Maui Real Estate Blog
Three Takeaways from the Maui Real Estate Market During the First Quarter of 2017
It has been a while since I have done an island wide stats post. After over ten years, I was struggling with rehashing the same format on a monthly basis. I decided to take a different approach this month. Rather than barraging you with lots of numbers, I wanted to try to distill the numbers into a few key takeaways. I also am gong to try to do this on a quarterly basis. With our smaller market, I think there is some merit to looking at slightly longer time horizons to overcome some of the variability we get on a month to month basis. Hopefully, those two changes will make for a better and more informative read. Without further ado, Here are my three key takeaways from the first quarter of 2017 followed by a some thoughts on what we may expect over the next few months.
1. Scarcity was the biggest driver of the Maui Real Estate market for the first three months of 2017. This was particularly true in the home market under $1,000,000. The lack of inventory in this price range has resulted in a lot of bidding wars and upward pressure on pricing. It also meant a decrease in sales volume as there just aren’t as many homes to sell. Buyers are out looking, but they are having a tough time getting into places. This is reflected in the stats with median prices up 15% compared to the first three months of 2016 and sales volume down 5%. The March median home price of $769,000 was the highest that we have since 2006. Again, this really hammers home the scarcity of listings at lower price points.
Scarcity is not a Maui specific phenomenon. It is happening throughout the United States. I was listening to Jill Schlesinger of CBS on Here and Now. She talked about the factors constraining the housing stock nationally. She cited a Baby Boomer generation that has not been quick to sell their homes at retirement. There are quite a few members of that generation who are choosing to modify their homes so they can age in place. Schlesinger also said that a lot of homes were acquired by private equity companies during the last downturn. They have kept those properties as rentals rather than putting them back on the market. I am not sure that the same factors are in play on Maui. For one, private equity firms were not buying property in big numbers on island. I think the biggest constraint we are seeing on Maui is a lack of new construction. New construction is not even coming close to keeping pace with population growth. It takes a longer period of time for new developments to get off the ground on Maui and many times they will fizzle out in between market cycles. We are also seeing a lot of new development occurring at higher price points in the market and less development occurring at the entry points of the market where demand is highest.
2. Luxury Real Estate Sales Trend up and Shift South. Luxury home sales were up in the first quarter of the year. There were 16 sales over the first 3 months of 2017 compared to 11 over the first 3 months of 2016.
Over the last couple of years, luxury home sales have been stronger in West Maui compared to South Maui. Launiupoko has led the charge with Kapalua and Kaanapali following close behind. There were eight sales in West Maui over $2,000,000 during the first 3 months of 2016. There was a a solitary sale in South Maui during that period. This year, there were four sales in West Maui over $2,000,000, and there were eight sales in South Maui over $2,000,000. Makena market activity was particularly notable with four sales over $9,000,000. It is hard to account for the shift in sales volumes between the different part of the island. Sometimes it just depends on the comparative quality of the inventory. Makena may also be seeing a bump due to the development of the Makena Golf and Beach Club. While none of the four sales in Makena were part of this development, this ultra high end development from Discovery Land Company may be drawing some affluent buyers to explore more immediate options for purchase outside of the new development.
There was also an uptick in luxury home sales outside the resort areas. There was a single sale in each of the communities of Hana, Haiku, Kula and Paia.. That compares to a single sale outside the resorts during the first three months of 2016.
The luxury condo market saw some similar trends. Sales were up overall. There were twenty-three sales over $1,500,000 during the first few months of this year compared to seventeen during the first three months of 2016. Twenty of the sales were in South Maui during 2017 compared to nine last year. Conversely, West Maui has seen a dip in activity with three closes compared to eight in 2016. Some of that can be attributed to a decrease in inventory in Honua Kai. All of the developer units have sold there which means we are now depending exclusively on resales.
3. Overall, the condo market had strong start during the first quarter of 2017. Condo sales do not seem quite as constrained by inventory when you look at the sales volume. Sales volume is up 17% compared to last year***. Almost all of that growth in activity can be traced back to the vacation rental condo market.
The vacation rental market had been in the doldrums for the previous couple of years. Much of that can be attributed to a decrease in demand from our neighbors North of the border. The Canadian Dollar has slumped after a number of years of parity. As a result, we saw relatively limited activity and a glut of inventory in some of the more popular vacation rental condos in the Kihei area. That appears to have shifted during this buyer’s season. Overall, sales of vacation rental condos were up 48% county wide. In Kihei, sales of vacation rental friendly condos were up 73%.
It is hard to attribute an exact reason for the sudden boom in the Kihei condo vacation rental condo market. While we may be seeing a few more Canadian buyers, the Canadian dollar remains far below the peak that prompted the last wave of Canadians. I surmise that there may be a number of factors at play. The concept of vacation rental ownership is being more ingrained into people’s psyche as companies like Airbnb become more prominent. A number of our domestic feeder markets are feeling their own real estate booms. West coast markets like Seattle, Portland and much of California continue to see strong activity. We also have seen a sustained bull run in the stock market that may provide people with the discretionary capital to make a second home purchase.
As with the luxury condo market, West Maui hasn’t seen quite the same level of activity for the general vacation rental condos. Numbers are down slightly in West Maui for condo sales. Again, Honua Kai plays a part in the lack of activity. This condo complex has been the driving force in West Maui condo sales in all price ranges since 2010. With the remaining inventory higher priced resale units, sales have slowed substantially at Honua Kai.
What can we expect over the next few months?
There is no immediate relief coming with the housing supply issues on Maui. On the demand side, island rents remain high and interest rates are still comparatively low. Barring a cataclysmic shift in the economy or a major upheaval in global politics, market conditions should remain similar to what we saw in the first quarter of the year. That means that competitive bidding will likely remain the norm for well priced homes in the $1,000,000 and under price range. You may even see a few bidding wars at well priced homes over $1,000,000. This can be a frustrating time for buyers as strong offers can still be trumped by irrational exuberance. That said, buyers should remain patient, make sure they have their ducks in a row when it comes to financing, be realistic about their financial picture and act decisively when properties that meet their needs come to market. While this is a seller’s market, there is some variability in demand by town and even neighborhoods on the island. Not everywhere is booming so sellers should consult closely with their Realtor and study recent sales to develop a realistic market price. Contact the Maui Real Estate Team if you are considering buying or selling property on Maui. We would welcome the opportunity to sit down with you face to face or to talk on the phone to discuss your real estate needs.
***Note the numbers reported for vacation rental condo sales are not 100% accurate. It is not a mandatory field in the Maui Multiple Listing Service to report whether or not a condo may be vacation rented. As a result, vacation rental condo sales can be under reported.
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
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
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.
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.
Maui Real Estate Blog
February 2016 Maui Real Estate Statistics
We are two months into the new year and more than half way through Maui’s peak real estate season, that means it is a good time to check in with the Maui Real Estate statistics. After a slow start for sales in January, we saw an increase in sales volume among all property types in February. We will have all the details on sales volumes, medians, February new pending sales, notable numbers and a few thoughts on the market below. Without further ado, here are the February Maui Real Estate Statistics
Maui Sales Volumes and Median Prices
By my count, there were 69 homes sold on Maui in February with a median sales price of $595,000. In February of 2015, there were 60 homes sold with a median price of $558,625. That calculates to a 15% increase in sales activity and a 6.5% increase in median price.
There were 102 condos sold in February 2016 with a median sales price of $444,450. Last February, there were 95 condos sold with a median sales price of $475,000. That represents a 7% increase in sales activity when comparing February 2016 to February 2015 and a 6% decrease in median price.
There were 20 lots sold last month with a median sales price of $512,500. In February of 2015, there were 14 sold with a median price of $490,000. That is a 43% increase in sales volume and a 4.5% increase in median price.
Notable Numbers from the February Maui Real Estate Sales
While compiling the sales volumes and the medians, I came across some other notable numbers from the February Real Estate sales activity on Maui.
- The highest priced home to sell on Maui in February closed or $5,550,000. Located in the Wailea Golf Vistas subdivision, the 4 bedroom, 5.5 bathroom luxury home includes amenities like an infinity pool and big ocean views.
- The Wailea Golf Vista Sale was one of six total home transactions that closed for more than $2,000,000. The other big transactions included a sale in Makawao, one in the Launiupoko area of Lahaina and three sales in Kapalua.
- The highest priced condo sale in February closed for $4,295,000. The 3 bedroom, 4 bath unit at the Andaz Residences offered top of the line finishing and 2,644 square feet of living space.
- The Andaz sale was one of six total condos that sold for more than $1,500,000 in February. The other sales were located at Montage Kapalua Bay, Honua Kai, Makena Surf, Wailea Beach Villas and Ka’anapali Ali’i.
- The highest priced lot to sell closed for $1,450,000. The big 25 acre parcel is located in the Honolua Ridge area of Kapalua.
- That was one of three lots that sold for more than $1,000,000. The others were located in Ka’anapali Coffee Farms and Launiupoko.
- There were 8 REO or bank owned sales in February. That was down from the 14 bank owned sales last February.
- There were 5 short sale transactions that completed successfully in February. All of them were home sales. That is up modestly from the 3 short sales in February of 2015.
February Pending Sales
The February sales are based primarily on contracts written in December and January. There may be a smattering of quick closes written up in February and a handful of longer term contracts. To get a better understanding of buyer demand last month, we wanted to provide some information on the number of properties that went pending in February.
Homes, condos and land all saw an increase in pending sales over February of 2015. Pending sales for homes were up sharply. Buyer demand remains strong on island for homes. Condo sales were up by the thinnest of margins and land sales saw a more substantial increase.
Maui Real Estate Market Thoughts
It is safe to say that , it was a pretty strong month for the market on Maui. February also was bolstered by having an extra business day since it was a leap year. With home sales and home pendings, February of 2016 clearly outperformed 2015 regardless of that extra day. With condos, things were a little less clear cut. When you subtract the 5 sales on the last day of the month, the increase in sales shrinks to 2. When you subtract the 9 pending sales that occurred on the 29th, the number of pending sales falls below what we saw during February 2015.
There is a lot of variability in activity within the condo market on Maui. There are parts of the market that are doing well like the entry level condo market. The luxury condo market is also doing pretty well. The vacation rental condo market is where we are seeing bigger drops in activity. With the big drop in the Canadian Dollar and the decline of Alberta’s oil industry, we have seen a shrinking pool of buyers. We have also seen growing inventory as some Canadians put their condos on the market. The net result is higher inventories and limited demand.
The home market continues to be strong. Demand is particularly strong for homes priced at or below the median prices of the market. Interest rates have dropped to levels even lower than what we saw before the Federal Reserve raised interest rates. With a tough rental market on island, demand continues to be strong from first time home buyers.
Land saw something of a rebound in February after the really low sales numbers in January. The number of land sales remain somewhat limited compared to other property types. That can make for some dramatic shifts in sales percentage wise with relatively modest changes in units sold.
The heterogeneity of the Maui Real Estate market conditions heightens the importance of savvy and experienced representation. Contact The Maui Real Estate Team today if you are interested in buying or selling property on Maui. We would welcome the opportunity to sit down with you to discuss your real estate needs and discuss market conditions specific to the areas and price points that are of interest to you.
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
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.
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 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 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.
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.
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.
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.