Maui Real Estate Blog

Walkable Maui

Rising gas prices. A more chaotic climate. Improved health and wellness. There are a lot of reasons why driving less has more appeal these days. Maui is a pretty rural place. As a result, it is not exactly an easy place to live car free. That said, there are parts of the island where there are more conveniences and amenities accessible by foot or by bike. We recently created a handful of Walkable community pages on MauiRealEstate.com that highlight areas within a higher concentration of amenities within walking distance. This is a quick overview of those new pages on the site and a few communities that are worth an honorable mention.

Featured Walkable Areas of Maui

  • Walkable Paia : For a small town, Paia has a lot going on. It has restaurants, a great grocery store, a Bank of Hawaii Branch, a yoga studio, massage studios, coffee shops, a post office, the beach and more all in and around town. If you live in the neighborhoods to the East and North of town, almost all of this is accessible via your own two feet. As an added bonus, the North Shore bike path runs to the West of town, through Spreckelsville and into Kahului. Paia is the one area of the island where you really could go for longer stretches without driving.
  • Walkable Wailuku : Downtown Wailuku is the seat of Maui County Government. It is also home to federal and state agencies, medical facilities, law offices and other professional services. The homes and condos in the downtown area give options to those who work downtown that want to avoid commuting by car. Add in restaurants, the Iao Theater, shops, a library and other amenities and there are plenty of things accessible by foot. While you will still find yourself driving to some amenities, your odometer is less likely to get a workout.
  • Walkable Makawao : Upcountry Maui may not be the first place you think of when it comes to walkability. That said, downtown Makawao is another small town with a lot going on. There are restaurants, a public library, Eddie Tam Park, a post office, shops, coffee, yoga and more. There are quite a few neighborhoods within walking distance of these attractions. Again, this is a place where it may be difficult to completely avoid car dependence, but you could get away with driving less when you live close to Makawao.
  • Walkable Lahaina : Front Street is a renowned tourist destination. That said, residents living in the neighborhoods close to Front Street are located close to restaurants, shops, grocery stores, the beach, surfing and more. Put on your walking shoes or grab your cruiser bike. This is an area where you can leave your car parked in the driveway more often than not.

Honorable Mention

The Kulamalu area of Pukalani wouldn’t have received a mention 10 years ago. While there was a Long’s Drugs and a Fitness Center, this was a convenient but car dependent community. Then came the Saturday’s Farmer’s Market, followed by Food Trucks. A new brewery and a great pizza place in the last year are two great new additions. The Cottages at Kulamalu and Kulamalu Hilltop are now two neighborhoods where owners now have some great amenities within walking distance.

There are parts of Kihei where you may not need a car as much depending on your lifestyle. Areas of South Kihei and Central Kihei offer restaurants, shops, grocery stores and beaches within walking distance.

Contact The Maui Real Estate Team

Contact The Maui Real Estate Team if you are looking for a home that decreases your car dependence. We would welcome the chance to help you find a home or condo that might help change your lifestyle.

Pete Jalbert

Maui Real Estate Blog

Maui Market Musings Volume V

This week’s edition of the musings dives into recent numbers from the Maui Luxury Home and Luxury Condo market. There is also an update on the end of the State of Hawaii’s Safe Travels Program and Mask Mandates, a look at the national real estate market and a little bit of Maui beauty to brighten your day.

Maui Luxury Market Update

As we approach the end of the first quarter of the year, it is worth taking a moment to check into see how the luxury property market is fairing on Maui. For the sake of this article, luxury is defined as homes priced for $2,000,000 and above and condos priced $1,500,000 and above. The numbers below are based on sales numbers between January 1st and March 21st. Here are the numbers followed by a few thoughts on the luxury home and condo market.

Maui Luxury Home Market 2022 Sales Numbers

  • Thus far, 47 homes sold over $2,000,000 as of March 21st. That is down 13% from the 54 sold during the same period last year.
  • Six homes sold for more than $5,000,000 this year. That is down from 13 during the same period of 2021.
  • When you look at sales over $10,000,000, activity is up just a little bit. Realtors reported 4 sales over $10,000,000 compared to 3 last year.
  • A number of the stronger luxury home markets in early 2021 saw activity decrease in early 2022 as shown by the chart below. West Maui saw some of the more pronounced decreases with bigger drops in Lahaina and Ka’anapali.
A comparison of luxury home sales by district in Maui County in early 2021 and early 2022
A comparison of luxury home sales by market in early 2021 and early 2022.
  • A number of communities that did not see sales in 2021 experienced activity in 2022. Notably, there were 5 sales in Haiku and 3 in Makawao this year.
  • Days on Market decreased substantially on homes sold over $2,000,000. This year, the average sale is closing in 127 days. That is 29% less time on market than last year’s 179 days.
  • Competition in this market place is up significantly. Of the homes that sold for $2,000,000 or above, 57.44% closed for asking price or higher. That is well above the 16.67% that sold for asking price or above during the same period of 2021.
  • It is notable that the three highest priced home sales all closed for their full asking price.

Maui Luxury Condo Market 2022 Sales Numbers

  • Maui Realtors reported 71 condos sold for $1,500,000 or higher as of March 21st. That is up almost 34% from the 53 sold during the same period of 2021.
  • Of the 71 sales, 7 sold for $5,000,000 or more as of Match 21st. That is up slightly from the 6 that sold during the same period last year.
  • The Ka’anapali Condo market stands out for the significant increase in sales activity compared to other Maui markets. The Napili and Kahana market also experienced a notable increase.
This chart compares luxury condo sales on Maui by districts and communities during the beginning of  2022 and 2021.
A comparison of luxury condo sales by market in early 2021 and early 2022.
  • Other markets saw less drastic annual changes with Lahaina and Kapalua repeating last year’s numbers and Wailea and Makena down slightly.
  • A big reason for Ka’anapali’s increased activity is due to activity at Honua Kai. Honua Kai saw 12 sales after just 4 last year.
  • Days on market decreased quite a bit for high end condos. The average of 67 days on market is 54% lower than the average of 145 days on market in early 2021. It is worth noting, that long term new developer sales are excluded from calculations for both years. These are contracts signed pre-construction, but do not close until 2-3 years later when construction is completed.
  • Competition for luxury condos also increased. Of the 71 condos sold, 63.4% sold for asking price or above. That compares to 39.6% last year.

Some Takeaway from the Luxury Home and Condo Numbers

Volume may be down for homes, but that is more a function of reduced supply vs. decreased demand. The lower days on market and number of homes selling for at or above listing price support the notion of sustained demand and a more competitive market.

The impact of decreased inventory is also evident at the community level where places like Wailea and Makena are seeing lower sales volume due to decreased inventory. The Ka’anapali market and to an extent the Lahaina market are seeing lower sales for a few reasons. 1. Inventory is down at the lower price points of the luxury home market. 2. Some of the homes going under contract are “spec” houses with completion dates later in the year. Finally, some of the sellers are pushing the envelope on pricing. I mentioned the Lanikeha subdivision in Ka’anapali specifically in volume I of the market musings. The bulk of the inventory in that neighborhood is priced well above previous neighborhood high sales. To be fair, a couple of the higher priced homes have gone under contract since my post. That said, there are still quite a few homes available.

The increase in activity in new markets is also due to a combination of factors. We are seeing some homes selling above $2,000,000 due in part to appreciation. With price increases year over year ranging between 10 and 20 percent, some of last year’s below $2,000,000 sales are going for more money. Another factor is just plain old variability. Places like Haiku and Makawao both saw an increase in $2,000,000 sales over the last 4 years. It’s just that early 2021 was quieter in those communities. We are also seeing some luxury buyers expand their search outside the resort markets due to the lack of inventory.

The increase in activity in the condo market is largely due to better inventory selection compared to the luxury single family home market. That said, not all markets have an abundance of inventory. The Wailea and Makena area have lower inventory and it is reflected in the lower sales volume. We can see the impact of decreased inventory in some area of the luxury condo market in both the decreased days on market and the higher percentage of condos selling at or above asking price.

End of Safe Travels and the Mask Mandate

March 25th was the last day of the Hawaii Safe Travels program. Travelers coming to Hawaii will no longer need proof of vaccination or a negative covid test prior to arrival. It is also the last day of the indoor mask mandate in Hawaii. There are still requirements to wear masks on planes, buses, public schools and the airport.

Interest Rate Increases Don’t Seem to be Slowing the Market Around the Country

While keeping tabs on the local market, it’s also worth keeping an eye on national trends. This is particularly the case in the current market as interest rates hit heights we haven’t seen over the last few years. The folks over at Altos Research have good access to pending sales data around the country. That gives you a little better sense of current market conditions than what you would get by just looking at sales data. Here is their video overview of the most recent data and it’s worth a watch.

If you don’t have the time to watch, here are a few quick notes. Inventory ticked up again although pending sales and pricing both appear to be strong. They are watching closely to see if the recent rates are impacting buyers. While they aren’t seeing any data to really suggest a change in market conditions, they spoke to a few things they are looking for that might indicate a potential slow down from the current frenzy. They mentioned listening for anecdotal signs of less active bidding wars. Altos suggested keeping an eye out for an increase on cancelled transactions and an increase in cancelled new developer contracts. Again, they haven’t seen that in the national data yet.

For what it’s worth, they aren’t expecting any seismic shifts in the market other than moderation of the current activity. The caveat being that a more significant shift could occur if interest rates were to settle over 5%.

Interestingly, there were a few more cancelled contracts on the Maui MLS last week. I am hesitant to read too much into the cancellations at this point. While it might be related to the rise in rates, it could also be a coincidence. It is something to watch a little more closely going forward.

A Little Bit of Maui Beauty

It was another beautiful morning on Maui today. I thought it was worth sharing this photo from Baldwin Beach with the West Maui Mountains in all of their glory.

Contact The Maui Real Estate Team

Have questions on anything in this post? Need assistance buying or selling property on island? Just want to talk about a specific part of the market? Contact The Maui Real Estate Team. We look forward to being of assistance.

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

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.

Pete Jalbert

Maui Real Estate Blog

May 2016 Maui Real Estate Statistics

Don’t be surprised to see a big spike in median home prices in Maui in the near future. Read on to find out why. This is our look at the May Maui Real Estate Statistics. We take a look at median prices, sales volumes, new pending sales in May and notable numbers. We also give a few thoughts on what it all means. Without further ado, here are the May numbers.

Maui Sales Volumes and Median Prices

This chart compares real estate sales volumes by property type for May 2015 and May 2016

By my count, there were 94 homes sold in May with a median sales price of $622,500. In May of 2015, there were 88 sales with a median price of $607,097. That calculates to a 7% increase in sales volume and a 2.5% increase in median price.

There were 118 condos sold in May with a median sales price of $423,500. Last May, there were 110 sales with a median price of $459,500. That calculates to a 7% increase in sales volume and an 8% decrease in median price.

There were 14 land sales with a median price of $378,500 in May. There were 12 sales in May of 2015 with a median price of $380,000. That is roughly a 17% increase in sales and around a half of a percent drop in median price.

Notable Numbers from the May Maui Real Estate Sales Activity

  • The highest priced home sale last month on Maui was $6,000,000. The oceanfront estate in the Kuau area of Paia included a 4 bedroom, 4.5 bath home with 6,258 square feet of living space, a separate 1 bedroom, 1 bath cottage with 1,0125 square feet of living space on a 1.28 acre lot.
  • That was one of 7 home sales over $2,000,000 in Maui during May. The other big closes included 2 sales in Wailea, 2 sales in Kapalua, and one sale each in Kula and Lahaina.
  • The highest priced condo transaction last month closed for $4,150,000. That was a 3 bedroom, 3.5 bath condo with 2,789 square feet of living space at Montage Kapalua.
  • The Montage sale was one of seven condo closes of $1,500,000 or greater in May. The other closes included 4 sales at Honua Kai, a Kapalua Ironwoods and a Mahana. I thought it was notable that all of those sales were in West Maui.
  • The highest priced land sale for the month of May closed for $2,700,000. That lot is .429 acres of beachfront in North Kihei.
  • There were 9 bank owned sales that closed in May of this year. Last year, there were 13 bank owned sales reported on the MLS.
  • There were only 4 short sales this May. That was the same number as last May. Short sales remain a relatively small percentage of the total sales. With continued appreciation, that should remain the case for the remainder of this market cycle.

New Pending Sales
The bulk of the sales reported above went under contract sometime in March or April. To give us a sense of more current market demand, the chart below shows the number of properties that went under contract in May compared to the numbers in May of 2015.

A comparison of the number of properties that went under contract by property type in Maui County during May 2015 and May 2016.

This is the second month in a row when pending home sales have gone down. I would expect that we might see a dip in actual sales volume in June. Condos saw an increase in pending sales in May. That marks the 4th straight month of increased pending sales for condos compared to 2015. That bodes well for sales over the next couple of months. Land pending sales were down slightly after a slower April. Land pendings have been more up and down this year. We are also talking about a much smaller sample of sales so we may just be seeing some month to month variability.

Thoughts on the May Numbers
I started this post with a teaser that Maui Median home prices are likely to see a healthy increase sometime in the coming months. That might sound like a contradiction to my suggestion that sales volume is going to be decreasing based on the dip in pending home sales. In fact, the decrease in sales and the increase in median prices are likely tied together.

Anecdotally, it feels like inventory has been shrinking significantly for homes. The local real estate association keeps track of this information. When I looked at their data for the last few months, inventory is down almost 9% compared to earlier this year. That said, this is actually fairly typical. It mirrors shifts in inventory that we saw last year. So what makes the current market look different?

I decided to take a deeper look at the current inventory. Currently, there are 517 homes that are active. Of the 517 homes that are active, 307 of the homes are priced $1,000,000 or higher. That is an impressive 59% of the inventory. In May, the median price for a home was $622,500. Of the 517 active homes listed, there were only 83 homes priced for at or below the median sales price of $622,500. That is just 16% of the inventory. I also looked at the pending home sales. There are currently 277 homes under contract. Of that total, 147 homes of the 277 pending homes are listed for at or below the median price of $622,500. That is 53% of the pending sales. Of the 277 pending sales, 52 of the homes were priced $1,000,000 or more. That is roughly 19% of the pending sales.

Chewing on the numbers above, it is clear that there is strong demand and shrinking inventory at or below the median of $622,500. While the pending sales will likely help keep the median prices in check next month, it is likely we will see median prices start to rise unless the inventory of homes at or below the current median increases significantly. The increase will stem from fewer lower priced sales and to a lesser extent upward price pressure from the lack of inventory. The lack of inventory will likely also keep sales volumes down.

While the home market under $700,000 appears to be continuing to be tight marketplace, that is not true of other price points and property types. The market conditions also differ in different geographic areas of the island. Overall, there is a lot of variability in this market. Contact The Maui Real Estate Team to discuss your specific real estate needs. We will give you our take on market conditions particular to your interests.

Pete Jalbert

Maui Real Estate Blog

April 2016 Maui Real Estate Statistics

As we hit the midpoint of May, I wanted to give an update on the April Maui Real Estate Statistics. April is the last month of Maui’s “peak” home buying season. Once we get past April 15th, visitor numbers typically dip reducing the number of potential buyers. That said, the bulk of the sales that we see in April are from contracts written earlier in the buyer season. These stats take a look at the number of properties sold, median prices, properties that went under contract in April and notable numbers from the April sales activity. I also give a few thoughts on the state of the market and the numbers that stood out to me in April. Without further ado, here are the April numbers.

April Maui Real Estate Sals Volumes

This chart compares the real estate sales volumes for Maui County during April 2015 and April 2016

There were 99 home sales reported in Maui County during April with a median sales price of $680,000. In April of 2015, there were 87 homes sold with a median price of $581,000. That calculates to roughly a 14% increase in sales activity and a 17% increase in median price.

There were 125 condo sales reported in Maui during April with a median price of $445,000. Last April there were 105 condos sold with a median price of $410,000. That is a 19% increase in sales volume and roughly a 9% increase in median price.

There were 10 land sales reported in Maui County for the month of April with a median sales price of $453,500. In April 2015, there were 12 sales with a median price of $417,500. That calculates to a 17% decrease in sales and an 8% increase in median price.

While compiling the median sales prices and sales volumes, I came up with some numbers that I thought were worth sharing from the April numbers.

Notable Numbers from the April Maui Real Estate Sales

  • The highest priced home sale in April closed for $6,550,000. This Kula Estate included a 4 bed, 4 bath home with 7,809 square feet of living space, 2 cottages, a 9 car garage building and a lot more on 23 acres.
  • It was a busy month for luxury home sales with 13 closes more than $2,000,000. In addition to the big Kula sale, there was one additional Kula sale, 3 sales in Wailea, 3 sales in the Launiupoko area of Lahaina and one sale each in Paia, Haiku, Kapalua, Kihei, and Ka’anapali.
  • The highest priced condo sale in April closed for $5,490,309. This Honua Kai Condo has 3 beds, 3.5 baths with 2,770 sq feet of living space and a 2,200 square foot lanai.
  • The big Honua Kai close was one of 13 condo sales over $1,500,000. Other sales included 4 more closes at Honua Kai, 2 Wailea Point Condos, a Montage Kapalua Bay, a Polo Beach, an Alaeloa, Mahana, Kaanapali Shores and a Masters Ka’anapali Unit.
  • The highest priced land sale in April closed for $850,000. The 1.45 acre condominiumized agricultural lot in Launiupoko has the entitlements to build the main house for the condo.
  • There were 11 bank owned transactions that closed in April. That is up slightly from the 9 bank owned sales in April of 2015. There were 4 successful short sales that closed in April 2016. That is the same total as April 2015.

Pending Real Estate Sales in April
Sales are a lagging indicator. They do not show current buyer demand. That is why our stats posts include the number of properties that go pending in that particular month.

This chart compares the number of properties that went under contract in Maui during April 2015 and April 2016

The number of properties that went pending in April was lower compared to April of 2015. New contracts for homes and lots were down while condos were up. I am not sure that is indicative of any sort of trend. As a whole it is something of a reversal of what we saw during the first quarter of the year where home sales were up significantly, land was up slightly and condo sales were down. One month of varied market activity is one thing. If we were to string a few months together, we might be seeing a trend.

Thoughts on the April Sales Number and The Maui Real Estate Market
Of all of the sales figures from April, the luxury property sales stood out the most to me. There were more homes sold over $2,000,000 in April than the previous three months of the year combined. The 13 condo sales over $1,500,000 wasn’t too far behind the 17 total sales during the first quarter of 2016. After a slower start to the year, there appears to be a little bit of a bump in high end sales activity. It makes some sense as the stock market has seen a recovery from the doldrums of earlier this year. It will be interesting to see if that was just one month or if this increased activity will sustain itself.

The high median sales price for homes was noteworthy. This was the second highest median sales price since the recovery of the real estate market. The high median is related to the high number of higher priced sales. It is also due in part to a shrinking inventory of lower priced homes. Rising values and just a tight overall market have resulted in a shrinking pool of homes available for sale for less than $500,000.

The condo market numbers were also somewhat notable in that sales were up and pending sales were up compared to April 2015. The condo market was slower during the first quarter of 2016 when compared to 2015. This may be a blip or it may be the start of an uptick in activity in the condo market. It will be interesting to see the numbers in the next couple of months.

While the April condo market bucked the first quarter trends, the home market continued the momentum of the first quarter. April home sales were well above the totals for April 2015. That made it something of a surprise to see April pending home sales were well below April 2015. As mentioned above, one month may just be due to variability in the market. We will see what unfolds in the coming months.

If you are a buyer or a seller thinking of entering the Maui Real Estate market, you will find that market conditions are not monolithic. While this blog post discusses the generalities of the Maui market, market demand and inventory varies by geography and price point. Contact The Maui Real Estate Team to discuss market conditions specific to your real estate needs. We look forward to being of service.

Pete Jalbert