Maui Real Estate Blog

Unofficial December 2012 Maui Real Estate Statistics

Holiday decorations are going back in closets, the smoke from New Year’s fireworks has cleared and new calendars have been put up for the New Year. That means we are due for another installment of our Unofficial Maui Real Estate Statistics. December proved to be a very busy month for real estate sales. October and November were the busiest months of the year for properties going under contract. We saw that reflected in the higher closes this month. Here are all of the details on this month’s stats followed by some thoughts and context for the December numbers.

Maui Real Estate Sales volumes for December 2011 and December 2012
Maui Real Estate Sales Volumes for December 2011 and December 2012

There were 82 homes reported sold in December with a median sales price of $511,750. For frame of reference, the December 2011 numbers were 79 homes sold at a median sales price of $411,000. That calculates to approximately a 4% increase in volume and a 25% increase in median values between this December and last December.

I counted 140 condos sold in December with a median sales price of $377,950. Last December, Maui Realtors reported 89 sales with a median price of $304,000. That translates to a 57% bump in sales volume and a 24% increase in median prices.

I counted 26 total land sales for December in Maui County with a median sales price of $315,000. For December 2011, there were 9 sales with a median sales price of $375,000. That is a 288% increase in sales activity and an 16% decrease in median values when comparing Decembers.

Here are a few other interesting numbers that I came across while compiling the Maui sales volumes and medians.

  • There were 20 bank owned sales last month on island. Most of those transactions were home sales. In December of 2011, there were 58 bank owned sales. That is a 66% drop in bank owned activity compared to last December.
  • There were 22 short sale transactions that were completed successfully last month. There were 21 successful short sales reported in December of 2011.
  • The highest sales price for a home was $23,000,000 for a beautiful oceanfront Estate on Keawakapu Beach in Wailea. This estate home features 5 bedrooms, six full baths, two half baths and over 6,000 square feet of living space. The home was situated on .63 acres of beachfront land. This is the second highest ever sales price for a home on Maui.
  • There were a total of four luxury homes sold over $2,000,000 last month. In December of 2011, there were six homes sold over $2,000,000.
  • There were five luxury condos sold over $1,500,000 last month. Last December, there was only one condo sold over $1,500,000.
  • The land sales volume was the highest single month total in Maui County since June 2007.
  • The condo sales volume was the second highest monthly total since March 2006

Land has been the ugly step child of the Maui Real Estate market for some time now. Sales have been tepid since 2007. While there have been a handful of months when we may have seen 20+ sales during this span, that month was usually followed by a month of ten sales or less. That changed with the last two months. After reporting 22 sales in November, there were 26 sales reported this month. With shrinking home inventories, we are seeing home buyers expand the scope of their search to include raw land. This is part of what is driving what appears to be a resurgence. It will be interesting to follow the land market over the coming months to see if this level of heightened sales activity is sustained.

The condo market also experienced sales volumes that we have seldom seen since the peak market days. The only month that performed better since 2006 was April 2010. That month of high performance deserved an asterisk as there were 40 new developer closes at Honua Kai based on pre-construction contracts that were originally drafted back in 2005. The December numbers weren’t bolstered by neither the same level of new developer sales or long term contracts. This is particularly surprising as the fall season is usually a relatively weak time for condo buying activity as there are fewer visitors. It will be interesting to see what happens in the coming months during our peak buyers season. Limited inventory and/or potential economic uncertainties are the two impediments that could keep us from sustaining high levels of buyer activity.

One other thing to note with the numbers above are the shifts in median pricing. After a few years of decreasing property values, we did start to see some modest price increases particularly at the lower and middle price ranges in the market. That being said, the 24% and 25% increases in median sales price that we saw respectively in the home and condo market are not due exclusively to increases in property values. Price increases have tended to be far more modest. The biggest driver in the shift in medians are changes in the inventory. While 2011 offered healthy inventories at the lower and middle parts of the market, the inventory contracted significantly during 2012. Fewer sales at the low end combined with more activity in the middle and higher price ranges means higher median sales prices.

With the winter buyer season officially here, what do the numbers above mean for buyers and sellers? For buyers, many segments of the Maui market are proving to be competitive. With limited inventory in many different parts of the island, the conditions are in place for multiple offers and above asking sales prices when well priced properties come on the market. Buyers who require financing to assist with their purchase should take the time and effort to be pre-approved for a mortgage prior to looking at properties. A pre-approval letter may be a requirement with some sellers and/or it could differentiate you from buyers who are only pre-qualified. While inventory is limited in many parts of the market, sellers can’t be complacent. Lots of properties are going under contract, but it appears that there are quite a few transactions that are falling through. If you have the capital, address deferred maintenance. If you can, consider having a home inspection done so that you can help identify and address potential deal breakers in advance. Prices are going up in many segments of the Maui market, but over-priced properties aren’t getting a lot of attention. Look closely at recent comparable sales when determining a go-to market price. Now more than ever, professional and responsive representation is important. Contact The Maui Real Estate Team today to discuss how we may be able to work with you to achieve your real estate goals on Maui.

Stay tuned to the Maui Real Estate Blog for more year end statistics and thoughts on the Maui real estate market. We hope to publish year end stats in the coming days. We will also be taking a look at how individual Maui communities perform in the next week. We already posted on the Spreckelsville market earlier this week. Keep your eyes peeled for year end updates on Paia, Haiku, Wailea, Kaanapali, Kapalua and more.

Pete Jalbert

Maui Real Estate Blog

New Price! Sugar Cove Beachfront Condo in Spreckelsville

Published July 9, 2012

Sugar Cove is a fantastic beach on the North Shore of Maui. It is an especially ideal location if you love water sports. You can rig and launch kites and windsurfers right on the sand. It is a popular stopping point for downwind coastal stand up paddle (SUP) runs. During the winter time, there are fun waves for surfing, standup and body boarding. Big-wave riders can tackle the outer reefs that are about a half mile offshore. Don’t take our word for it, you can see first hand through this video featuring professional waterman Kai Lenny.

The Sugar Cove condominiums are situated along this beautiful beach. The condos are a rarity in the Maui Real Estate market for three reasons.

  • They offer spacious three bedroom floor plans with over 2,000 square feet of living space.
  • They are the only beachfront condo complex on the North Shore of Maui and one of only two condo complexes in the Paia area.
  • This is the best condo complex on the island for those that want wind and wave sports out their backdoor.

The Maui Real Estate Team has the only active listing for sale at Sugar Cove condominiums. Unit 2C is a three bedrooms/three and a half bath unit with 2,030 square feet of living space. The luxuriously appointed condo is offered turn key for the discerning water man or woman who wants quality and a fantastic location. In addition to the aforementioned water sports, the condo is located just down the street from the Maui Country Club. It is a five minute drive to Paia Town’s shops and restaurants and ten minutes from Kahului airport. The gated complex also has a clubhouse, pool and tennis courts.

This unit is sold. Sugar Cove Condominiums rarely come on the market. Contact The Maui Real Estate Team if you are interested in Sugar Cove Condominiums. We would be happy to notify you if a new listing comes on the market.

Pete Jalbert

Maui Real Estate Blog

Unofficial May Maui Real Estate Statistics

June is already upon us. That means we are officially in to festival season on Maui. The Kapalua Wine and Food Festival gets underway today and The Maui Film Festival at Wailea is set to begin next week. It also means it is time to take a gander at the Unofficial Maui Real Estate Statistics. These are the numbers that I found by sorting through our Realtor MLS database. The Realtors Association of Maui should be releasing their own stats in the next few days. In the interim, here is a sneak peak at the numbers followed by a few thoughts on the market.

Maui Real Estate Sales Volumes

Chart Comparing Maui Real Estate Sales Volumes

By my calculations, there were 61 homes sold in May 2012 at a median price of $382,500. Last May, Maui Realtors reported 71 homes sold at a median price of $418,000. That is a 14% drop in volume and approximately a 9% drop in median price.

Thus far, Maui Realtors have reported 112 condos sold at a median price of $334,500 for May 2012. The May 2011 numbers were 114 condos sold at a median price of $349,500. That’s less than a 2 percent drop in sales volume and around a 4% drop in median price.

The Maui land market saw 17 sales in May 2012 at a median price of $330,000. By comparison, there were 15 sales reported at a median price of $275,000 in May of 2011. That is a 13% increase in volume and a 20% increase in median price when comparing this May to last May.

The Maui Real Estate market is still seeing significant influence from bank owned sales (REO) and short sales. There were a total of 49 bank owned and short sale transactions last month. Of the 61 homes sold, 22 were REOs and shorts. That is approximately 36% of the volume. Of the 112 condos sold, 24 were REOs or shorts. That is 21% of the transaction volume. Of the 17 land transactions, three were bank owned.

While there has been a lot of discussion of a hot market on the street, this is another month where sales volume under performed compared to last year. That is now four out of five months this year where home sales have been lower than last year. This is the second month this year where condo volume has been lower.

There are two things that I think are worth addressing from the paragraph above. The first is the perception that the market is on fire vs. the reality of the numbers. I also think it is worth exploring why the market is seeing lower transaction volumes compared to last year. Is it a reflection of decreased market demand or is market supply starting to have an impact?

Why do people think the Maui Real Estate market is performing better than the numbers would indicate? I am sure there may be a few Realtors who might be guilty of hyping the market as a means to inflate buyer interest. That comes with the territory when you are working with sales professionals. People want you to know that their product is hot to heighten consumer interest. In this case, the product of Maui Realtors is the real estate market. That being said, I don’t think all of those hyping the market are doing it as a ploy to increase their sales activity. I do think there are more Realtors keeping busy this year vs. last year. How are more Realtors keeping busy when there is lower sales volume? The answer to that may lie in the distribution of sales. The one area where we have seen a healthy drop in transaction volume is among bank owned properties. There were 39% fewer bank owned transactions this May vs. last May. Bank owned listings tend to be concentrated in the hands of a smaller pool of agents. While this pool of agents has seen fewer transactions. We have seen more activity outside the REO market. That activity has been spread across a much broader pool of agents.

The question of why activity is lower is a little tougher to answer. I am not sure that I am going to provide definitive answers or much more than anecdotal evidence. With that caveat, I surmise that the decreased inventory is playing an important part in the decrease in sales volume. Inventory is as low as it has been in the last few years. Some buyers have been frustrated by the limited number of properties on the market. Last year, there was an abundant and well priced REO inventory that was drawing buyers into the market and increasing transaction volume. Due to national and local foreclosure moratoria, we have seen fewer bank owned listings through the first half of this year. While there were high volumes of lower end condo deals last year, the limited bank owned inventory has meant a healthy reduction in transaction volume. There has been a 24% decrease in volume for condo sales under $200,000 between this year and last year. Many of the properties that are on the market in this segment are attracting bidding wars as buyers vie over the limited inventory. We have even seen some price increases among the low end condo complexes as demand exceeds the current supply.

The luxury condo market is an area where we have seen an even bigger reduction in sales volume. Sales volume is off 56% when you compare the number of condos sold over $1,500,000 through the first five months of this year with the first five months of 2011. This segment has not been impacted by reduced REO inventory. In fact, this segment has been mostly devoid of bank owned properties. We have seen a small reduction in new development inventory. The successful Hoolei complex is mostly sold out. Also, most of the premier units at Honua Kai have sold. The reduction of inventory as a result may be a factor in some of the reduction in volume. It certainly doesn’t account for all of the dip in sales activity. The odd thing is that we aren’t seeing a similar reduction in the luxury home market. Sales volume this year is within a few percentage points of last year. It will be interesting to see if we see any upticks in the luxury condo market as the year progresses evening out some of the discrepancy we have seen thus far.

What does this all mean for buyers and sellers? The song remains the same from the Maui Real Estate Team. Buyers will continue to see opportunities in this market. That being said, most of the good opportunities are attracting multiple buyers. Buyers should be prepared to act quickly when good deals become available. Buyers that require financing should make sure to be pre-approved prior to looking. Having a pre-approval letter at your disposal will bolster the strength of your offer. Most Sellers will find that market conditions remain challenging. While bank owned inventory is down some, they continue to have a negative impact on home values. Sellers will need to closely monitor recent comparable sales when going to market. Overpriced homes aren’t getting a lot of love from home buyers. If a seller has the capital, efforts should be made to prepare your property for sale. Having a home inspection prior to listing is an excellent way to identify and address potential maintenance issues that could cost you money, or worse, become deal breakers while your home is under contract. In this market, you need intelligent, experienced and ethical representation when you are buying or selling. Contact The Maui Real Estate Team with questions on the statistics or for assistance buying or selling Maui properties.

Pete Jalbert

Maui Real Estate Blog

“Unofficial” October 2011 Maui Real Estate Statistics

The ghosts and goblins of Halloween have come and gone, and the calendar shows November. That means it is time for the “unofficial October 2011 Maui Real Estate statistics.” If you are stumbling across our “unofficial stats” for the first time, this is an opportunity to get a sneak peak on how the Maui Real Estate market performed over the last month. We generally release the stats about a week prior to when the local Realtor association publishes their own figures. The “unofficial” stats include some additional data points on monthly sales, some context for the numbers and a few thoughts on the state of the market. After doing a little digging earlier in the day, these are the unofficial stats I came up with for October.

Comparison of Real Estate Sales Volumes for Maui County between October of 2010 and October of 2011

By my count, Maui Realtors have reported 73 home sales this October at a median price of $480,000. By comparison, there were 64 home sales reported in October of 2010 at a median price of $425,000. This years numbers show a 14% increase in volume and a 13% increase in median price over last October.

Thus far, there have been 75 condo sales reported at a median price of $310,000 for October of 2011. The October 2010 numbers were 72 sold at a median of $322,500. That translates to a 4% increase in volume and a 4% decrease in price.

The land market continues to be stagnant. There were only 7 sales reported for the month of October at a median price of $625,000. That was enough to just outpace last year’s October numbers of 6 sales at a median of $207,500.

One thing we do in the unofficial stats that they don’t do in the official stats is to keep track of bank owned (REO) and short sale transactions. While Maui hasn’t been as hard hit as some communities, REOs and shorts continue to have a significant impact on our market. There were a total of 39 REOs and 33 short sales that closed last month. Of the 73 homes sold, 37 were REOs or shorts. That is just under 51% of the total sales volume. For condos, 34 of the 75 properties sold were REOs or shorts. That constitutes 45% of the total number of condos sold.
There was one bank owned transaction among the seven land sales.

For a little context, I thought I might provide the overall REO and short sale closes for the year. There have been a total of 1843 home, condo and land sales on island through October 31. There have been 472 REO closes and 222 completed short sale transactions. That means roughly 38% of the transactions have been REOs or Shorts. For homes, 337 of the 743 total sales were REOs or Shorts. That is 45% of the total transactions. Of the 989 condo sales, 331 sales were REOs or short sales. That comes to 33% of the condo sales. That would suggest we saw a greater percentage of REO and short sale closes than usual.

Aside from the REO and Short sale activity, I can’t say that there were was much else about this month’s statistics that was out of the ordinary. The numbers follow closely with what we have seen for overall market trends during 2011. Sales volume is outpacing last year in all segments, but not by huge numbers. The bump in median home sales prices last month was the one other anomaly. That being said the change in median is likely a reflection of more high end sales than any measurable increase in home values. It is challenging to track the trajectory of values on Maui through our statistics. Smaller sample sizes mean that shifts in where market activity occurs can be just as big a driver of medians as changes in values.

Speaking of the high end market, we did see more luxury activity this October than we saw last October. There were seven home sales over $2,000,000 this month compared to only two sales in October of 2010. For luxury condos, I counted five sales over $1,500,000. This outpaced the October 2010 numbers of three sales. This too follows an overall trend for the year as 2011 has proven to be a better year for luxury home and condo sales than 2010.

For buyers and sellers of Maui Real Estate, market conditions remain similar to what he have seen for the rest of the year. Buyers are going to continue to find opportunities to purchase properties for prices significantly below the peak of the market. That being said, buyers may find inventory tight in some market segments. Lower priced homes and condos can be particularly competitive. Buyers may have to exercise patience to find the best values. When opportunities do come on the market, buyers would be advised to act quickly and put their best foot forward as the best deals often attract multiple offers. Sellers are going to continue to find tough competition from the REO and short sale market. Those that need to sell quickly are served well by paying close attention to recent comparable sales and pricing close to or in some cases below those sales. Contact the Maui Real Estate Team with questions on the statistics or for assistance buying or selling Maui Real Estate.

Pete Jalbert