoint, I am classifying luxury homes as homes priced for $2,000,000 or more. We have used this $2,000,000 threshold for luxury homes regularly throughout our discussions of stats on this blog. That isn’t to say that there aren’t some very nice homes that have sold this year for less than $2,000,000.

Luxury Home Sales Volumes and Median Prices
There were 43 homes sold for $2,000,000 or more between January 1, 2015 and August 22, 2015. The median price of those sales was $3,196,000. Between January 1, 2014 and August 22, 2014, there were 45 homes sold. The median luxury home price for this period of 2014 was $3,800,000. When comparing this year to last year, there was roughly a 4% drop in sales volume and a 16% drop in median price. Just to be clear, the drop in median does not reflect any sort of change in values in the market. It is a reflection of the inventory sold.

Notable Maui Luxury Home Sales for the Year to Date
Here are some notable numbers that I thought were worth passing along from this year’s luxury home sales.

  • The highest priced sale thus far this year was for a home in the Keahou at Makena Subdivision. The 4 bed/ 4.5 bath home with 6,737 square feet of living space is located on 4.23 acres. It sold for a whopping $41,775,000. That isn’t just the high sales price for the year, it is the highest ever sale price for a home on Maui by a significant margin.
  • Including the Keahou at Makena sale, there were 8 sales over $5,000,000.
  • Wailea/Makena and Ka’anapali were the two busiest luxury home markets through the better part of the last eight months. Realtors reported nine sales in both of those markets.
  • Of the 43 luxury home sales for the year to date, 14 sales were either oceanfront or beachfront.
  • The 43 sales were spread among 12 different towns or resorts in Maui County. Hana and Molokai are two communities that haven’t seen all that many $2,000,000 sales over the previous few years, but they each had one $2,000,000 plus transaction this year.
  • The 43 sales included one bank owned property and two short sales.

A Look at Selected Luxury Home Markets Around the Island
The Maui Luxury home market is fairly diverse. Buyers typically focus their search on one or perhaps two areas of the island. With that in mind, we want to look at how some of the different areas around the island performed during the first eight months of 2015.

This chart compares the sales volume of homes over $2,000,000 around Maui County during the first eight months of 2014 and the first eight months of 2015.

Makena and Wailea
The Wailea and Makena area typically sees the most sales activity of any luxury community on island. That rang true during the first half of 2015 as it tied Ka’anapali for the busiest area for closes on the island. Digging a little deeper within the numbers, there were 8 sales in Wailea and just one sale in Makena. Within Wailea, there was a good cross section of neighborhoods that saw activity. There was a sale in Maluhia, a sale in Wailea Highlands, 2 sales in Wailea Golf Vistas, 2 sales in Wailea Golf Estates and 2 in Wailea Kialoa. The sales activity in Wailea was actually up a little from last year. There were 7 homes sold in Wailea proper in the first eight months of 2014.

Makena saw a drop in activity with the one solitary sale compared to 5 sales during the same period the year before. It is hard to say why there was a dip in sales in Makena. Some of that could just be a case of market variability and inventory. The one other factor that could be coming into play is the Makena Golf and Beach Club. This new development spearheaded by Discovery Land Company is located at and around the current Makena Golf and Beach Resort. This new community is set to be Maui’s most exclusive and high end luxury development to date. There are no single family homes for sale in the community yet, but there are some very high end home sites on the market in Maluaka Estates. There has been one lot sold and an additional three lots are under contract. All four lots have prices of $10,000,000 or more. It is possible that some of those buyers may have been potential buyers for other Makena properties. That said, Discovery Land Company is known to have a loyal following that might draw buyers who might not have otherwise looked at Maui.

I thought it was worth briefly revisiting the high sale in Makena. The sale at Keahou smashed the old Maui sales record by $14,700,000. I will be honest, the sales price is something of a head scratcher. The neighboring property is on a smaller piece of land and the house is 1,200 feet smaller, but it is currently listed for sale for $13,400,000. It seems like quite a stretch for there to be a $28,375,000 difference in value between the two homes. As much as it makes the new listing seem like a value, I think it points to the big sale as something of an outlier.

It will be interesting to see what happens over the rest of the year in Wailea and Makena. There is still a fair amount of inventory for buyers to choose from. There are twenty active home listings on the market currently with 7 properties in Makena and 13 in Wailea. Check out the full inventory of Makena and Wailea Homes for Sale on MauiRealEstate.com.

Ka’anapali
Ka’anapali had a pretty strong first eight months of the year with 9 total sales. That is up a little over the seven sales last year. The sales came from six different neighborhoods within Ka’anapali. There were 3 sales in the Pinnacle Neighborhood, 2 in the older section of Ka’anapli Golf Estates, 2 in the Summit at Ka’anpali, and a single sale in both Ka’anapali Hillside and Ka’anapali Coffee Farms. The high sale for the year to date was $3,500,000 for a four bedroom, three and a half bath home with 3,715 square feet of living space on a .65 acre lot in the Pinnacle.

There are 13 homes actively listed for over $2,000,000 in Ka’anapali. That should give buyers who prefer Ka’anapali some pretty good options. You can see the full inventory of Ka’anapali Homes for Sale on MauiRealEstate.com.

Kapalua
Kapalua has been the third busiest luxury home market this year with 7 closes over $2,000,000 for the year to date. All of the subdivisions of Kapalua with the exception of One Kapalua Place have seen sales activity thus far this year. There were 2 sales in Pineapple Hill Estates, 2 sales in Pineapple Hill, 2 sales in Plantation Estates and a single sale in Honolua Ridge. The high sale was $5,700,000 for the Honolua Ridge property. For a price tag of $5,700,000, that buyer now owns a four bedroom, five and a half bath home with 6,509 square feet of living space on a 2.82 acre lot. It has stunning views overlooking the renowned Honolua Bay.

The Kapalua market currently has 29 homes actively listed for sale. This is the biggest inventory of luxury homes of any of the communities around the island. This makes for an excellent selection for potential buyers. That may also allow for some opportunities. Typically, high end sellers have more staying power and will hold out for a premium. That said, you could make an argument that we have already seen a premium property go at a substantial discount with this year’s high sale in Kapalua. The home in Honolua Ridge sold for $4,000,000 below its original asking price and $1,995,000 below the list price at the time that it sold. You can see the full inventory of Kapalua Homes for Sale on MauiRealEstate.com.

Lahaina
There are two parts of Lahaina where high end home sale activity tends to be concentrated. The first is along the oceanfront. Homes along Front Street and Baby Beach typically start over $2,000,000. The other area is just south of the town in the neighborhood of Launiupoko. Launiupoko has been one of the stronger markets for high end sales over the last couple of years. There have been five sales in Lahaina thus far this year. Three of the sales have been in Launiupoko and two have been oceanfront homes. The highest priced sale was $3,500,000 for a 4 bedroom, 4 bathroom residential condominium with 3,675 square feet of living space on 8.513 acres.

There are 16 active luxury home listings for sale in Lahaina at this time. Eleven of the homes are in Launiupoko with the rest located along the ocean. Lahaina is another market where buyers have some pretty good options. Check out all of the current Lahaina Luxury Home listings on MauiRealEstate.com.

Upcountry
The Upcountry area of Maui tends to see fewer high end sales than the resort communities of the island. That said, there are some pretty spectacular estates located along the flanks of Haleakala. Kula and Olinda are places where you will see some bigger acreage estates. There are also some homes along Baldwin Avenue below Makawao that fit the luxury home mold. The first eight months of the year have seen only two sales above the $2,000,000 mark in the Upcountry Area. There was one sale in Kula and one sale in Olinda. Last year, there was just one sale over $2,000,000 in the Upcountry area in the first eight months of the year.

The highest priced sale Upcountry for the year to date was $3,500,000. That was for a 24 acre estate in Olinda. It included a 3,300 square foot, three bed, three bath home and a separate two bedroom cottage. The 24 acres property included three separate parcels of land all with their own water meter.

While there haven’t been a lot of high end home sales Upcountry this year, there has been an uptick in buyer activity over the last two months. There are four homes in Kula listed for $2,000,000 that are currently under contract. That is more than anywhere else on island. There are an additional 16 homes listed for more than $2,000,0000 currently on the market Upcountry. That means a pretty good selection for high end buyers looking for more privacy or a different feel than the resorts or the beach. You can see all of the Upcountry Luxury Home listings on MauiRealEstate.com.

North Shore
The North Shore of Maui has become an increasingly popular location for luxury home buyers over the last five years. Prior to this year, Paia and Spreckelsville was the focal point of high end sales while the Haiku market lagged behind. We saw something of a shift this year. The Spreckelsville market has had limited inventory, Paia has been quiet and Haiku has seen the strongest sales activity since the downturn began. There were three total sales over $2,000,000 through the first eight months of the year. Last year, there were six sales on the North Shore in the first eight month’s of the year. For this year’s sales, two were in Haiku and one in Spreckelsville. The Haiku sales were particularly notable as they were the first and second highest priced transactions for homes in that community. The highest sale was for the 38 acre Baldwin Estate. This historic property includes a 10 bedroom, 10.5 bathroom home with 8,716 square feet of living space as well as a number of outbuildings.

Buyers looking for North Shore luxury homes will find that market conditions are going to vary based on the specific community. Spreckeslville is arguably one of the only true seller’s markets for luxury homes on the island. There are no active home listings for more than $2,000,000. Over the last few years, roughly half of the homes that have sold in this neighborhood have sold before coming to market. Paia has been quiet and it currently boasts the largest inventory of oceanfront homes of any area on the island. I think there may be some values and/ or motivated sellers to be found among those listings. Haiku has seven active listings currently on the market giving buyers some good options. You can check out the current inventory of North Shore Luxury homes on MauiRealEstate.com.

Overall Maui Luxury Home Market Outlook and Thoughts
The Maui Luxury Home market continues to offer a broad cross section of homes for potential buyers. From the privacy of Upcountry Estates to Beachfront Luxury compounds, there is considerable depth of inventory. While a deep inventory typically gives buyers more leverage, that isn’t always the case with the luxury home market. Luxury home owners typically have the means to hold on to properties for longer periods of time and many are less likely to adjust their pricing. That said, there are still bound to be a few sellers out among the current inventory who may have higher motivations. The challenge is finding those sellers.

I would anticipate that the rest of the year will continue to see sales figures at or close to the levels we saw during the fall and early winter of 2014. While projected increases in interest rates have the potential to slow sales activity at lower price points in the market, the majority of the luxury sales involve cash transactions or private banking. The biggest threat to the high end market is the overall economy. If the recent stock market uncertainty continues, you may see some buyers postpone their purchases. Contact The Maui Real Estate Team if you are interested in buying or selling a luxury home on Maui. We would welcome the opportunity to sit down with you for a free consultation to discuss your needs.

Pete Jalbert

Maui Real Estate Blog

August 2014 Maui Real Estate Statistics

September on Maui marks the start of the quiet season for visitors. The beaches and restaurants are a little quieter. Most years the real estate market slows as well. September also brings the first Northwest Swells of the season much to the delight of island wave riders. The air also starts to get a little cooler at night. I live Upcountry and I have found myself reaching for a sweater at night over the last week. The start of September also means it is time to look at the August Maui Real Estate Statistics. As usual, this post features a comparison of the number of sales and median prices verses what we saw in August a year ago. I also highlight some of the interesting notes and numbers that I came across while compiling the stats. I give my thoughts on the state of the market and what it means for buyers and sellers. This post also gives some insight into what we might expect to see in terms of sales in the coming months by looking at the pending sales for August. Without further ado, here are the numbers for August.

August 2014 Maui Real Estate Sales Volumes and Median Prices

This table shows the real estate sales volumes in Maui County, Hawaii during August 2013 and August 2014
This chart compares real estate sales volumes in August of 2013 and August of 2014 in Maui County, Hawaii

There were 68 homes sold in Maui County during August with a median sales price of $567,500. Last August, there were 81 homes sold with a median price of $585,000. That is a 16% drop in volume and a 3% drop in median when comparing this August to last August.

During August, there were a total of 94 condo sales reported by Realtors in Maui County with a median price $410,000. The August 2013 condo sales figures were 113 transactions closed with a median price of $420,000. That is a 17% drop in volume and a 2% drop in median comparing this August to last August.

The August 2014 land transactions in Maui County totaled 14 with a median price of $395,000. Last August, there were 25 sales with a median price of $350,000. That is a 44% drop in volume and a 13% increase in median price comparing this August to last August.

Other Interesting Notes and Numbers from the August Maui Real Estate Stats

While compiling these numbers, I found a few other numbers that I thought were worth passing along.

  • The highest priced home sale last month was $2,500,000 for a 5,222 square foot home on 2.58 acres in the Launiupoko subdivision in Lahaina.
  • It was a quiet month for luxury home sales with only one other transaction recorded above $2,000,000. That home was located in Ka’anapali Hillside.
  • Believe it or not, the lowest priced home sale in Maui County for month and this year for that matter was $1. The leasehold home in Molokai was bank owned. Its lease is set to expire in December when the property will revert back to the lessor who owns the underlying land.
  • While luxury home sales were relatively slow, luxury condo sales were strong in August. The high sale for the month was $8,250,000 for a four bedroom condo at Montage in Kapalua. That is the highest ever sales price for a condo in West Maui.
  • That was one of eight condo sales last month priced over $1,500,000. There were three additional big sales at Montage including closes of $7,750,000 and $7,500,000. There is a buzz about Montage and we recently looked at the resort’s impact on the market in our Kapalua Real Estate Update. There were also two sales at Papali in Wailea, one sale at Wailea Elua and one at Honua Kai.
  • There were only 8 bank owned sales this year compared to 14 sold last year. This isn’t necessarily due to a lack of inventory. June and July saw more bank owned inventory hit the market than what we had seen at any time in the last 24 months. However, the banks have different pricing strategies at this stage of the market. Many of the bank owned listings are being priced above market values.
  • There were six successful short sales completed last month compared to 14 completed in August of 2013.
  • While land sales were relatively quiet, there were 2 transactions that closed for over $2,000,000 in Kapalua.

Thoughts on the August Stats

This was not exactly a robust month for sales on Maui. This is the fifth straight month where condo sales have been lower than same month in 2013. Home sales have been a little stronger than condos, but we have still seen fewer sales overall compared to last year. Land sales are also down compared to last year after two straight months of lower sales. Inventory or lack thereof is clearly playing a part in the reduced activity. Prices are higher and the selection at the entry levels of the market is limited. That is leaving some buyers on the sideline. A reduction in the percentage of cash purchases on Maui suggests that we may be seeing fewer institutional and professional investors buying properties as well.

There are also some sellers who have overshot the market. They are pricing well above what the market is willing to pay. That may also be reducing the volume of sales. Prices in some parts of Maui have surged from market lows at high rates of appreciation. Limited inventory and pent up demand helped bring prices up rapidly. However, the initial rates of appreciation weren’t sustainable over the long haul. The memories of the last real estate bubble are a little too fresh in the minds of some buyers. This phenomenon is apparent in the Kihei entry level condo market. Places like Kihei Villages and Southpointe were selling in the low $100,000s at the bottom of the market with a handful of units in particularly poor shape closing below $100,000. We started to see sales prices as high as the low to mid $200,000s by the second half of 2013. Prices have since held in that range with little or no upward appreciation. Inventory has increased and days on market has gone up significantly. We are seeing this in other parts of the market as well. Kapalua Golf Villas is a nice vacation rental friendly property in the Kapalua Resort. It saw prices bottom out in 2012 when a large assessment was required to address a big maintenance project. Prices began to rise again rapidly in 2013 with the median price rising from $480,000 to $650,000. The median for this year’s sales has pushed all the way into the $700s. Each significant increase in median has been accompanied by a decrease in sales volume.

Are there any other factors at play with the decrease in sales volumes? That is tough to say at this point. The broader economic picture appears to be good at this time. National sales of existing homes continue to increase as of the last National Association of Realtors report in July. However, California saw a decrease in the number of properties sold compared to the same period last year. That is a continuation of a trend for that state. California is far and away the biggest feeder state for Maui Real Estate buyers. Maui tends to follow the same trends as the California market albeit a few months behind.

August Pending Sales

In addition to tracking closed sales. We also like to keep tabs on the number of properties that went under contract during any one month. This gives us some sense of what the stats might look like in the next couple of months.

This chart compares the number of properties that went pending in August of 2014 in Maui County with the number that went pending in August 2013.

After seeing an uptick in land and condo pending sales in July, the pending sales are down again. It appears as if the continued trend of lower sales activity will continue in the September and October sales numbers for Maui.

What Buyers and Sellers can expect under Current Market Conditions

While the market has slowed in terms of sales volume, buyers will find that well priced properties remain competitive. This is particularly true with lower priced homes. Buyers looking in this market should be pre-approved by a qualified mortgage professional as they are starting their home search. When the right property comes on the market that meets their needs, buyers will need to be decisive and act quickly to improve their odds of a successful offer. Sellers can see some of the cautionary tales reflected in the paragraphs above. Buyers are balking at overpriced properties and rates of appreciation appear to be slowing. That makes determining your go to market pricing that much more important. Both buyers and sellers should also be aware that market dynamics vary throughout the island depending on price points and neighborhoods. If you are a buyer or seller interested in Maui Property, we would welcome the chance to sit down with you for a free consultation. Contact The Maui Real Estate Team today to discuss your real estate needs.

Pete Jalbert