Maui Real Estate Blog

Official January 2013 Maui Real Estate Statistics

February is off to a busy start for the Maui Real Estate Team. That has translated into less time available for blogging. I have been in the process of working on our “unofficial” stats for over a week. In the meantime, the good folks at the Realtors Association of Maui beat me to the punch when they released their “official” January Maui Real Estate Statistics. This isn’t the first time that RAM was first out of the gate and it won’t be the last. As a result, I am going to do something of a hybrid official/unofficial post for this month’s stats. In addition to the link to the official stats above, I want to point out a few more numbers that I thought were interesting and provide some context and analysis to this month’s sales data.

A comparison of the Maui Real Estate sales volumes between January 2012 and January 2013

There were 63 homes sold in Maui County during January with a median sales price of $550,000. Last January, there were 50 sales at a median price of $399,000. That is a 26% increase in sales volume and a 38% increase in median price.

I counted 61 condo sales on Maui this month with a median price of $287,000. That is actually one more sale than what was reported by RAM. The January 2012 numbers were 91 sales at a median price of $330,000. That is a 33% drop in sales volume and a 13% drop in median price.

There were only 7 land sales reported in Maui County during January 2013 with a median sales price of $615,000. The January 2012 numbers totaled 9 sales at a median price of $350,000. That is a 23% drop in sales activity. I am reticent to comment on the change in median price for fear that it will be misconstrued as a sign of a massive appreciation in land values.

Here are a few other numbers of note Maui’s January Real Estate Sales.

  • There were 6 REO or bank owned sales in Maui County during January of 2013. By comparison, there were 29 REO sales in January of 2012. That calculates to a 79% drop in activity.
  • The lack of REO activity may have contributed to some of the more frenzied bidding activity I have seen on a property. An entry level REO in Napili was listed for $225,000. By the time the smoke cleared, the sales price for the property was $390,299. That sales price was 73% over the original asking price.
  • There were 14 successful short sales that closed during January of 2013. There were 19 short sale closes during January of 2012. That is 24% drop in short sale activity.
  • The highest sales price for a home last month was $9,200,000 for a beachfront residential condo at Makena Place. This was the only sale over $2,000,000 last month.
  • The highest sales price for a condo was $3,500,000 for a three bedroom/three bath beachfront unit at Honua Kai in the Kaanapali area. This was the only condo sale over $1,500,000. In fact, the next highest condo sale was $790,900.

There were quite a few interesting numbers above. That being said, I wanted to delve into the condo numbers first. Since we were late to the presses with our stats, I have the advantage of seeing some of the local headlines for this month’s stats. One local publication had a sensationalistic headline proclaiming a big drop in condo sales. Was this dip in activity headline worthy? Better yet, what caused this drop? Well, it is hard to say definitively but it is worth noting that the previous two months saw significant condo sales activity. Many sellers were anxious to close before the end of the year to avoid potential tax increases. I would surmise that this may have accelerated the condo activity at the end of the year at the expense of sales after the first of the year. As RAM executive Terry Tolman pointed out in the official stats, when you average the December and January Sales totals you come out to around 100 sales which is in line with what you might expect for an average month this time of year. I do not think the drop in sales numbers is in any way a reflection of future market trends. There have been 171 condos that have gone under contract since the first of the year. That is a pretty healthy number.

The drop in medians is also out of line with recent trends. I think part of that stems again from sellers trying to close before the first of the year. This was a particularly slow month for condo sales in the luxury market. It was pretty eye opening when I saw that the second highest condo sale for the month was $790,900. There are usually a few sales over $1,500,000 each month and quite a few more over $1,000,000.

While the median condo price plummeted, the home median was up substantially over January 2012. If you are a frequent reader of our stats, you will have read about the inventory crunch occurring at the lower ends of the market. Entry level homes are particularly scarce. There were only 14 sales under $400,000 this January. Last January, there were 24 homes sold under $400,000. I would imagine we are going to continue to see elevated median sales prices unless there is an influx of lower priced home inventory.

The land market regressed after a strong close to 2012. Perhaps, that may have been due to my over exuberance in the Unofficial December stats. More likely, we may have seen a similar scenario to the condo market with some sellers trying to close before the end of the calendar year resulting in fewer sales right after the new year. Again, I don’t necessarily see this as a sign of decreasing activity in the land market. As it stands, there are already seven land sales that have been recorded since February 1.

What does this all mean for buyers and sellers? Limited inventory continues to have a significant impact on the Maui Real Estate market. Entry level homes and condos are particularly scarce, but there are shortages of listings in some communities going all the way up to the $1,000,000+ range. Buyers need to be prepared to act quickly when the right opportunities come on the market. If you require financing, getting pre-approved on your loan is a must. It helps you determine your budget and it improves your standing in the eyes of sellers. Sellers are facing an interesting market place. While the situation for sellers is improving, there are things to be aware of if you are listing your property. I have seen a few properties go on the market well above recent comps. The Limited inventory has created enough of a frenzy that buyers are willing to submit offers at or near these premium prices. The challenge comes with appraisal. Appraisal standards are a lot tougher than they were in the boom times. If the comparable sales aren’t there, you won’t get the appraisal you need to move forward on a sale. Other listings that are going on the market for well over recent comparable sales aren’t getting as much interest. Market dynamics are proving to be complex. Either way, well priced properties are going to have a much higher chance of closing successfully.

We would welcome the opportunity to talk to buyers and sellers who are interested in entering the Maui Real Estate market. We look forward to discussing how we can assist you in achieving your goals in the Maui market. Contact The Maui Real Estate Team for a free consultation today.

Pete Jalbert

Maui Real Estate Blog

Wailea and Makena Mid Year Real Estate Market Update

We may be almost midway through August, but I wanted to follow through on our promise to provide midyear market updates for a hand full of Maui communities. Today, we are going to cast the spotlight on the resort communities of Wailea and Makena. This corner of Maui is a a world renowned resort travel destination. Wailea and Makena are synonymous with stunning beaches, great golf, fine dining, luxurious resorts and high end shopping. All of these amenities combine to make Wailea and Makena desirable locales for second home owners. The following is a comparison of the sales numbers between the first half of 2012 and 2011 for the Wailea and Makena luxury markets.

This chart compares the Wailea and Makena Real Estate Sales volumes for the first six months of 2011 and 2012.

There were 17 home sales reported in Wailea/Makena with a median sales price of $1,635,000 during the first six months of 2012. During the same period of 2011, those totals were 10 sales with a median price of $1,472,500. That is a 70% increase in volume and an 11% increase in median prices. There were 58 condos sold in Wailea with a median price of $780,000 during January through June of 2012. The numbers for the first half of 2011 were 65 condos sold with a median price of $975,000. That is a 17 percent drop in volume and a 20% drop in median price. There was only one land sale in Wailea/Makena during the first six months of 2012. There were two during the first six months of 2011.

Here are some other noteworthy numbers for the first half of 2012.

  • There were three home sales in Makena during the first six months of 2012. By comparison, there were no sales in Makena during the first six months of 2011. On the other side of the coin, there were no condo sales in Makena during the first six months of 2012. There were four Makena condo sales in the first six months of 2011.
  • The high sale during the first six months of 2012 was $9,850,000 for a 4,155 square foot home oceanfront home in Makena Place. The high in the first six months of 2011 was $5,200,000 for a 5,967 square foot home in Wailea Golf Vistas.
  • The highest priced condo transaction in Wailea for the first half of 2012 was $5,992,000 for a 2,983 square foot unit at Wailea Beach Villas. The high condo sale in the first half of 2011 was $12,500,000 for a front row unit at Wailea Beach Villas.
  • The lowest priced home sale during the first six months of 2012 was $775,000 for a bank owned home in Wailea Pualani. The lowest priced home sale in the first half of 2011 was $900,000 for a home in Wailea Kai.
  • The lowest priced condo sale during the first six months of 2012 was $400,000 for a two bed/two bath unit at Grand Champions. Last year, the low priced sale was $360,000 for a one bedroom, bank owned unit in Wailea Ekahi.
  • There were a total of six REO sales and one short sale in all of Wailea and Makena during the first half of 2012. The numbers were eight REO sales and eight successful short sales in all of Wailea and Makena during the first half of 2011.

The most striking element of the Wailea and Makena numbers was the divergence in market performance between homes and condos. While activity was clearly up for home sales, the numbers trended down for the condo market. I can’t say there is a clear cut reason for the difference in activity. That being said, I have a few thoughts. Looking at the home side of the equation, the bump may be a case of buyers responding to values. At our broker Billy’s suggestion, I looked at original asking price vs. sales prices for homes in Wailea. Looking at the five highest priced sales, the difference between original asking price and sales price was 10%, 15%, 53%, 28% and 20% respectively. The 10% number difference between original list price and sales price on the Makena Place sale may actually be a little low. This home had been on and off the market without selling dating back to 2007. Back then, it was priced as high as $14,900,000. While I can’t say this unequivocally, it appears that buyers responded to these properties in part because of a perception of value. An increase in well priced properties may well be the driver for the increase in activity.

I think this is something worth noting for luxury sellers. There is still a pretty healthy luxury inventory on the market. The buyers like Peter Thiel are more an exception than a rule. Luxury buyers are showing that they are value conscious in this market. Motivated sellers may want to take heed and position their home so that it stands out as a value among the rest of the inventory.

The reasons for the decrease in activity in the luxury condo market are a little murky. In my search for answers, I compared the sales volume of individual condo complexes in the Wailea and Makena area. You can see this comparison in the chart below.

A comparison of sales volumes at the different condo complexes of Wailea and Makena during the first half of 2011 and 2012

There was one thing that stood out the most while looking at this chart. There appears to be a sharper decline in activity on the high end of the condo market. Among the places that saw sharper declines in activity, Wailea Palms is the only complex with a median less than $1,000,000. Other complexes with more notable declines included Papali, Wailea Beach Villas, Hoolei, Wailea Point, Makena Surf and Na Hale O Makena. All of these complexes are condos with median prices over $1,000,000 and in some cases well over $2,000,000. I looked back at all of the sales and my suspicions appear to be supported. There were 30 sales over $1,500,000 during the first six months of last year. This year that number shrank to 15 sales. What’s driving a high end condo slow down in Wailea and Makena? That’s tough to say. The decline in volume at Papali and Hoolei may stem from a decrease in inventory. These are new developments that have sold all but a few of the original developer listings. There is only one new developer listing remaining at Papali and the majority of the twelve listings at Hoolei are resales. With the rest of the luxury market, lack of inventory isn’t driving the decline in activity. There are an additional 39 condos on the market over $1,500,000. If these sellers are serious about selling, they may want to take a page from the book of Wailea luxury home sellers and start to sharpen their pencils.

The land market in Wailea and Makena remains limited. The one sale this year was for a property in Makena with upside development potential. There are fourteen vacant lots listed currently. Two of the fourteen are under contract. Looking at this inventory, many of these lots are resales. I can’t see a lot of activity in this market segment unless more of these listings become values in the eyes of buyers.

Contact The Maui Real Estate Team if you have questions or would like assistance buying or selling Wailea and Makena Properties. Search for the current inventory of Makena and Wailea Condos for Sale. You can also peruse the current inventory of Makena and Wailea Homes for Sale.

Pete Jalbert

Maui Real Estate Blog

Wailea and Makena 2011 Mid Year Real Estate Statistics

A couple of weeks back, I decided to take a more in depth look at how the real estate market performed for the first half of 2011 in a handful of specific Maui communities. I have already posted statistics for the North Shore and Upcountry markets. I had originally intended to post one last blog on how the resort communities performed. That being said, I found the abundance of data to be a little overwhelming for one post. Instead, I will be posting three blogs looking at the communities of Wailea/Makena, Kapalua and Kaanapali respectively. This first post looks at the Wailea/Makena market. It includes information on sales volumes and medians for home, condo and land sales. I also have a further breakdown of condo sales volume by complex as well as some additional information that I came across in the process of sorting through the data. I also offer some thoughts on what the statistics may mean.

There were 10 home sales in the Wailea/Makena area during the first six months of 2011 at a median price of $1,472,500. This compares to 17 sales during the first half of 2010 at a median price of $1,700,000. This translates to a 41% drop in activity when comparing sales volume this year to last year. Median prices dipped 13% from last year.

  • Eight of the ten transactions were reported as cash deals.
  • There were two short sales and one bank owned deal among the ten sales. During the first half of 2010, there were no short sale or bank owned transactions
  • The lowest priced sale was $900,000.
  • The high sale for the first six months of 2011 was $5,200,000. By comparison, the first six months of 2010 produced a high sale of $19,850,000.
  • There were no sales in Makena during the first six months of 2011. By comparison, there were six sales in the Makena area during the first six months of 2010.

There were 64 condo sales in the Wailea/Makena area during the first 6 months of 2011 at a median sales price of $1,040,000. During the first six months of 2010, there were 65 condo sales at a median price of $975,000. This represents a little less than a 2% decrease in sales volume and approximately a 7% increase in medians when comparing the first half of 2011 to the same time period in 2010.

  • The high sales price for the first six months of 2011 was $5,850,000 for a three bedroom condo at Wailea Point. By comparison, the high price for the same period of 2010 was a Maui sales record of $12,500,000 for a condo at Wailea Beach Villas.
  • The low sales price was $360,000 for a one bedroom Bank owned listing at Wailea Ekahi.
  • There were a total of seven bank owned sales and six short sales. That compares to six bank owned sales and two short sales during the same period of 2010.
  • In addition to the 64 condos sold, there was one boat garage sale reported among the Wailea condo statistics. A boat garage at Wailea Point sold for $104,500.

There were 2 land sales reported in Wailea during the first half of 2011 This compares to 5 sales during the first half of 2010. While only two sales were reported, one was a big one. A beachfront lot in the Maluhia development at Wailea sold for $7,300,000. Like much of the rest of the island, land sales in the Wailea/Makena area remain limited.

Looking at the numbers above the dip in home sales sticks out the most. The Wailea market and the Makena market in particular made a big splash in the first half of 2010. There were two sales of over 17 million dollars including a new record sales price for a single family home. There were also 6 sales in Makena including four with sales prices over $5,000,000. We just didn’t see that level of activity during the first half of 2011. The majority of the ultra high end activity was occurring in Kapalua Resort and along West Maui’s Oceanfront.

Does this point to a shift in the preferences of high end buyers? Has the Wailea and Makena area lost its luster? Plain and simple, the answer is no. I am publishing these stats a month after the official midway point for the year. That gives me the advantage of an additional month to observe the market. July has been busy for the Wailea and Makena luxury home market. Shock waves reverberated through the Maui market earlier this month when an unlisted property in Makena sold for $27 million. The 1.6 acre oceanfront estate shattered the previous single family home sales record. There are two homes listed for over $7.5 million that are now under contract at Makena Place. A home listed for $16.5 million went under contract at Keawakapu Beach. There is a second unlisted property along Keawakapu Beach under contract. While its sales price is unknown, the property had been listed in the last year for $23 million. A month of additional market activity has completely changed the tenor of the Wailea and Makena luxury home market. I enjoy compiling the data for these blog posts and they provide a good snap shot of market activity. That being said, there are some dangers when you try to read into the data too much or you call something a trend when dealing with these relatively small sample sizes.

While there were some pretty big swings in home market activity, the condo market was almost a mirror of 2010 in terms of total sales volume. We saw some subtle shifts in the composition of sold properties with an increase in bank owned closes and short sales. The volume of sales at individual complexes also fluctuated. Kanani Wailea and Kai Malu saw the biggest jump in sales volume while Wailea Palms and the Palms Wailea saw the sharpest decrease in volume. I am reticent to read too much into these shifts in market activity. It may just be variability. That being said, I wouldn’t be surprised to see higher sales volumes continue at both Kanani Wailea and Kai Malu. These are both complexes that came to market near the peak. Most condos in these complexes are now valued below their original sales prices. Declines in value combined with speculative purchasing when these properties came to market have resulted in REOs and short sales. I suspect Kai Malu and Kanani Wailea may still have some REO and short sale inventory to work through.

While most of my discussion has focused on volume, it is worth discussing median prices as well. As the numbers show above, we saw condo medians increase while home medians decreased. Whether it is an individual community like Wailea/Makena or Maui in general, I am reticent to use changes in median as an accurate measure of changes in property values. With these smaller sample sizes, shifts in median can be also be attributed to shifts in where market activity is occurring. For example, greater concentrations of high end sales can raise median prices while increased sales activity among lower priced condos can pull medians down. While I lack clear quantitative evidence, I would argue that Wailea and Makena may still be seeing modest drops in value for most properties. That being said, we are also seeing very affluent buyers who are willing to pay an absolute premium for some of the extraordinary properties that are for sale in this resort community. While comparable sales may dictate the market value of some properties, other sales may be more a matter of finding the common ground between what a buyer is willing to pay vs what a seller is willing to accept.

Contact The Maui Real Estate Team if you have any questions about these stats or if you need assistance buying or selling Wailea and Makena Real Estate. You can also search the current inventory of Wailea and Makena Homes for Sale and Wailea and Makena Condos for Sale on MauiReal

Pete Jalbert