Maui Real Estate Blog

Well Priced Beachside Vacation Rental Condo in Maalaea

The Maui Real Estate Team has a great new listing at the Hono Kai condos in Maalaea. At the time of listing, this is the 2nd lowest priced, fee simple, vacation rentable condo in a beachfront complex on Maui. The low price does not mean you need to sacrifice quality. You won’t find popcorn ceilings and formica counter tops in this unit. The condo was remodeled with style and panache in 2009. Upgrades include granite counters, maple cabinets and stainless steel appliances in the kitchen. The bathroom has custom tiles. The flooring is Koa wood. This has been used as a second home by the current owners so it has seen very little wear and tear since it was remodeled. That said, it is well suited for VRBO or Air BnB.

Hono Kai is a boutique condo complex with 46 units on an acre of beachfront property. The beach side pool overlooks beautiful Maalaea Bay, Molokini and Kaho’olawe islands. It is located on the western most end of Sugar Beach. Sugar Beach stretches for over three miles to Kihei. It is the island’s longest beach for walking. Maalaea is a smaller community with a harbor that is used as a frequent launch point for whale watching and snorkel tours. It is also home to The Maui Ocean Center Aquarium and a handful of shops and restaurants.

Hono Kai B-12 is offered for sale for $310,000. Check out the Hono Kai B-12 Listing page for more photos and details. Contact the Maui Real Estate Team to arrange a showing of this property or to discuss the property in more detail. If you are off island but interested, take a 3D tour of the condo.

Pete Jalbert

Maui Real Estate Blog

Kai Makani 2014 Market Update

I live just up the road from Kai Makani. My family and I often enjoy the beaches that run in front of this North Kihei condo. In the summer, we enjoy playing in the summer surf on our stand up paddle boards. During the winter, the summer swell has given way to calmer waters. From the sands in front of Kai Makani, we can now enjoy the frequent whale sightings and the sun setting further south over the open ocean. Since my last Kai Makani blog post, I have kept a close watch on sales activity in this complex and wanted to give some highlights.

Ten units closed in 2014, 3 fewer than in 2013. Three apartments were 2 BR floor plans, and seven were 3BR.  High, median, and low prices were $595,000, $543,500, and $460,000 respectively. The average number of days on market was 136 days. Average price per square foot came in at $449.64.

When comparing 2014 to 2013 median and average pricing, a first glance suggests significant rates of appreciation. Median sales price grew from $475,000 to $543,500 (14.4%) and average sales price grew from $487,923 to $541,190 (10.9%), year over year. There is likely more to the story. As it is with the Maui Real Estate Market as a whole, there are many nuances and layers of information hidden behind the numbers within a single complex and we must peel the onion to find out what’s inside.

It is interesting to note that 70% of the 2014 sales were 3 BR units, and the remainder were the largest of the 3 different 2BR floor plans. This is further punctuated by the fact that 3BR units make up only 36% of the total units at Kai Makani.  2013 was different as we saw a mix of floor plans including 3 sales of the smallest available 2Br units. Only 23% of the 2013 sales were 3BR units.

In addition to the square footage and floor plan, the location within the complex is also highly determinative of value. Units toward the front, particularly with direct ocean views command a higher price.  I mapped out the distribution of sales within the complex for both years and they appear quite similar.

Some of the appreciation we see year over year is a function of simple square footage.  There were more large units, particularly 3Br units sold in 2014 than in 2013.  But to what extent?  I wanted to try to get a handle on a more accurate representation of  value. When I eliminate the smaller apartments from the 2013 figures and run the numbers again, I’m still finding a healthy 5.5% increase in median, and a 8.6% increase in average pricing for 2014.

This chart shows the 4 year historical data on number of units sold at Kai Makani

You can check out the current inventory of Kai Makani Condos for Sale on MauiRealEstate.com. Whether you are buying or selling at Kai Makani, I would love to talk further about exclusively representing your interests.  Call or text me at 808-298-2741 or Send me an e-mail. I look forward to introducing you to this great Kihei Condo community.

Pete Jalbert

Maui Real Estate Blog

The Numbers-A Rundown on the 2014 Maui Real Estate Statistics

Today’s blog is a look at the numbers for the 2014 Maui Real Estate Market. We give you the total sales volumes and the medians by property types. We also delve a little deeper looking at notable sales, communities that saw more activity and other noteworthy numbers from the past year.

This chart compares the Maui Real Estate Sales Volumes for Homes, Condos and Land in 2014 and 2013.

There were 941 homes sold in Maui during 2014 with a median sales price of $570,000. In 2013, there were 983 homes sold with a median price of $530,000. That is roughly a 4% drop in volume and roughly an 8% increase in median price.

There were 1,197 condos sold in Maui County during 2014 at a median price of $414,750. By comparison, there were 1,339 condos sold in Maui during 2013 with a median sales price of $374,000. That is an 11% drop in volume and an 11% increase in median price.

Maui Realtors reported 166 lots sold in Maui County during 2014 with a median price of $520,000. Last year, there were 219 lots sold at a median price of $399,000. That is a 24% drop in volume and a 33% increase in median price.

There are other notable numbers that are worth sharing from the 2014 Maui Real Estate Sales. Here are some of the highlights.

    • The highest priced home sale this year was $9,300,000 for an oceanfront estate at Makena Place. This beautiful home has four beds, four and a half baths and over 4,000 square feet of living space.
    • That was one of 61 homes sold over $2,000,000 in 2014 and one of 15 sales over $5,000,000. In 2013, there were 47 sales over $2,000,000 with 12 of those sales priced over $5,000,000. That is an increase of almost 30% on homes over $2,000,000 and 25% for homes over $5,000,000.
    • The Wailea and Makena area was the busiest market for high end sales with 14 closes over $2,000,000.
    • On the other end of the spectrum, the lowest priced transaction in 2014 was $1 for a leasehold bank owned home on Molokai. The lease for the home was set to expire in December.
    • Kihei was the busiest community for home sales in all price ranges. There were 171 homes sold by Realtors in Kihei during 2014.
    • The total dollar volume of homes sold was $818,163,161. In 2014, there was $773,479,738 of homes sold in Maui County. That is roughly a 6% increase in the total value of homes sold when comparing this year to last year and the highest dollar volume over the last five years.
    • The 941 homes sold was the second highest annual total sales volume over the last five years behind 2013.
This chart compares the annual volume of homes sold in Maui County over the last five years.
    • The highest priced condo sale was $8,250,000 for a four bedroom, four and a half bath unit at the Montage Residences Kapalua Bay. That condo has an impressive 4,050 square feet of living space.
    • That was one of 83 condos sold over $1,500,000. Of the 83 condos sold, an impressive 13 were over $4,000,000 in price. In 2013, there were 76 condos sold over $1,500,000 with 9 of those sales over $4,000,000. That is a 9% increase in condos over $1,500,000 and a 44% increase in condos over $4,000,000.
    • Honua Kai saw the most high end sales activity with 27 closes over $1,500,000. It also led the way for overall sales with 73 total transactions for 2014.
    • The lowest priced condo sale on Maui in 2014 was $39,500 for a two bedroom, one and a half bath condo at Harbor Lights.
    • The town of Kihei saw the most condo sales activity with 428 total units sold.
    • The total dollar volume of condos sold in Maui County during 2014 was $751,850,728. That is down from the $764,301,283 worth of condos sold in 2013. That is roughly a 2% decrease in dollar volume. The 2014 total was the second highest dollar volume over the last five years.

      This chart shows the volume of Condo Sales in Maui County during the last five years.
    • The 1,197 condos sold in 2014 was the third highest annual total over the last five years.
    • The highest priced land transaction of 2014 was for a parcel of beachfront land in Ka’anapali. The .87 acre lot sold for $6,900,000.
    • That was one of 25 parcels of land sold for over $1,000,000 in 2014. In 2013, there were 28 parcels of land sold for over $1,000,000. That is an 11% decrease.
    • Wailea and Makena had the most activity with five sales over $1,000,000.
    • The lowest priced land sale was $35,000 for a 1/4 acre lot on Molokai.
    • Ka’anapali had the most land sales activity with 27 total lots sold in 2014
    • The total dollar volume for =lots sold in Maui County during 2014 was $119,330,445. That is down approximately 23% from last year’s total of $155,596,747. The 2014 total was the second highest total dollar volume of the last five years behind 2013.
    • The 166 lots sold was the third highest annual total in the last five years.

      This chart compares the last five years of land sales volume in Maui County.
  • There were 115 bank owned properties that closed in 2014. That was down 5% from the 121 bank owned properties that sold in 2013.
  • There were 97 successful short sale transactions completed in 2013. That is down 56% from the 220 short sale transactions that were completed in 2013. This isn’t a big surprise with the equity position of more and more sellers improving.

That’s it for the notable numbers from the 2014 Maui Real Estate market. If you missed it, you can check out our post “Four Trends That We Saw in the 2014 Maui Real Estate Market.” We still have more 2014 year end stats posts coming with additional numbers and analysis of individual condos, neighborhoods and communities from around the island. Stay tuned…

Pete Jalbert

Maui Real Estate Blog

Sneak Peek at the November 2014 Maui Real Estate Statistics

The last of the turkey sandwiches have been consumed and Mele Kalikimaka is playing on the local radio stations. That means it is early December and it is a time to take a sneak peek at the November 2014 Maui Real Estate Statistics. This post takes a look at median sales prices, November pending sales and the sales volume for November as compared to November of 2013. I highlight some of the notable numbers from the November sales. I also provide a few thoughts on market activity and what it means for buyers and sellers who are thinking of entering the Maui Real Estate market. Without further ado, here are the November 2014 Maui Real Estate Stats.

This table compares Maui Real Estate Sales Volumes for Homes, Condos and Land during November of 2013 and November of 2014
This chart compares the real estate sales volumes for homes, condos and land in Maui County during November of 2013 and November of 2014

November Maui Real Estate Sales Volumes and Median Prices

By my count, there were 73 homes sold in Maui County during November of 2014 with a median sales price of $590,000. Last November, there were 75 homes sold with a median price of $515,000. That calculates to a 3% drop in sales activity and approximately a 15% increase in the median sales price.

I counted 67 condos reported sold in Maui County this November at a median price of $372,500. In November of 2013 there were 96 condos sold at a median price of $350,000. That is a 30% decrease in sales volume and a 6.4% increase in median price when comparing this year to last year.

There have been 10 lot sales reported in Maui County during November of 2014 with a median sales price of $411,500. Last November, there were 23 sales with a median price of $547,371. That is a 54% drop in sales activity and a 25% drop in median price comparing this November to last November.

Notable Numbers From The November Maui Real Estate Sales

While compiling the November sales volumes and medians, there were some other notable numbers that I came across that I thought were worth sharing.

  • The highest priced home sale of the month was $2,350,000 for a 5,529 square foot home with a pool on a two acre lot in the Wailuku Country Estates Subdivision.
  • That was one of three home sales over $2,000,000 last month. There was one more sale in Wailuku Country Estates and one sale in the Maunaolu Subdivision located between Makawao and Paia. This was a fairly unusual month for high home sales with no activity occurring in the more traditional resort communities. The two Wailuku Country Estates sales were only the second and third homes to ever sell in Wailuku for over $2,000,000.
  • The Montage Residences at Kapalua Bay was home to the highest priced condo sale in November. Since coming to market in June, they have accounted for 80% of the condo sales over $4,000,000. This month’s high sale closed for $4,750,000.
  • The Montage sale was one of six closes over $1,500,000. The other five closes included one more transaction at Montage, a sale at Honua Kai, a sale at the Whaler, a Wailea Point close and a close at Hoolei.
  • The 67 condo sales this month represented the lowest sales total of the year and the second lowest total in the last two years.
  • The highest priced land sale last month occurred in the One Palauea Bay subdivision in Makena. The 1.089 acre lot sold for $3,500,000.
  • There were 12 bank owned sales this November compared to seven bank owned sales last November. There were 4 short sales this November compared to 13 last year. This is a continuation of a trend where we have seen a slight increase in bank owned inventory and sales compared to last year, while short sales continue to play a decreased role in the market.

Thoughts on The November Stats

The November sales activity followed recent trends on island. Maui’s home sales totals continue to be very close to what we saw last year. Condo sales are down substantially. Land sales are also down substantially. As discussed in the September and October statistics, this drop in condo activity is driven in large part by a reduction in the inventory of properties for sale at the entry levels of the market. I think volumes may also be dwindling due to the pricing strategies of some sellers. There are still quite a few sellers shooting for prices well above recent sales. If some sellers were to be more realistic about their sales prices, we may get a little bit of a bump in condo sales activity.

The drop off in land sales that we saw this month may not be quite as significant as it appears. Land statistics include both commercial sales and lots that might be used for residential purposes. The November 2013 sales included six commercial new development lots in the Maui Lani subdivision. There was only one commercial sale this November. The Peahi Hui subdivision also had an impact last November with five new development sales.

It is worth making a brief note that changes in median prices are not a direct indicator of changes in value. Medians shift due to changes in values AND shifts in market activity. More high priced sales push medians higher and more low priced sales push medians lower. Small sample sizes can make changes in median particularly dramatic. This difference in Land Medians between this November and last November is a great example. It is safe to say that land values have not dropped 25% compared to last year.

November Pending Sales

While the November Sales weren’t very inspiring, are there brighter days in store for the Maui Real Estate Market? That’s tough to say, but we do have some sense of what future sales might be based on the number of properties that went pending in November.

This chart compares the number of properties in Maui County that went under contract (pending sales) during November of 2013 and November of 2014

It was encouraging to see pending home sales were up compared to November of last year. It was even more encouraging to see that the number of pending condo sales was higher than November of last year. I am not sure that this is a sign that the condo market is going to see sustained growth or a turn around from it’s recent activity, but it beats the alternative as we head in to our buying season. Pending contracts for land sales are down again compared to last November.

What Does it All Mean for Buyers and Sellers in The Maui Condo Market.

What does this all mean for buyers and sellers? December officially marks the start of peak buyers season. The increases in visitor numbers during winter months means an increase in potential buyers. Buyers will find varying market conditions depending on the part of the market where they are shopping. Market inventory is greatest at the highest price points in the market. Luxury home and condo sellers will find a good selection to choose from. That said, sellers in the luxury market tend to have deeper reserves so they may or may not be as negotiable on price. The entry level vacation rental condo market has seen inventory decrease significantly over the last 12-18 months. Well priced condos in this segment of the market are tending to go quickly. Conditions are similar for entry level homes with buyer competition particularly fierce for well priced properties. Buyers should be pre-approved before looking at homes and prepared to act quickly when the right opportunity becomes available. Sellers should look closely at current market conditions in their price range and community when looking at go to market strategy. Overpriced properties are sitting in this market. These mixed market conditions require thoughtful representation. Contact The Maui Real Estate Team today for a free consultation. We would welcome the opportunity to learn about your real estate needs and discuss the market.

Pete Jalbert

Maui Real Estate Blog

September 2014 Maui Real Estate Statistics

I apologize for being a little slow getting out of the gate with our September Maui Real Estate Statistics. This post includes all of the usual content on median sales prices, sales volume, pending sales and other notable numbers and closes for September. It also includes a deeper dive into the recent condo sales numbers. We have seen a trend develop over the last six months where Maui condo sales totals have under performed compared to last year. I wanted to see if we could peel the onion back and expose any clearly discernible reasons as to why there are fewer condos selling. I have proffered some anecdotal evidence in recent stats posts, but I hoped to find something more substantive in the actual sales data. Keep reading to find out what I learned and all the other numbers from the September Maui Real Estate Statistics.

September Maui Real Estate Sales Volumes and Medians

This table compares real estate sales volumes by property type for Maui County Hawaii during September of 2013 and September of 2014
This chart compares Maui Real Estate Sales Volumes for September of 2013 and September of 2014.

By my count there were 95 homes sold on Maui in September with a median sales price of $570,000. Last September, there were 85 homes sold with a median price of $470,000. That calculates to approximately a 12% increase in volume and a 21% increase in median price while comparing this September to last September.

There were 79 condos sold last month with a median price of $465,000. By comparison, in September 2013 there were 121 condos sold with a median price of $345,000. That calculates to a 35% decrease in sales volume and a 35% increase in median price when comparing this year to last year.

There were 12 land sales on Maui this September with a median sales price of $520,000. Last September, there were 15 sales with a median price of $335,000. That is a 20% drop in volume and a 55% shift in median price when comparing this September to last September.

Interesting Notes and Numbers From the September Maui Real Estate Transactions

While compiling the numbers above, I thought there were some other facts and figures that were worth sharing from the September Maui Real Estate Transactions.

  • The highest priced home that sold last month was actually a bank owned property. A six bed/seven bath luxury home in the One Palauea Bay Subdivision in Makena sold for $8,500,000.
  • That was one of six homes sold for over $2,000,000 last month. The other homes were located in Paia, Kula, Kihei, Kapalua and Lanai.
  • The slow month for condo sales was reflected in the luxury condo market. There were no sales over $1,500,000. The high sale was a two bedroom/two bath condo that sold at Honua Kai for $1,390,000.
  • The highest priced land sale was a beachfront lot in Ka’anapali. The .87 acre lot sold for $6,900,000.
  • There were 12 bank owned (REO) sales last month. That is up slightly over the 11 (REO) sales that were recorded in September of 2013.
  • There were 6 successful short sale transactions completed in September. Last year, there were 26 short sales in September. With more sellers in improved equity positions on their properties, there will continue to be fewer short sale transactions.

Thoughts on the Maui Condo Market and the September Stats

The condo market continues to catch my eye when looking at the numbers above. There is a continuation of recent trends with condo sales under performing last years transaction totals. Condo sales were down 27% in the third quarter of 2014 when compared to the third quarter of 2013. I thought it was worth taking a more granular look at the condo transactions to see if there are anything that might help to explain the slow down in activity. The chart below compares sales in different price points of the condo market during the third quarter of 2013 and the third quarter of 2014.

This compares the distribution of condo sales by price point in the third quarters of 2013 and 2014 in Maui County.

As you can see in the chart above, there were only four price points where the 2014 third quarter sales totals outperformed the sales totals of the third quarter of 2013. The biggest drop in 2014 third quarter sales occurred in the price ranges between $101,000 and $400,000. Inventory is a big factor in this price range, particularly in the $101-$200,000 range where there is around three and a half months of inventory available based on recent absorption rates. That limited inventory is clearly hampering sales volume.

This chart compares the current active inventory of condos on Maui by price point to the sales over the last six months by price point. There is clearly limited inventory at the lower price points in the market. This chart excludes active and sold listings on the islands of Molokai and Lanai.

The inventory may be even tighter than it appears on paper. With some sellers really shooting for the moon on prices, there is a reduced pool of properties priced at or near market values. Maui has always been a market where sellers tend to reach on their pricing. This is due in part to the fact that there are a lot of second home owners who can afford to let their condo sit on the market for an extended period. The ranks of overpriced properties may also be due in part to changes in the rates of appreciation. Some entry level condos saw huge bounces off the bottom with appreciation reaching into the 70% or more range. Some sellers have based their go to market prices on those recent rates of appreciation. With the last real estate downturn still fresh in some minds, buyers are not willing to sustain those rates over the long haul. That is most apparent with entry level condos priced in the low to mid $200,000s. After big gains in 2012 and the first half or 2013, those condos have seen little to no appreciation over the last 6-12 months.

Once you get above the $400,000 range, the condo inventory is not quite as tight. It has certainly dwindled below what we saw during the doldrums of the market, but there is still more than six months of inventory based on current absorption rates. There is enough inventory that it shouldn’t be constraining market sales. The healthier inventory is reflected in the sales figures in these price ranges. The difference between sales in third quarter 2013 and third quarter 2014 is smaller and there are of course a few price points where 2014 third quarter sales are higher. I am not sure that I can pin all of the decrease in market activity as being driven by inventory constraints, that said there is a clear correlation in some market segments. If there are any other factors that are hampering sales, they are not quite as easy to discern.

The luxury condo market is one part of the market where inventory is abundant. In the $1,500,000 to $4,000,000 price range there is well over a year of inventory based on current absorption rates. That would suggest that inventory is clearly not a factor in the slower third quarter sales volumes for luxury condos. The third quarter slump is something of a surprise as the first half of the year saw very strong sales in this range. It will be interesting to see what happens during the fourth quarter. If the slower sales volumes continue in that price range, it may illuminate what other factors are cramping the condo market. That said, this is a market segment with a small sample size that can see a lot of variability. The fact that there were strong luxury home sales in September makes me think the lower luxury condo sales could be an anomaly.

There was one other thing that I thought was worth mentioning about the September condo numbers. We typically don’t spend a ton of time discussing the median sales prices that we report in our stats posts other than to give the caveat that they aren’t a great indicator of changes in value. Our market size is small enough that the distribution of sales can have a bigger impact on medians than the changes in the values of properties. I think the stats for this month are a good example why. The 35% increase in median is driven heavily by the decrease in sales between $100,000 and $400,000. Fewer lower priced sales resulted in a big boost to the median sales price.

While the condo market has seen a clear trend of decreasing sales compared to last year, the home market has seen similar levels of market activity compared to 2013. As of this month, there have now been four months where sales were stronger than the same month of 2013, four months of slower sales and one month where sales volumes were the same. While constrained inventory has reduced the number of entry level home transactions, that has been offset by a little more activity at the higher price points in the market.

The 2014 Maui land market has occupied a middle ground between the condo and home market. It has had more months with lower sales volume than higher sales volume compared to 2013, but not quite as many down months as with condos. Inventory could be a factor with this market. Lower priced land opportunities are becoming harder to come by.

September Pending Sales

One thing to remember with real estate sales is that they are a lagging indicator. Most transactions on Maui take 30-60 days to close. We also keep track of pending sales in our statistics to get a sense of more recent market demand.

A comparison of the number of properties that went under contract in Maui County during September 2013 and September 2014

The pending property sales are mirroring current trends. The number of homes that went under contract in September was equal to what we saw in 2013. The land and condo pending sales are both down from 2013 levels although the margins are small.

What Buyers and Sellers Should Expect in The Current Maui Real Estate Market

While sales numbers are down a little, the overall buying and selling experience on Maui has changed very little in the last twelve months. Scarce inventory makes for a competitive market for buyers. Buyers should do all that they can to be prepared to act quickly when well priced properties that fit their needs hit the market. That means getting pre-approved for a loan prior to your search if you require financing. It also means being decisive and putting your best foot forward when submitting offers. Well priced properties are still frequently generating multiple bids. Sellers who want to sell quickly will need to pay attention to recent comparable sales and current conditions within their neighborhood and community. Even with reduced inventories, overpriced properties are sitting with very little interest from the market. Both buyers and sellers should be aware that market conditions can vary significantly by neighborhood and price point. The Maui Real Estate Team would welcome the chance to sit down and discuss your real estate needs and the market conditions in communities that could be of interest. Contact The Maui Real Estate Team for a free consultation.

Pete Jalbert

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